DIY fan spills how she turned garage into a cosy home pub in just two months

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A DIY fan has revealed how she turned her garage into a cosy home pub within just two months.

The move comes as many people are missing pubs while they're closed during the coronavirus lockdown.

Emily Barratt, 36, turned her dusty garage into an industrial-style private tavern, called The Buzzing Bee, with an £1,000 budget.

The pub comes complete with a dance floor, exposed brick bar and dazzling copper fireplace

Emily gave up her pottery painting shop in order to renovate an old school and church building into a forever home for herself, her husband and two children, aged seven and six.

Turning the house's rundown garage into a cosy pub is one of her first projects.

The Manchester lass 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."

Emily added: "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."

Talking about how she stuck to the £1,000 budget, Emily said she sold a lot of items she already had, such as her 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.

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

Emily said she thought the project would take a week, but it took around two months in the end.

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

The brunette called upon tradespeople to take on both of these jobs, taking a £600 chunk out of her budget.

She hired a concrete floor grinder to smooth the floor and then sealed it with concrete floor sealer.

Emily painted the dance floor herself using garage floor paint and a stencil to spray-paint on the bee design. The walls were also painted with a feature wall added behind the bar area.

Adding a personal touch, she used a permanent copper metallic marker pen to write song lyrics on the walls.

“Everything is handwritten,” she says.

“My handwriting is usually atrocious, but it doesn’t come out too badly on pottery and walls, or so it seems.

"The idea reflects my love for music. Before I opened the pottery shop, I was an accountant at the Manchester Arena. I also love the Manchester bee, which is why I’ve incorporated it into the design of the dance floor and elsewhere."

The bar was also built by Emily using bricks from her garden. She said that mixing the mortar to build it with was hard work, but that she took a handy shortcut.

“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,” she said.

“We found the sleeper in the garage when we moved in, and I thought it would be perfect to use as the top of the bar, so I built the brick wall to size to support it.

“I sanded and varnished the sleeper before fitting it on top. My husband helped me to lift it up as it was so heavy, and we fixed it on with No More Nails.

“The shelves are from my old pottery painting shop, which I’d kept knowing I’d find a use for them,” she says. “I cut them to make them slimmer and then painted them grey, with copper metal brackets to match.”

The pub is also decorated with photos of Emily's late granddad back in the 50s and she found the trunk in the loft and converted it into a characterful table by attaching some table legs.

A drum kit, which has been in her loft for 10 years, also sets the stage for future karaoke parties and gig nights.

Tom Church, Co-Founder of says: "If you like a trip to the pub, this home bar is the stuff that lockdown dreams are made of.

"Emily clearly maximised her £1,000 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."

  • DIY
  • Pubs

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