October 15, 2021 Alicia Hutzler

Elevate your garage with these practical and stylish ideas

We don’t deserve our garages. 

Far too often, they become the offshoot to too many things, stacked, crammed, stored and packed away. “Cleaning out the garage” always becomes the never ending task on the to-do list that seems to carry over to next spring. 

Not anymore. We’re here to show some love to the unsung hero and absolute backbone of the house.

The garage is a heavy influential factor for 80% of homebuyers’ decision to go forth–or not–with the purchase of a house. But despite its importance and frequent use, 89% of homeowners remain unsatisfied with their garage and would like to improve it. Studies have shown that the garage is often the most “cluttered” and “disorganized” space in a home, and one in four Americans are unable to fit even one car in this space which was historically designed specifically for this purpose. 

As the function of a garage has evolved over time to become more than just a shelter for vehicles, it seems as though garage designs have not. Nowadays, people want more out of their garage than a dark, uninnovative ceramic room. They want space, storage, comfort and style. 

Whether you’re looking to maximize the space in your garage, elevate it, or transform it into something else entirely, here is a list of some modern and thoughtful solutions.

Photo credit:  Zac Gudakov / Unsplash

Storage, more storage!

Whether you are at the designing stage of your new garage or want to remodel your current one, here are different storage ideas to meet every need and taste.

Hanging storage

First, the garage walls provide a great opportunity for hanging storage. A simple way to do so is by using hooks and shelving that can be customized to fit the dimensions of your garage. However, for a more polished finish, this storage solution can also be achieved using slatwall panels–horizontal wall-covering panels designed for a range of different accessories from hooks and shelves to brackets and bins. The panels come in various colors and sizes to match the style and measurements of your garage. Likewise, when using wall storage, consider putting away rarely used items closer to the ceiling, and render frequently used stuff more accessible by setting them at eye-level and below.

Cabinets

Beyond the walls, cabinets are also a great way to store items, especially if you want them out of your sight. “Out of sight, out of mind,” as the saying goes. Not only are they great for storage and for your own peace of mind, but eliminating perceivable clutter also makes your garage look clean and tidy.  Cabinets also come in various sizes and colors, and can be customized. 

Ceiling storage

Not all storage solutions need to be in plain sight. In fact, the ceiling is a great–yet often overlooked–space for storage. Overhead ceiling racks are a great option for heavier and bulkier items such as outside furniture, out-of-season car tires, sports equipment, and more. 

Additional garage space

Going a step further, you may want to add an upper level to your garage, or, if you have the space, a second or third garage designed specifically for storage. If you are an avid user of your garage, this solution will give you more room to work and move around. It will also divide the space, keeping the cars in one area and the stored items in another, overall enhancing the appearance of your garage.

No need to sacrifice comfort for functional–they go hand-in-hand 

Your garage can and should be so much more than just a storage room! As professional organizer Karin Socci said: “your garage should feel like a useful, pleasant extension of your home,” with emphasis on the word pleasant! To render the space more enjoyable, consider polishing the floors with a showroom-quality product. This small upgrade will have a transformative effect on the aesthetic of your garage. Furthermore, you may consider repainting the walls using moisture-blocking paint to freshen up the look of the space whilst preventing mold from setting in overtime as garages generally tend to be damp. Additionally, upgrading the lighting using LED or pot lights is another small garage improvement that will modernize and elevate the style of the space.

Beside the look of your garage, you may want to think about its feel too. One way to do so is to add insulation in the walls, the ceiling and the doors. This will prevent heating loss in the winter time and ensure the space stays cool in the warmer months, which will save energy and prove beneficial for your electric and gas bills. For even more control over the climate of your garage, you may consider installing a cooling and heating system. With these additions, the temperature of your garage can be to your liking year round which will greatly enhance the interior comfort of the space! 

Beautiful inside and out

With all these garage interior talks, don’t forget to think about the exterior! According to Garage Living, “garage doors can account for as much as one third of the front exterior of a home.” So when building or renovating your garage, do consider upgrading your garage door(s). Not only will good-looking garage doors elevate the look of your home, but they will also increase your home’s curb appeal. Steel and wood garage doors are usually ideal as they are timeless, beautiful and highly customizable. However, other options are available depending on the style you are trying to achieve. You may also consider adding windows to your garage doors and other distinctive design features to make them stand out. 

Beyond the various material options, also think about the size of your garage doors. If you have the space, you may want to consider larger doors as they are favorable for their aesthetic as well as for their ability to accommodate loaded car rooftops. 

Whatever direction you decide to take with this project, don’t underestimate the power of upgraded garage doors. Not only will they make you proud, they will also drive some of the best return on investment.

Unused space? Transform it entirely!

In contrast, if your garage is one of the most unused spaces in your home, capitalize on this opportunity and turn it into a room you wish you had space for in your home! Perhaps you have always longed for more entertainment space? Transform your garage into a game room where you can receive friends and family! Or perhaps you’ve always wanted a quiet space to work, or a dynamic room to break a sweat? Consider remodelling your garage into an office or a home gym! 

This is your sign to make use of your empty garage! After all, considering that 25% of Americans outgrow their living space within a couple of years, who doesn’t want and need all the space they can get?

Whether you are looking to build a brand new garage or remodel your current one, Widler Architecture is here to help you achieve your vision. Your project doesn’t have to wait any longer, contact us today to get started!