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Coach houses add character, charm and functional space

Originally built to house horse-drawn carriages and related equipment, coach or carriage houses are a feature in homes that I just adore. Over the years I’ve helped many of my clients buy and sell estate homes with these fantastic, functional spaces that can come in a myriad of structures.

Within the city, carriage houses were utilitarian structures – simply built to house the carriage. But in rural areas, on what are now lavish estate properties, coach houses could be rather comprehensive, built to even include living quarters for those charged with tending to the horses and carriage.

Such carriage houses were typically outbuildings that stood away from the main house. And since travel by horse and carriage is all but obsolete, many have been renovated for more functional usage, most commonly into guest homes.

As many of these larger coach houses could hold multiple carriages, the space tends to be ample for creating a bedroom and bathroom, as well as a sitting area and in some cases, even a small kitchen.

Though the traditional carriage house has been replaced by the modern garage, many people enjoy these spaces as much as I do and as such have created them on modern properties, or updated older estates to include them as well. Today, “coach houses” can be found above a barn on a farm property, or even above a garage on a contemporary home. But always, they are outbuildings built separately from the main house.

What makes a coach house so appealing on an estate property is the fact that guests can have complete privacy. With a separate entrance and no shared walls, sound isn’t an issue and as such a coach house can be an ideal space for a nanny or the in-laws to live in, or can just be used when guests come to visit.

On traditionally built coach houses, I love the old double doors, as pictured here, as they add so much character and are extremely inviting to guests. For more information about Toronto’s coach houses, click here. What’s your favourite example of a coach house?

Photo: Donna Griffith


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