Most of us think of the garage as simply the place we park our cars. Maybe we take advantage of the added function of overflow storage, or perhaps the garage also serves as a laundry room. For a majority of homeowners, traditional use makes perfect sense – but there are so many different approaches to take advantage of the extra square footage the garage offers. Here are some of the innovative ways homeowners make the best use of garage space.
Let’s say right off the bat that while “man cave” has become a popular term, we think women are just as entitled to the space! It’s more about the spirit of the room: a casual, relaxed environment in which to enjoy time with friends, and a place that can be truly personalized and styled in a way that doesn’t necessarily match with the rest of the home’s décor. Sports serve as inspiration for the theme of many man caves, from a favorite team’s colors to special memorabilia. A TV and recliners with cup holders make for the perfect game watching environment. Whether you’re into sports watching or not, a lounge or bar area adds an elegant touch to game days or other gatherings. Perhaps you’re into other forms of competition and want to use your garage for activities requiring extra floor space, such as foosball, pool, ping pong, air hockey or poker. Even more ideas for casual gathering areas include a home theater, a video gaming room and even an arcade with pinball and other classic standalone games. For the man cave garage, and for many of the ideas that follow, you’ll need to think about logistics such as organization, insulation, paint, flooring and security. Consider adding overhead storage that will be out of the way when hosting but still practical for everyday use. Positioning storage racks above the garage door allows for a neat, clean look. Flooring can be functional as well as a decorative opportunity to continue your theme colors or add a team logo. If you plan to have a TV in the garage, consider using a TV cart so you can wheel it into a locked closet for safekeeping when not in use.
Turn your garage into a gym and you’ll never have an excuse to skip a workout! You could go the traditional route with weights, a treadmill, stationary bike and elliptical, or create a CrossFit-inspired gym with barbells, pull-up bar and a rowing machine. A garage can serve not only as an individual fitness space but also a place to teach others. Create a yoga studio by adding padded mats, speakers for spa-inspired music and relaxing lighting and décor. Add floor mats and crashmats to the walls for a martial arts studio, topped off with the associated flags on the wall. For a dance studio, add the proper flooring, wall mirrors and a ballet bar.
Whether for individual instrument practice, a string quartet or a rock band, the garage can serve as the perfect place to practice music. Build sound proofing material into the walls and add floor covering to optimize the acoustics. For individual music writers and producers, a partially walled off corner of the garage can be a starter production studio.
Toys taking over the family room? Insulate the garage and turn it into a playroom! For younger kids, add foam tile flooring and all the large toys that take up too much space elsewhere, such as kitchens, cars and dollhouses. For older kids, line up bins of smaller toys along one wall and use another for an arts and crafts area. Display your favorite artwork on the fridge, and hang up the rest in the garage!
Creating a garage home office can be a fairly simple transition by adding a flooring roll or carpet, a desk and storage shelves. The beauty of an office conversion is in its versatility – you can use just part of the garage as an office, and it’s easy to convert back to a traditional garage as needed. You can also create a multi-purpose space by adding a treadmill – accomplish your work and fitness goals at the same time!
The garage can be the perfect space to dedicate to hobbies – perhaps a shop for woodworking or car repair, or a craft room for knitting, painting or jewelry making. Amateur and professional photographers can also turn a garage into their own photography studio. If this has inspired you to come up with your own unique way to adapt your garage, tell us what you think is the best use of garage space for you!