Love shack: how a disused garage became a vital family space

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Why use your garage to park a car when it can be a workshop, kids’ hangout space and hobby room all in one?

A few years ago, Ina Porras faced a dilemma: with a growing brood, her beloved Georgian bungalow outside Edinburgh was feeling squeezed. But the family didn’t want to leave. Porras and her husband, James Mayers, had moved to the seaside suburb of Portobello from London in 2002, with their four-month-old son Finlay. “We love the sea, beaches, and its proximity to Edinburgh,” she says. “It’s such a vibrant community.”

So the couple – plus Finlay, now 14, Carmen, 12, and Pedro, nine – decided to convert the crumbling stone garage at the bottom of their garden instead. The walls, which in the early 1800s housed horses for the then owner’s carriage, were rubble and the roof was collapsing.

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