Cabana Life

Every inch of this detached garage was transformed into Cali cool

To say that Christina Kim of Christina Kim Designs in Manasquan aced this Jersey Shore small-space challenge is an understatement.

Every inch of this old detached garage—at a mere 300-square feet—was reimagined and transformed into the cutest backyard cabana, complete with kitchenette, outdoor bar and the most fabulous bunk area.

“My clients requested three uses for the space,” explains Kim. “The husband travels a ton for work, but he works from home a few days a week. There is no shortage of overnight guests here, and pool guests need a place to change and relax. And of course, it needed to also be a bar area—a place to watch the game!”

A giant painted surfboard at the entrance, a mix of ocean-inspired colors and décor in blues and mint green, and rustic ceiling beams, original to the structure, infuse a surfer vibe into the cozy easy-to-care-for cabana. Kim added a small kitchenette with open shelving, a sleek Quartzite counter, and minimal furniture that doesn’t get in the way. The custom built-in bunk beds and shelving maximize every bit of the vertical space. And the bar area completes the Cali-cool feel by bringing the inside out.  

“I love making a small space feel like it’s worth the big effort,” says Kim says. “Luckily, I’ve spent a lot of time living in apartments in New York and Paris. I love a small-space challenge!” 

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