5 Cool Garage Ideas to Liven Up Your Home
Aug 28, 2015
While some garages are crammed with boxes full of books and stuff you brought home from college, others are virtual shrines to the imagination — so-called “garage mahals” — giving owners space to entertain, pursue hobbies, or just relax.
Have an idea for your own garage? First, check local building codes for your area to see if you’ll need any permits for your project. Assuming you have the green light, start by sorting items and clearing out the clutter. “Be brutal when you are sorting,” says Erin Gentry, Associate Public Relations and Consumer Engagement Manager at Rubbermaid, in an interview with BobVila.com. “Get rid of anything you haven’t used in the past year.”
Then sketch out what you’d like to do with the space, advise the experts. You can use portions of the space for yourself (leaving room for a car, perhaps) or the entire space.
Need shelving? Paint the walls? Flooring?
And don’t forget to “think vertical,” as hoists and overhead racks can maximize your space, says Tim Keaton, Head of Brand and Product Marketing for Gladiator/GarageWorks. “Look up and you’ll find a ton of wasted space,” Keaton told BobVila.com. “Using vertical space leads to creating more useable space. In addition to hanging rakes and tools, consider hanging up your bikes and wheelbarrow.”
If things don’t go as planned, don’t stress, say the experts. A garage is extra space that you can keep updating for evolving needs — like a kids playroom, a teenager’s band practice area, or an adult’s display of artwork or collectables. For one family in Southern California, a garage renovation evolved from a casual playroom for their two young kids to a well-appointed media room geared just as much to grown-ups, as reported in This Old House.
Here are five inspirational garage ideas to get you thinking beyond hanging rakes and stacking paint cans in the corner.
Have a small house with limited room for your guests? Reed Maltzman and Jennifer Gosselin of San Francisco had an existing attached two-car garage they wanted to convert into a guest bedroom and office, smartly increasing their living space without adding to their footprint.
“It’s small, but we’ve all found a different use for it when guests aren’t visiting,” Maltzman, a fifth-grade teacher, tells Sunset Magazine. Maltzman uses it as a quiet getaway where he can grade papers; 4-year-old Max has claimed the closet as a favorite hiding place; and Gosselin prefers the loft for napping.
“It’s exactly what we’ve always wanted,” Maltzman says. “It’s just cozy.”
If you’re an artist with paints, palettes, and pastels stuffed into every free space in your drawers and cabinets, you’ll probably love the idea of having a space where you can organize your supplies and work — not to mention a cement floor ensures an easy cleanup of any spills or messes.
“In fact, your garage is really an ideal inspiration space,” writes Better Homes and Gardens. “It has the largest door in your home that easily rolls up for access to many an artist’s muse: the great outdoors,” says the blog.
Garage bands aren’t just for angsty teenage boys clad in skinny jeans, notes Better Homes and Gardens. Its DIY guys suggest building a room within a room if you or a family member need a musical practice or inspiration area.
“You can use pallets for materials and egg crates for soundproofing since you’re not worried about building codes,” says Better Homes and Gardens. Of course, you’ll have the power to turn off the power if things go too far.
Man or Mom Cave
Even a one-car garage has plenty of room for a flat screen and a comfy couch, says Better Homes and Gardens. Lucky enough to have a garage that holds two cars or more? “Add a ping pong table or a video game area for days when you’re hosting some buddies and your man cave becomes the men’s cave. Better yet, set up a bar in the corner and don’t forget an extra fridge to store some libations and snacks,” notes Better Homes and Gardens.
“Inexpensive indoor/outdoor carpet will take the chill off the cement floor and for the perfect home theater setting; all you have to do is close the garage door for movie night,” they note.
Tired of tripping on the newest Lego creation or kicking over the home fort? A kid-friendly garage is a great way to give your kids room to roam while still being within monitoring distance. Adding some gym flooring on top of the concrete floor will make it safe for rough housing and easy to clean.
Bookshelves and a wall lined with buckets easy to fill with toys during clean up, help to keep things organized. Plus, there’s plenty of space to leave room for projects in progress or set up larger toys that are frequently used and difficult to quickly put away,” says Better Homes and Gardens.