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Retro garage conversions are an excellent way to transform your garage into a unique living space that reflects your personality and style. This type of renovation involves taking an existing garage and converting it into a functional living space with a retro theme. Retro garage conversions have gained popularity in recent years, as more people are looking for ways to make their homes stand out.

Definition of Retro Garage Conversions

A retro garage conversion is the process of modifying an old or unused garage into a livable space with vintage decor elements that evoke nostalgia from the 70s or 80s. Some popular retro themes include disco, rock and roll, punk, and new wave. The renovation can vary in scope from simple updates such as adding vintage posters, lighting fixtures or furniture to complex renovations involving insulation for temperature control throughout the year.

Brief history of the 70s and 80s era

The 70s and 80s were culturally significant eras that introduced new forms of music, art, fashion trends, technology innovations like personal computers and video games. The 70s in particular was marked by social movements such as civil rights for women and African Americans while disco dominated popular culture worldwide.

As we entered the ’80s pop culture became more mainstream with television shows like Miami Vice ushering in a new sense of style characterised by neon lights pastel colors inspired by art deco design elements. Popular music genres included New Wave, Hair Metal, Hip-Hop & Rap which shaped this decade’s cultural landscape for years to come.

Benefits of creating a retro garage conversion

There are many benefits to creating a retro garage conversion. One key advantage is that it allows you to expand your living space without the need for expensive home additions or extensions. Secondly it provides you with an opportunity to express your unique personality through customised design and layout.

A retro garage conversion can also be a great investment as it increases the value of your property. Additionally, it provides a versatile space that can function as an entertainment centre, home theatre, game room or even personal bar.

A retro garage conversion is an excellent way to reduce your environmental impact. By converting the garage into usable living space, you are repurposing existing square footage and minimising your carbon footprint by avoiding building new structures.

Planning Your Retro Garage Conversion

Retro garage conversions are a fantastic way to transform an unloved and underutilised space into a stunning living area that oozes nostalgia. However, before you begin the process of converting your garage, it’s important to plan everything carefully to ensure your project runs smoothly. Here are some key considerations.

Assessing your garage space

The first step is to assess the size and layout of your garage in order to determine its potential as a living space. Consider how much natural light enters the space, as well as whether it has enough headroom and ventilation for comfortable living. Think about any obstacles or challenges that may need to be remedied before construction begins, such as uneven floors or poor insulation.

It’s vital that you take accurate measurements of the available floor area so you can create an accurate floor plan for your new living space. This will help ensure that furniture fits comfortably in the room and there is enough circulation space between items.

Setting a budget and timeline

The next step is to determine how much money you have available for your conversion project and how long you expect it will take from start to finish. Be realistic about what you can afford, taking into account materials and labour costs, permits, and any additional expenses such as custom finishes or vintage decor pieces. To establish an achievable timeline for your project, consider factors such as contractor availability, delivery times for materials like flooring or paint, any necessary permits or inspections required by local authorities and special installation requirements (such as electrical wiring).

Choosing a theme: 70s or 80s

The era of choice will play a significant role in every aspect of the design process from color schemes through décor choices right down to the lighting. Before you begin, it is essential that you take the time to consider what kind of retro vibe you’d like for your living space, whether it be 70s inspired or an 80s throwback.

To help make this decision, think about what inspires you most about each era and what elements can be incorporated into the garage conversion. Consider the availability of materials and accessories for each decade as well as how much work will be required to create an authentic look.

Whatever theme you choose, it’s important to stay true to your vision throughout the project. This will help ensure that every aspect of the design works together cohesively in a way that feels authentic and visually appealing.

Once you have decided on a budget, timeline and theme for your retro garage conversion project, you can move onto designing your new living space. Careful planning and consideration at this stage will ensure that everything runs smoothly during construction and result in a beautiful finished product.

Designing Your Retro Living Space

Color schemes, patterns, and textures for walls, floors, and ceilings

One of the most important aspects of designing your retro living space is choosing the right color scheme, patterns, and textures. For a 70s themed garage conversion, earthy tones like mustard yellow, olive green, and burnt orange work well as the primary colors. For an 80s theme, bright neon colors like hot pink, electric blue or bold black-and-white stripes are ideal.

Incorporating geometric or floral patterns on curtains or wall hangings can also add some fun flair to your space. When it comes to textures for walls and floors in a retro garage conversion space wood paneling is a popular choice for achieving that ’70s vibe.

Alternatively textured wallpaper is also a great option to give depth to your walls without overpowering other elements within the room. On the other hand if you are aiming for an ’80s theme polished concrete flooring works well when paired with bright colored rugs.

Furniture selection: vintage or modern pieces that fit the theme

Choosing furniture that fits into your retro garage conversion theme is crucial in creating an authentic overall look. You can opt for vintage pieces like a classic Eames lounge chair inspired by mid-century modern design or funky egg chairs from the 70s which continue to make a comeback into today’s interior design trends.

Modern furniture pieces with clean lines but inspired by retro designs such as low-slung modular sofas in bright vibrant colors can give dent attention-grabbing vibrancy between key spaces. If you want to stick specifically with one era consider incorporating statement fixtures from that decade such as hanging bubble chairs from the ’70s – perfect for creating a chill-out zone where you could relax on weekends with friends; while illuminated shaggy rugs will evoke that iconic style of ’80s pop culture that’s both eccentric, playful and yet sophisticated.

Lighting options: neon lights, lava lamps, disco balls

Lighting plays a critical role in achieving the right ambiance in a retro garage conversion space. Consider adding neon lights to the walls or ceiling or even creating your own custom neon sign.

Lava lamps are also a fun retro touch that can be placed on coffee tables, shelves or even suspended from the ceiling to create mood lighting. don’t forget about the disco ball – an iconic symbol of 70s era party culture.

You can hang it from the ceiling and pair it with colorful LED spotlights for a groovy dance floor effect. When choosing your lighting fixtures it’s important to select items that align with your overall theme and color scheme for a cohesive look throughout.

That said no matter what lighting you choose it’s important they offer sufficient light sources around key areas of your space while not being too harsh so as to provide enough warmth and comfort for all occasions such as movie nights or birthday parties. The presence of dimmer switches is an added bonus when trying to achieve just this – allowing you to adjust light levels according to mood and activity; while stylish table lamps positioned next to chairs will help create intimate areas without taking up too much space.

Adding Authenticity to Your Retro Garage Conversion

Incorporating Vintage Posters, Records, and Memorabilia

To truly capture the essence of the 70s or 80s in your retro garage conversion, incorporating vintage posters, records, and memorabilia is a must. These items can be found at antique stores, thrift shops or online retailers that specialize in retro-themed merchandise.

Some popular posters to consider include classic movie posters or iconic album covers from artists such as Pink Floyd or Led Zeppelin. You can frame these posters and hang them on the walls of your retro living space to create a focal point.

To add some personality to your space, consider displaying vintage items that relate to specific interests or hobbies you have. For example, if you are a fan of classic cars then consider adding old car magazines or advertisements on your walls.

Creating a Retro Bar Area with Vintage Glassware and Accessories

What’s more retro than having a bar area in your garage conversion? A bar area can be created by using vintage glassware and accessories such as martini glasses, shakers and ice buckets.

Consider using a mid-century modern bar cart as the centrepiece of this area. For an authentic look, decorate the surrounding walls with neon signs advertising popular brands from that era like Budweiser or Jack Daniels.

You can also add vintage beer cans around the bar area as decoration. If you have space available, consider adding some seating options around the bar for guests to sit while they enjoy their favourite cocktails.

Installing a Jukebox or Record Player for Music

No 70s or 80s themed living space would be complete without music! Installing a jukebox will add an authentic touch to your living space while providing entertainment for you and your guests.

If you prefer not to go with an actual jukebox, consider adding a record player and some vinyl records to your retro garage conversion. When selecting a jukebox or record player, be sure to choose one that fits the theme of your space.

For example, if you are going with an 80s theme, a colourful and flashy jukebox would be the perfect touch. If you prefer a more subtle look, consider a vintage-inspired turntable that can play both vinyl records and CDs.

Creative Ideas for Displaying Vintage Records

To make your retro garage conversion even more authentic, consider displaying vintage records in creative ways. One idea is to use an old steamer trunk or suitcase as storage for your records.

You can also hang them on the walls using record frames or create shelving out of old crates. For an added touch of nostalgia, consider creating a “mixtape” display using actual cassette tapes from the era.

You can string them together on twine and hang them on the wall as decoration. Don’t forget to also incorporate vintage accessories such as headphones or turntable needles into your decor to make it feel like you’ve stepped back in time!

Incorporating Authentic Memorabilia

To really take your retro garage conversion up a notch, add some authentic memorabilia from the era such as vintage toys or board games that were popular during that time. Consider adding items like Rubik’s Cubes or Pac-Man arcade games to bring back memories of simpler times.

If you have an interest in sports, consider adding sports memorabilia from teams that were popular during the 70s or 80s such as jerseys or trading cards. By incorporating these small touches into your retro garage conversion, you can create a space that truly feels like it was taken straight out of the 70s or 80s!

Making Your Retro Garage Conversion Functional

Creating Storage Solutions for Items Not in Use

When converting your garage into a functional living space, it’s important to consider storage solutions. One option is to invest in built-in shelving or cabinets to keep items organised and out of sight.

Another option is to use vintage trunks or suitcases as decorative storage pieces that also hold items such as blankets, books, or board games. Utilising wall space with hanging racks or hooks can also be a practical solution for keeping tools or sports equipment off the floor.

Adding Insulation to Maintain Comfortable Temperatures Year-Round

Insulating your garage can make a big difference when it comes to maintaining comfortable temperatures year-round. Installing insulation in the walls and ceiling will help keep the space warm during colder months and cool during warmer months. This is especially important if you plan on spending a lot of time in your retro garage conversion.

In addition to traditional insulation, you may also want to consider adding weather stripping around doors and windows to prevent drafts and further regulate temperature. Window treatments such as curtains or blinds can also help block out heat during sunny days.

Installing Proper Lighting and Electrical Outlets

Proper lighting is crucial in any living space, and your retro garage conversion is no exception. Consider incorporating multiple light sources such as overhead fixtures, table lamps, and floor lamps for optimal lighting options throughout the day. Electrical outlets should also be strategically placed throughout the space for convenience when using electronics such as televisions or laptops.

Be sure to hire a licensed electrician for any electrical work needed during the conversion process. Another great option for lighting in a retro garage conversion is incorporating neon lights – they add an extra touch of nostalgia while providing functional light at night.

The Benefits of Functionality

Converting your garage into a livable space can add value to your home and provide an extra living area. Making the space functional by incorporating storage solutions, proper insulation, and lighting not only improves the appearance of the space but also makes it more comfortable to spend time in.

A functional retro garage conversion allows you to use the space for a wide range of activities such as workout sessions, movie nights, or game nights with friends. It’s important to invest in these practical features during the conversion process in order to maximize the potential of your retro garage living area.


Creating a retro garage conversion can be an exciting and rewarding project. Not only does it provide additional living space, but it also allows you to express your unique style and creativity. In this article, we have explored the benefits of creating a 70s or 80s themed living space, how to plan and design your garage conversion, adding authenticity to your space, and making it functional. Benefits of Retro Garage Conversions

Retro garage conversions offer many benefits. For one, they add value to your property by increasing square footage.

This can be especially important if you plan on selling your home in the future. Additionally, these conversions provide an extra living space for relaxation or entertaining guests.

You can create a comfortable lounge area where friends and family can gather for movie nights or game nights. Another benefit is the opportunity to express yourself through design.

Retro themes allow you to showcase your unique personality and style in a fun and creative way. Whether you choose a 70s theme with bold colors and funky patterns or an 80s theme with neon lights and geometric shapes, the possibilities are endless. Plan Your Garage Conversion

Planning is essential before starting any home renovation project. Assessing your garage space is crucial as it will determine what kind of design options are available to you.

Set a budget that includes all necessary expenses such as materials, labor costs, permits, etc., and create a timeline that outlines each step required during the renovation process. Choose between a 70s or 80s theme based on personal preference or inspiration from either decade’s design elements that fit seamlessly into your lifestyle. Design Your Space

When designing your retro garage conversion living space: focus on color schemes for walls floors ceilings using textures that complement furniture selection – vintage or modern pieces that suit the chosen retro theme lighting options ranging from neon lights to disco balls. When designing your retro garage conversion, ensure that all elements are consistent and cohesive. This creates a harmonious and comfortable atmosphere that will keep you excited to use the space regularly. Adding Authenticity

Adding authenticity to your retro garage conversion is crucial for creating an authentic 70s or 80s vibe. Vintage posters, records, and memorabilia are excellent additions that help establish the theme of your space.

A retro bar area with vintage glassware and accessories is also a great touch. Installing a jukebox or record player can provide the perfect ambiance for guests or relaxing evenings at home. Making Your Space Functional

The functionality of your retro garage conversion is essential in ensuring its continued use. Creating proper storage solutions will allow you to keep items organized and clear space when not in use. Ensuring adequate insulation maintains a comfortable temperature within the space throughout the year.

Lighting options need to be carefully chosen so as not to interfere with functionality while providing sufficient illumination throughout. Overall, creating a retro garage conversion offers many benefits; it increases property value, provides extra living space for relaxation or entertainment purposes, allows you an opportunity to express yourself through design, adds authenticity by incorporating vintage pieces from previous decades into modern living spaces, making it functional ensures continued use over time.

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