Garage

This Stylish DIY Garage Doubles as a Mini-Showroom for Your Favorite Rides

This Stylish DIY Garage Doubles as a Mini-Showroom for Your Favorite Rides

After helping homeowners build cabins for themselves, Den Outdoors wants to help them build homes for their cars.

The New York-based design firm has just unveiled its latest DIY build project, The Garage. The surprisingly chic structure isn’t just big enough for one vehicle, either. There’s room for two or three, whether they’re cars, SUVs or trucks.

The project features an A-frame design similar to the cabins it’s become known for. Despite this, the structure doesn’t look overly rustic. The plans call for floor-to-ceiling windows that allow you to show off your rides while shielding them from the elements. They also give the garage a contemporary feel.

Den Outdoors’s The Garage 

Den Outdoors

The Garage is available in two configurations. One measures 650 square feet and has room for two cars; the other measures 950 square feet and has room for three. Both structures feature integrated storage space, as well as a workroom that’ll give you space for tinkering under the hood or for other projects. There is also a mini-split for heating and air-conditioning, so you can work in comfort year-round.
As with all of Den Outdoors’s projects, you’re not actually buying The Garage, you’re buying the plans to build it. And you have two options there. The first, called the Starter Package, includes a PDF of the schematics you need to build the garage seen on the company’s website. The second, called the Complete Package, comes with the full blueprints, including 3-D models and AutoCAD files. You can also work with Den Outdoors to customize the design and ensure it meets local codes, which should make it easier to get a building permit.

Inside The Garage 

Den Outdoors

The Starter Package, which is really just meant to determine a project’s feasibility, runs $299. The Complete Package, on the other hand, costs $2,395. You’re still going to have to get permits, source materials and hire builders, though. When that’s factored in, Den Outdoors expects the two-car garage will run in the neighborhood of $145,275, while the three-car option will cost around $212,325.
Not bad for a garage you might actually want to spend time in.

This Bonkers Hummer Garage Concept Is Like a Bond Villain’s Lair in the California Desert

This Bonkers Hummer Garage Concept Is Like a Bond Villain’s Lair in the California Desert

Cars are slowly making their way out of the garage and into our living rooms. It’s not a look that’s for everyone—having a Lambo smack in the middle of a lounge may be a bit too statement-making for some—but there’s no better way to showcase a prized marque. The latest iteration of this trend is a concept garage for the soon-to-come Hummer EV, which imagines a world where cars and humans live side-by-side, and look great while doing it.

The concept was designed by Kelly Wearstler, whose interiors embody the bold-yet-breezy aesthetics of the Golden State. Her vision for Hummer is no different, imagining a home in the Southern California desert that juxtaposes the futuristic EV with the spare, arid landscape. “There’s this major contrast between the super-modern and futuristic vehicle and the earthy desert,” says Wearstler. “[Then] there are elements of the Hummer EV that are subtly reinterpreted throughout the garage—like the entry gates and the sleek bronze shell—which make it feel at home.”

An elevator lifts the Hummer onto the main level. 

Kelly Wearstler Studio

Naturally, since this is meant to be a “livable garage” concept, the interiors are just as carefully considered as the gates, which are designed to look like a massive “H.” Wearstler placed her own Echo bench and Monolith side table in the concept, as well as a few vintage pieces from famed designers, like the wavy Etcetera chair by Jan Ekselius and the more angular Quarta lounge chair by Mario Botta. The EV itself is meant to sit in the middle of the space—once you drive up it’s lifted into the room via a futuristic elevator.
Like any coveted piece of art or sculpture, it’s worth having good lighting for this automotive centerpiece. Wearstler placed a slatted skylight in the concept garage, providing an indirect light that emulates the Hummer’s sunroof.

Wearstler furnished the livable garage with a mix of her designs and more vintage pieces. 

Kelly Wearstler Studio

Alas, this West-Coast-meets-Bond-villain lair isn’t a reality yet, but it offers a look at what the future might like for car collectors who want to take their garages to the next level. “My vision was to reinvent the way that we live with our vehicles, which are embedded in the fabric of our daily life,” Wearstler adds. “The Hummer EV has no emissions so it makes it possible for us to live with it harmoniously; I wanted to imagine architecture that brings it inside so we can truly enjoy its beauty.”

Head-to-Head Virtual Racing Drives Up the Value of This Beverly Hills Home

Head-to-Head Virtual Racing Drives Up the Value of This Beverly Hills Home

To say that just about everyone in the world has spent some extra time at home over the past year is hardly an understatement. In fact, getting out of the house has presented its challenges, though one of the few opportunities to break free from four walls is going out for a drive. Better still if it’s in a great car, and better still if it’s on a track. All of which is easier said than done, with weather and distance—not to mention time—often conspiring against us.

For a while now, die-hard racers and motorsports enthusiasts have sung the praises of driving simulators, not just as ways to blow off steam but, importantly, to hone track skills and refine technique. One company in the pole position is CXC Simulations, whose Motion Pro II simulators are really state-of-the-art tools for drivers—even would-be drivers—at all levels and of all ages.

CXC Simulations provided this game room with a winning trifecta for virtual racing.  Photo by Alex Bellus, courtesy of CXC Simulations.

While most clients are content with a single simulator, one customer of CXC Simulations recently commissioned the installation of three machines in a 16,450 square-foot Beverly Hills home. The trio are located in an expansive room adjacent to the garage, which is visible through a wall of floor-to-ceiling windows separating the two spaces.
The homeowner explained, “I wanted this space in the house to showcase these great cars—almost an extension of the garage. Cars are best enjoyed behind the wheel, but I can’t just let anyone drive them, so racing simulators are the best way to let my friends and family experience what it’s like to drive a Ferrari. I looked into all of the available simulators, but went with CXC Simulations. Their superior build quality and the company’s on-demand tech support gives me a lot of peace of mind. And aesthetically, they look really cool and perfectly match the modern look of this house.”
The Motion Pro II system presents cutting-edge motorsport and flight simulation.  Photo by Alex Bellus, courtesy of CXC Simulations.

Each of the three Motion Pro II simulators is optioned with virtual-reality capabilities, a gated shifter, and CXC’s Combat Flight Pack, which enables the use of flight-simulation software.
Chris Considine, CEO of CXC Simulations, provided some insight into customer trends. “We have seen a shift with our clients to not purchase a single simulator for personal use, but a number of simulators as a part of a “man cave” or party room. These customers would rather race with their family members or friends than take turns. Our SYNCHRO system was designed to control a cluster of simulators in a commercial setting, but these same customers are opting for it to operate two or more simulators at a time, letting them quickly select different cars and tracks.”

The residence’s game room features a floor-to-ceiling view of the owner’s car collection.  Photo by Alex Bellus, courtesy of CXC Simulations.

Detailing the technology and installation process, Considine continued: “The client opted for three single-screen simulators with virtual-reality integration. The single screens minimize the footprint of the simulators, allowing for clear sightlines through the room and into the garage. But with virtual reality, he still gets a fully immersive driving experience.”
Considine adds that since the installation took place during the pandemic, all work was done when the home was not occupied, and subsequent assistance and maintenance has taken place remotely. He notes, “Luckily, our team has been able to adapt to continue to provide service to our clients in a safe way.”

VIP Parking: 5 Amazing Garages That Showcase Your Cars Like Works of Art

VIP Parking: 5 Amazing Garages That Showcase Your Cars Like Works of Art

Conventional wisdom considers the garage less an extension of the home than an afterthought: four windowless walls to keep cars dry, out of the freezing cold or searing sun, and safe from the scratches and dings that all too often accompany street parking. But sometimes that kind of practical, style-free bunker is no match for an owner’s automotive enthusiasm.

Architects and real-estate developers are increasingly coming to the rescue with designs that upend the very concept of car storage, using clever layouts and inventive engineering to create more fluid connections between living areas and four-wheeled objects of affection. Interior glass walls offer views of bright, spotless garages, and in many cases cars pull right into furnished rooms, where they have pride of place as if they were billiard tables or multimillion-dollar contemporary sculptures.

With their prized Ferraris and Bentleys as the focal points, some owners enjoy these hybrid spaces more deeply than their primary living quarters. Thanks to automated temperature and humidity controls and high-tech ventilation systems, the garages are just as livable as the rest of the home.
It takes equal parts imagination and science to build the perfect home garage. Here are our favorite examples that reveal what can be achieved when the brief is to refashion the (not so) humble automobile as a kinetic objet d’art to be experienced and appreciated every day.
Buried TreasureDenver, Colo.
The garage’s prized objects echo those in the property’s outdoor sculpture garden.  David O. Marlow

For most car fanatics, creating the perfect showcase for their cherished collection is the culmination of a lifelong vision. But in the case of one ingenious garage, a Denver-area collector didn’t develop his passion until about two years after he had already built his dream house, presenting a unique design challenge.
Architect Don Ruggles was tasked with retrofitting the property, which he had designed, to make room for an array of automobiles that were being stored in a warehouse. The owner did not want to “disrupt any of the original geometry of the home,” Ruggles recalls, “and we didn’t want [the garage] to feel like an appendage that had been cobbled on at some later date.” The solution? Create an entirely new lower level beneath the original circular driveway, an idea that came with its own conundrum. Ruggles devised a novel strategy: a 360-degree glass bay that housed a hydraulic lift for lowering and raising cars into and out of the space. Because the owner imagined an area where cars could be arranged in virtually any position, the builder equipped the lift with a turntable capable of aiming the car as desired.

A hydraulic lift with a turntable enables the owner to position his cars throughout the gallery.  David O. Marlow

“It’s a special place, and it’s very much in the same design idiom as the rest of the house,” Ruggles says, adding that the space, which includes a caterer’s kitchen and forest views, is often used for entertaining. The owner also enjoys showing off his cars’ engine sounds, so Ruggles installed a ventilation system to eliminate fumes as well as a high-tech mechanism that suppresses fire by evacuating the air from the space.

Tipping PointLos Angeles, Calif.
A hydraulic ramp tilts the vehicle so it can roll outside without starting the engine.  Ricardo DeAratanha/Los Angeles Times

Holger Schubert’s long-term obsession with the Ferrari 512 BBi is a familiar story to enthusiasts, but as an architect and designer, Schubert was in a unique position to create the ultimate showcase for the vehicle—if he could ever get his hands on one. “I always wanted a silver one because that’s what I saw in the original brochure,” Schubert recalls. But when a 10-year search led him to a pristine gray, single-owner example in Newport Beach, Calif., he knew he had found it. Schubert was already in the process of designing a new house in Brentwood but prioritized the garage, which he’d dreamed of building for the Ferrari well before he bought it.
The Ferrari shares space with a living room and home office, including a flat-screen TV on tracks.  Ricardo DeAratanha/Los Angeles Times

“Everything I design is meant for the architecture to step back and provide space for something to be the center of attention, be it furniture or some element,” Schubert says. He literally conceived the hillside property around the single Ferrari: He designed a special bridge to link the third-floor garage—with a view of the Pacific, of course—to the road and included a hydraulic ramp engineered to tip the nose of the car upward, enabling it to roll backward out of the space without starting the engine and sullying the air. Though the garage–cum–living room design was met with acclaim, the story has a bittersweet postscript: Schubert moved to Germany (with his Ferrari) and sold the property, which remains a construction site mired in a neighbor’s challenge to the legality of the bridge.

Seat at the BarScottsdale, Ariz.
A lower-level Car Bar, with a view of the wet bar, glass-enclosed wine cellar and lounge area.  Stephen Shefrin

With its welcoming climate and vibrant auction scene, Arizona has become a haven for seasoned car collectors. But the region has presented a paradox for new residents: Many empty nesters relocating from sprawling, multi-acre properties want to avoid the headache of maintaining large yards, but they are loath to skimp on luxuries.
Developer Cullum Homes, a builder of custom residences, has addressed the demand for “lock-and-leave” homes while assuaging enthusiasts who don’t want to trim their collections. “We were seeing these guys that said, ‘We’ve got six or seven cars, and we’re not willing to give those up,’ ” says real-estate broker Scott Grigg of the Grigg’s Group, which represents Cullum. The solution is the so-called Car Bar, which uses an elevator to transport vehicles from a three-car ground-level garage to a lower level of the home. Displaying cars behind fire-rated glass partitions offers automotive eye candy alongside amenities such as a bar, home theater or pool table.
The cars are displayed behind fire-rated glass partitions.  Stephen Shefrin

Grigg says the conditions in the Scottsdale area are ripe for demand to grow: In addition to plenty of gated communities, “we got a McLaren dealership here. We have a great Ferrari dealership.” What else would you need?
Gift With PurchaseLos Angeles, Calif.
The house dubbed Billionaire went on the market with $30 million worth of exotic cars.  Courtesy of Williams & Williams

Sometimes lavish simply doesn’t cut it. The over-the-top home at 924 Bel Air Road in Bel Air has every imaginable amenity sprinkled like birdseed across its 38,000 square feet of living space: from a 40-seat theater to a four-lane bowling alley and an 85-foot glass-tile infinity pool with unobstructed 270-degree city views. The tiered property, not so subtly dubbed Billionaire by its developer, Bruce Makowsky, was built on just over an acre of land once owned by Judy Garland. When it went on the market in 2017, it claimed the distinction of the loftiest list price of any home in the US: $250 million.
A nightclub-style lounge in the auto gallery.  Courtesy of Williams & Williams

Because automobiles are integral elements of Los Angeles (and billionaire) life, the house accommodated a $30 million stash of a dozen exotic cars across its lower level, including Lamborghinis, Ferraris, a Bugatti Veyron and a Pagani. The so-called auto gallery features what Makowsky says is the world’s largest indoor screen, at nearly 30 feet, and a nightclub-style lounge. Resting atop a makeshift helipad was a non-functioning helicopter from the TV show Airwolf, as if bolstering the property’s sky’s-the-limit theme. The car showcase, separatedfrom a green lawn by a wall of glass, was initially a prominently featured element of the home, but a cascade of price reductions suggests there are indeed limits to buyers’ appetites: The asking price dropped to $180 million and then $150 million, with the house finally selling for $94 million in 2019. Whether the cars were part of the package remains a mystery: Terms of the sale are under a strict NDA.

Garage PartyWest Hollywood, Calif.
Collywood’s garage opens onto a patio, for fluid indoor-outdoor parties.  Nic Lehoux

Collywood, a residence in West Hollywood, Calif., designed by architect Tom Kundig of Olson Kundig, makes the case that, in its highest form, a garage can take on the role of an art gallery. “I think of it as a disciplined garage that allows the art of the cars to take center stage,” Kundig explains. “It’s similar to our typical strategy for a gallery—the architecture doesn’t compete with the object being displayed. Highlighting the genius of the cars’ design over the architecture of the space was our agenda with Collywood.” (The name is a portmanteau of Collingwood Street, where the home is situated, and Hollywood.)
The 15,600-square-foot house is spread over three levels that interface with nearly 7,000 square feet of terraces, gardens and pools, lending the rectilinear structure an open relationship to its surroundings. The garage plays a unique role: The sparsely furnished space spills onto a patio, and its interior incorporates an airy overhead lighting system. “We’re intentionally lighting the space to reveal the nuances of the vehicles,” Kundig says. “Collywood is a fairly technology-savvy home,” he notes, referring to the property’s glass walls with metal shutters that operate remotely to control natural light.
The garage’s overhead lighting was designed to show off the cars’ nuances.  Nic Lehoux

At the client’s request, Kundig designed the entire property, including the garage, to be fair game for sprawling parties or special functions, and an A-lister sipping Champagne in black tie looks as much at home among the cars as a coveralled mechanic wielding a wrench. “Because the client comes from a background of outdoor adventures,” the architect says, “he wanted the house to feel like an adventure to him and his many guests.”

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