Mum spends £1,000 transforming garage into a trendy home pub

Emily Barratt, 36, says she had no use for the garage so decided to use lockdown to transform it into a cosy pub that her family can use

A woman has transformed a rundown, spider-infested garage into a cosy pub over lockdown.

Emily Barratt created a fantastic home tavern for just £1,000 in only two months.

This isn’t the mum-of-two’s first renovation project, having left her pottery painting shop to renovate an old school and church into a forever home for herself, her husband and their two children, aged seven and six.

Emily, 36, told : “We had no use for the garage.

“It had no ceiling and a barn style door that didn’t lock. Plus, it was full of spiders.

The family hadn’t used the garage before, as it was full of spiders
Emily was happy to get her hands dirty to transform the garage

“At our previous home, we had a garden shed bar and loved having parties there.

“We definitely wanted another bar area to host in and, as the garage was directly accessible through the hallway to the main house, it seemed like the perfect place for it.”

She set herself a strict £1,000 budget.

The mum-of-two said: “I sold lots of items I already had in there to fund it, such as my pottery kiln, as well as a huge amount of reclaimed parquet flooring that came with the house from when it was a school and church.

She looks forward to hosting friends after lockdown
Their home tavern is accessible from their house

“We had already replaced the windows throughout the house so that was one thing we didn’t have to factor in.”

But like most DIY projects, the imagined deadline for the renovation was quickly passed.

She said: “I thought the project would take a week, but in the end it took around two months.

“The room needed plastering and we decided to add two radiators so we could use it all year round.”

She smoothed the floor with a concrete grinder, which created lots of dust
And used bricks from the garden to build the wall behind the bar

She found tradespeople to handle both jobs, taking a £600 hit to her budget.

Next she turned to the floors.

Emily said: “I hired a concrete floor grinder to smooth the floor – the dust it created was horrific – and then sealed it with concrete floor sealer.

“I then painted on the dance floor using garage floor paint and a stencil to spray-paint on the bee design.”

She made a table top with coins
She hired tradespeople for £600

She painted the walls with a dark grey shade of B&Q GoodHome emulsion.

For the feature wall behind the bar, to create a rust effect she used two-step artisan paint from Craig and Rose.

Emily also built a sleeper-topped exposed brick bar.

She said: “I built the bar using bricks from our garden. We had hundreds of them going spare from our renovation work so I had already earmarked them for this very purpose.”

She created a wall with a rust effect

Emily took a shortcut when mixing the mortar. She said: “I used ready-mixed mortar from B&Q, using a big bucket and a drill to mix it with, which made my life a lot easier.”

A drum kit sits ready for future karaoke parties and gigs.

“The drum kit is my husband’s,” Emily said. “It has been in the loft for 10 years, so he’s very happy to have it out again and have a play.”

She gushed: “I’m really pleased with how it’s turned out.

She’s planning on adding a beer pump

“I still have a couple of things to finish and add to it, such as a bar beer pump that a friend gave me last year. I’ll be able to do this once the shops are open again after lockdown.

“Our friends haven’t been able to see it in person yet, but are desperate to come and have a drink as soon as we’re allowed. We spent Christmas Day mainly in the bar, singing and dancing, so we’ve already made good use of it.”

Tom Church, co-founder of commented: “If you like a trip to the pub, this home bar is the stuff that lockdown dreams are made of.

“Emily clearly maximised her £1k pot to create a cosy setting that’s aced with character.

“Making the most of the furniture and accessories you already have by upcycling them can go a long way to helping you stay on budget.”

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