Carriage houses, initially built for housing horses and carriages, gained popularity in 18th-century Britain as a status symbol for the wealthy. These structures often mirrored the main estate's design and sometimes included living spaces for groomsmen. Today, many serve as modern living spaces or ADUs, with some, like Taylor Swift's New York rental, undergoing stylish transformations. Explore examples of creatively repurposed carriage houses that blend historical charm with modern tastes. Read on for a selection of carriage houses creatively reimagined from their horse-and-buggy days to suit their residents’ modern tastes.
A 19th-Century Manhattan Jewel Box
John and Christine Gachot of Gachot studio took on the challenge of renovating a mid-19th-century carriage house in NYC. The 1,700-square-foot residence, last updated in the '80s or '90s, needed a contemporary refresh. The clients, after owning it for years, sought a complete makeover, desiring a departure from the beige '90s palette.
Gachot Studios approached the project with a sensitive, multilayered strategy. They preserved the home's historic details while infusing a modern aesthetic using custom furnishings, textured wall coverings, and an art collection featuring works by Antony Gormley, Wolfgang Tillmans, and Emil Nolde.
An Industrial Boston Abode
In Boston's Beacon Hill, a 1800s carriage house redesigned by Lisa Kreiling of LTK Interiors marries modernity with historical charm. Maintaining its original character with elegant dark boards, the renovation cleverly integrates quirky elements typical of carriage houses. The first floor, once a carriage housing, now boasts luminosity through strategic design choices, echoing marine hues inspired by the Charles River. The result is a creatively transformed space capturing the essence of its functional past with a touch of industrial and global influences.
A Victorian Carriage House in New Orleans
In renovating a New Orleans Victorian, Samantha Wetton and Alexandra Neu of Lafayette Studio chose an unconventional dusty pink and forest green color scheme for the façade, inspired by the city's vibrant architecture. The interior restoration aimed to revive the 1904 structure, respecting its original era and utilizing local artisans and salvage materials for an authentic feel. The designers sought to preserve the historical shell and details, creating a lived-in and historically resonant atmosphere in the home.
A Kennedy Compound Cottage
Amy and Patrick Kennedy, facing a challenging renovation of the 1904 Hyannis Port "garage," were driven by a desire to create idyllic summer experiences for their family, reminiscent of Patrick's youth in the iconic Kennedy compound. The thrifty renovation transformed the former carriage house into a cozy home, reflecting the family's understated aesthetic. The cottage, once a hideout for Kennedy boys, now comfortably accommodates the couple and their five children through conscientious design.
A Fashion Designer’s Historic Manhattan Dwelling
Celebrating a decade of LoveShackFancy, Rebecca Hessel Cohen and her husband Todd embarked on a West Village townhouse renovation five years ago. The project, akin to an epic love story, reflects their passion for romance and indulgence, a departure from the prevailing minimalist trend. The couple, native New Yorkers, fell in love with the townhouse, initially a shell, and tackled a monumental renovation, connecting the carriage house, installing a new staircase, and creating a new basement. The 154 antique decorative light fixtures exemplify the project's grand scale.
A Renowned Artist’s Colorful Brooklyn Abode
Nine years ago, artist Jorge Pardo moved his studio from Los Angeles to the Yucatán, prompting him to shift his American home base to New York for proximity to Cancún and family. Settling in Bushwick, Brooklyn, he chose an early 1900s carriage house to manifest his vibrant vision. Drawn to the neighborhood's immigrant charm and Latin atmosphere, Pardo appreciates the echoes of East L.A. in Bushwick, finding comfort in its street vendors, local stores, and familiar amenities like Popeyes and Starbucks.