Forever Home Ideas: 9 Ways To Create Your Dream Living Space

forever home

Moving into a forever home is as pure an example of putting down roots as it gets.

“Forever” is a powerful word, so buying or building the place you plan to live in for the rest of your life is one of the biggest decisions anyone will ever make.

HGTV’s Property Brothers certainly recognize the appeal and popularity of dream/forever home aspirations. That’s why Jonathan and Drew Scott titled their 2016 book Dream Home: The Property Brothers’ Ultimate Guide to Finding & Fixing Your Perfect House and their recent TV show Property Brothers: Forever Home.

What is a forever home?

Traditionally, the term for a home where someone settles down for the rest of their life was “dream home”. A forever home essentially means the same thing and has become more frequently used in recent years.

Jonathan Scott was interviewed by Parade.com and was asked what the difference was between a regular home and a forever home. He replied, “You can see some people are in a house just because it functions okay for them. It checks the boxes for certain things that they need, but you can tell that they’re not emotionally connected to the house.”

There’s a reason we call them forever homes, not forever houses. A forever home is a place that has everything anyone could want and need, while emotionally connecting us to some of our most special memories. 

So no pressure getting it right when buying or building your forever home then.

Everyone’s situation varies, so there is no set age for when it’s time to settle into a forever home. Some people may be able to attain their forever home goal in their 30s. Others may be into their senior years before they finally get their dream home.

3 unique considerations when buying a forever home

As with any home purchase or build, top of mind will be factors like your financial situation, career stability, square footage, and location.

There’s a good reason “location, location, location” is a real estate mantra. It pertains to several factors that will have a huge impact on your quality of life, including proximity to work, schools, and shopping, weather, property taxes, and crime rates.

Other things like architecture, landscaping requirements, storage space, space for kids to play and pets to roam, and general functionality are fairly universal home buying considerations.

There are some unique and important forward-thinking considerations one needs to make with a forever home that wouldn’t cross your mind if you were in the market for a starter home, however.

1. Futureproofing

One of the biggest considerations is anticipating your needs years down the road and trying to envision your future self. The unpredictability of life makes this perhaps your biggest challenge when buying or building a house to grow old in.

This is even more of a challenge if you’re buying at a younger age and expect to raise a family and eventually settle into retirement.

A forever home should be spacious enough that it suits your current lifestyle, but not so big you and your significant other find yourself with an abundance of empty rooms when you become empty nesters. Allow your home’s design to have as much flexibility and adaptability as you can.

2. Accessibility

Accessibility is another key consideration. Design with an eye toward the future so you can transition comfortably and as seamlessly as possible in your home as your golden years arrive.

Perhaps this means you locate the master bedroom on the main floor of the house. After all, that flight or two of stairs you can get up and down with ease in your middle age will assuredly be more of a concern as the years pass.

3. Building materials

Some of the most content forever home owners are the ones who thought of everything to eliminate the need for major renovation projects years in the future. This includes everything right down to the durability and quality of the building materials and products used in their home.

For example, some shingles have a lifespan of about 25 years, while more expensive shingle products can last up to 50 years. Other home exterior products like siding, flooring, and appliances are additional examples of buying decisions that can be influenced by long-term homeownership.

Spending a little more on high-quality building materials and products for a forever home will minimize the need for maintenance, upgrades, and replacement purchases later on.

living room

When planning a forever home’s design, take your future needs into consideration.

The 3 best things about forever home ownership

There are plenty of benefits of spending the rest of your years in one home. Here are three of the best things about owning a forever home:

1. Customize to your heart’s content

A forever home can be fully customized with the features and amenities you need without worrying about things like return on investment.

If you’re building a forever home, you have even more freedom to create the perfect bespoke living space. Resale value? Pshaw! That’s out the window as a concern when you own a forever home!

2. Peace of mind

You can’t put a value on the peace of mind of knowing that the home you’re living in is the place you’ll call home for the rest of your years.

A forever home goes a long way towards helping provide the security, stability, comfort, and happiness we all strive for. It allows us to put down firm roots and create a stable living environment where our family can grow.

3. No more moving!

One of the best things about staying put in one place is you’ll never have to move again! According to a OnePoll/Article.com study of 2,000 people, moving is one of the most stressful life events we experience, even more than having a child and planning a wedding.

Whether you hire movers or not, moving requires a significant investment of time and money. Then there’s the added stress of having relationships with friends, family, and neighbors upended, as well as the stress of fitting in and liking your new surroundings.

Ideas to make your forever home perfect

Maximizing your comfort in a forever home involves including features and amenities that are practical and a little extravagant (because what’s a dream home without a few niceties to pamper yourself with?).

If you’re planning to build or buy your forever home soon, currently living in your home for life and feeling it’s lacking in certain areas, or just dreaming about what your sometime-in-the-future forever home might look like, keep reading for some inspirational ideas.

We’ve put together a list of some ideas for forever homes that includes common-sense design guidelines, suggestions to make better use of spare rooms, and some nice add-on features that are a little more on the indulgent side.

1. Trend-proof décor

When making design and décor decisions for a forever home, timeless style will usually serve you better in the long run rather than choosing trendy designs that don’t age well.

Classic finishes and materials will stand the test of time. For paint colors, whites and warm neutrals like beige are safe choices that will complement a wide range of décor styles.

Then again, if you love the earthy look of a more unconventional color like forest green on your home’s walls or the bold statement a fire engine red makes, you do you! Once again, a forever home is all about comfort and having what makes you happy.

As far as floor plans, is a traditional architectural layout of separate zones for the kitchen, living room, and dining area more your style or is an open-concept space preferred? The pandemic has been a good reminder that sometimes it’s nice to occasionally have a little privacy and space from the rest of the family. We’d guess that’s why open-concept layouts were named the number one home design trend you’ll regret most in Houzz’s recent Home Design Predictions survey.

It’s rare to get absolutely everything right with the original design of a dream home. However, by making safer design choices without compromising comfort and aesthetic appeal, you also won’t need to remodel just a few years after moving into your home, either.

2. A deluxe kitchen

The heart of the home, the kitchen, is one room where the temptation of the latest design trends can also become a future regret. Open shelving and farmhouse sinks may be in today but are they destined to fall out of favor like tile countertops, bold appliance colors, and hanging pot racks eventually did?

You can still enjoy the comforts of a deluxe kitchen without relying on the latest trends and ornate design elements that prioritize style over substance. Practicality and maximum functionality never go out of style, so here are a few ideas to create the perfect kitchen space:

  • an island with seating that’s big enough for dining with the entire family
  • a walk-in pantry
  • built-in high-end appliances with convenient smart features that save space
  • ample counter space
  • custom cabinetry
  • a beverage station
  • pullout warming drawers
forever home kitchen

Give the heart of the home, the kitchen, the deluxe treatment.

3. Smart home tech

Some smart home tech products aren’t for everyone. Privacy and security concerns make some people leery about handing control of their home’s security or HVAC systems, for example, over to interfaces that are connected to the internet.

It is the way of the future, however, whether we like it or not. Forbes reports that in a recent Coldwell Banker survey of real estate agents, the most-wanted feature for luxury home buyers was home automation. “Smart technology transcends voice-enabled devices to denote such features as smart security systems, electric car docking stations, and energy-producing roofs”, writes the business magazine.

If you are all-in on riding the smart tech wave, there are a wealth of products available to make your life easier, from smart lawnmowers to smart light bulbs to smart door locks.

And who knows what types of smart products are in the research and development phase right now that will blow our minds in a few years?

4. A garage with the “wow factor”

If you own your dream home and dream cars, it’s only fitting that you have the dream garage to help complete your living space. Here are a few examples of how a functional, modern-looking garage benefits your family:

  • vehicles can be parked indoors with ease
  • more home storage space becomes available
  • the garage becomes a more usable room for some of your hobbies
  • the garage becomes a clean, stylish space that complements the rest of your home’s appearance

To create beautiful garages with the “wow factor”, Garage Living accomplishes this by making the following improvements:

High-quality storage systems

One of the secrets of anyone who has a tidy garage is that they make smart use of the walls and ceiling space to maximize the room’s storage space. That explains why you rarely see items scattered on their garage floor – everything has a proper home!

Your best garage wall storage solution is a slatwall panel system that creates an ample amount of versatile hanging storage space.

For the ceiling area, overhead racks create space for bulky items tying up your floor area. To make further use of your underutilized vertical space, add a car lift to create more parking space.

Storage cabinets also provide you with additional hidden storage space and can be custom-designed to include a countertop that creates a useful garage workshop.

Showroom-quality aesthetics

If you own a forever home, you want to be proud of how it looks and be able to show it off. We can’t think of a better way to impress anyone visiting your house more than showing them a garage that looks like a luxury car showroom!

A Floortex™ floor coating not only provides high-performance floor protection, but its stylish look also adds character and visual appeal to the foundation of the room.

Add attractive garage doors so the largest street-facing feature of your forever home enhances the exterior of the house.

Even your storage systems should accentuate the garage’s appearance. Slatwall panels do this by giving the garage a finished look and using colors that complement the rest of the space’s décor. Sleek, stylish cabinetry also plays a role in aligning with the high design standards you have for your dream home.

garage after makeover

A garage that looks like a luxury car showroom will impress anyone visiting your home.

5. A walk-in closet and dressing room

A great quality of life upgrade for a dream home is to add a walk-in closet and dressing room that eliminates the headaches of never having enough clothes storage space. A spare room beside the master bedroom is a tailor-made spot for this practical home space.

More and more homeowners in recent years have discovered the benefits of having walk-in closets. More space means all of your clothes and accessories can be assigned a proper, easy-to-find home. You’ll spend less time searching for misplaced items and jockeying for storage space for your clothes.

Incorporating a dressing area into the closet’s design adds the comfort of having a cozy space to get ready for your day or unwind and slip into your comfort clothes after a long day at work.

6. A room (or two) for your hobbies and interest

Leave a spare room free that you can have customized to accommodate some of the hobbies and interests you and your family enjoy. You can create a second and even third hobby room when your kids eventually move out.

If you and some other family members like to keep active, set up a home gym or yoga space. If creative pursuits suit your fancy, a crafting room, music room, or art room create the perfect space to let your creativity flourish.

Maybe having a cozy home space where you can sit down with a good book is what gets you to your happy place. Set up a library and reading room with a comfortable chair, good lighting, an electric fireplace for ambiance, and all the shelf space you need for your book collection.

If you’re a wine connoisseur, have one of your rooms turned into a wine storage room with a wet bar and space for entertaining.

wine room

Dedicate a room or two to your hobbies and interests, such as creating a room where your wine collection can be stored in style.

7. A jetted bathtub and sauna

We certainly can’t ignore the bathroom when thinking about how to improve a forever home.

Adding a jetted bathtub and sauna to your home might seem like frivolous luxuries. While they are on the extravagant side, they each provide health benefits that make them worth a serious look.

You obviously need a bathtub, so why not go with a deluxe tub that is extra deep and outfitted with jets, which gives you the same functionality as a hot tub?

Soaking in a hot jetted bathtub provides hydrotherapy that helps destress you, relaxes your muscles and joints, and can help ease the stiffness and inflammation of arthritis.

The most common types of home saunas are dry, infrared, and steam saunas, which come in all shapes and sizes. The wellness benefits of saunas are well-documented. They detoxify you, stimulate your immune system, and also help with muscle relaxation and pain relief.

8. A deluxe laundry room

Having a posh laundry room designed for your house may not feel like the sexiest way to get more enjoyment from your forever home.

However, even traditionally drab utilitarian rooms like the laundry room and garage should have some style, especially considering how often we’re in them.

Make the room more inviting and functional with state-of-the-art appliances, better lighting, new countertops, custom cabinets, and an island as extra storage and workspace for sorting and folding laundry. Add modern touches of style like a tile backsplash, area rug, and some artwork for more comfort and visual appeal.

Like the master bedroom, it’s smart to locate your laundry room on the main floor. A central home location is more convenient if you have young kids and want to keep an eye on them while doing the laundry. It also allows you to multitask easier when other responsibilities like cooking dinner are calling for your attention.

When you’re older, having the laundry room on the same floor as the bedroom reduces travel times as you’re carrying heavy baskets or bags of clothes to and from the laundry room.

laundry room

A utilitarian space like the laundry room can benefit from some stylish design touches.

9. An outdoor living space

Most homeowners have an outdoor cooking space, but their backyards aren’t designed to be a true outdoor living area that extends the living space of the home.

Think beyond having a small grill and a patio table with a few chairs if you want to really leverage the valuable space a backyard offers.

The pandemic sparked a big increase in demand for outdoor kitchens and living spaces as people looked for ways to improve their home comfort level and get more functionality from their houses.

outdoor kitchen space

Modern outdoor kitchen designs can be relatively simple with a built-in grill, a few cabinets, and a small counter. Or you can give your backyard the deluxe treatment by creating an artisan cooking space with all the amenities a professional chef could want.

To maximize your use of the backyard, dedicate space to an outdoor living room with a dining area, lounging space with comfortable outdoor furniture and a TV, and a heat source like a fire pit to enjoy the outdoors when it cools off.

Give your forever home the forever garage it deserves

If you’re on the pathway to owning a forever home soon or the garage in your forever home just isn’t quite where it needs to be, we can help.

Even a home renovation expert like HGTV’s Bryan Baeumler knew he could entrust his forever home’s garage design and build to Garage Living.

Let’s get a conversation started about making your garage a key component of your forever home.

To learn more about the latest garage storage, organization, and design solutions that can enhance your forever home, schedule a free design consultation with Garage Living.

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Garage Ceiling Storage: The Storage Solution Hiding in Plain Sight

garage ceiling storage hero

You walk into a garage filled with clutter that covers the floor from wall to wall. Then you look up at the garage ceiling area and notice all that open space is completely unused. Meanwhile, the homeowner’s vehicles are left parked in the driveway.

What’s wrong with this picture?

This illogical scenario is more common than you might expect. Garage ceiling storage space is surprisingly underutilized.

Not taking advantage of your garage’s vertical storage space makes it much harder than it has to be to keep a garage organized and functional.

The 3 keys to maximizing garage storage space

Maximizing a garage’s storage space (for the ceiling and the entire room) is more simple than you might think. Here are the three keys to achieving this goal:

  1. Reduce or eliminate the amount of clutter and non-essential items in the garage.
  2. Strategically locate where your storage systems are installed.
  3. Buy well-designed storage systems that are highly functional.

Seriously, that’s it. Follow these three golden rules and you’ll set your garage up to flourish as an efficient home storage space.

Let’s take a look at a few important things related specifically to garage ceiling storage, including why homeowners don’t use their garage’s overhead space more, some common garage ceiling storage systems, and items that are ideal for overhead storage.

3 reasons garage ceiling storage gets overlooked

1. The solution is hiding in plain sight

Sometimes the answer to a problem is staring us right in the face and it’s almost too obvious to see. That’s one of the reasons a lot of people never consider using the upper areas of their garage for storage.

The garage walls, another woefully underused storage space, also fall into this category.

2. It may not seem practical

Garages in older homes tend to have ceilings with lower heights (overhead clearances in the 8-10 foot range are not uncommon). It’s understandable that a garage with low ceilings wouldn’t be making use of overhead storage systems because it may seem unpractical.

You can still expand your storage space, even with a low garage ceiling height, however. Even if you’re adding smaller garage ceiling storage systems that hold fewer things than a large space can, every little bit counts. Of course, you don’t want to overstuff the garage with storage systems to the point where there’s very little room left to park your vehicles comfortably.

Look at it this way: if something can be stored up high in the garage, that means it’s not cluttering up your floor.

3. Unfamiliarity

Another reason for the lack of garage ceiling storage space being used is simple – unfamiliarity. Most homeowners have no idea about the many types of garage overhead storage solutions that are available.

It’s the kind of thing that is easy to be in the dark about if you’re not in the process of planning a remodel and gotten an idea of which modern garage storage and organization systems are available. Or perhaps you haven’t had the opportunity to see a neighbor’s or friend’s relatively recent garage makeover, which can plant the seed for ideas in which your garage can be improved.

garage cabinets and overhead racks

All of the bulky items stored in these overhead racks would be taking up too much of the floor’s valuable space.

6 common types of garage ceiling storage systems

10-15 years ago, most people’s idea of a garage ceiling storage system involved some DIY shelving mounted up high on the walls or sliding skis or spare pieces of lumber between their ceiling joists.

Nowadays, there are lots of products designed to take advantage of your garage’s ceiling space for storing items. Here are the most common types of garage ceiling storage systems:

  1. Heavy-duty overhead racks: this is your best option for storing heavier items because of their high weight capacities (Garage Living’s overhead racks support up to 600 lbs). This type of rack, which has a wire mesh platform, is installed on the ceiling joists and anchored to the wall for additional support. Look for a model that has a durable powder-coated finish and can be adjusted.
  2. Moveable storage lift racks: these racks have a metal platform that can be raised and lowered with a wire or rope pulley hoist system that is powered by a hand crank or motor. There are also storage lift racks that move up and down using a scissor lift-style system.
  3. Storage hoist systems: these are similar to the wire/rope pulley storage lift rack system, but they don’t use a platform and are designed to store one specific item. Commonly, this includes things like wheelbarrows, ladders, kayaks and canoes, and car roof cargo boxes.
  4. Ceiling-mounted tracks with storage bins: a system of rails or tracks are mounted on the ceiling and plastic storage bins can be slid in and out.
  5. Ceiling-mounted storage hooks: this is the simplest and cheapest method to store things in a garage’s ceiling area since all you have to do is screw hooks into the ceiling joists to hang things. This is one of the more common bike garage storage ideas people use.
  6. Overhead storage hangers: another type of storage product that is typically designed for one specific item. These hangers are installed on the ceiling or upper walls (or both) and have arms that will support items like ladders, skis and snowboards, surfboards, and kayaks.
woman putting storage bin in overhead rack

This heavy-duty overhead rack is designed to hold bulky items and a lot of weight.

Items that are perfect for overhead garage storage

Many of the things that sit on the floor of messy garages are bulky and heavy. By simply moving them into the upper reaches of the room, a huge amount of valuable floor space can be freed up.

That instantly makes your garage more parking-friendly and capable of being used for other functions, such as a workshop or for exercising.

Here are just a few of the many things that are ideal for storing in a garage’s ceiling area:

  • storage bins
  • sporting goods and outdoor toys
  • out-of-season patio furniture
  • seasonal tires
  • holiday decorations
  • out-of-season lawn, gardening, and landscaping tools
  • camping gear

All of the above items are the more obvious choices for storing in a garage’s overhead space. Now think outside the box. How about one or more of your family’s vehicles?

Yes, even cars can leverage the underused vertical space in a garage with a car lift. This handy product expands the parking capabilities of a garage by raising a vehicle so another vehicle can be parked underneath it.

Double car lift

Garage ceiling storage isn’t just for things like storage bins, tools, and seasonal tires. Car lifts can also take advantage of this underused space.

We have garage ceiling storage solutions (and more)

Don’t let your garage’s valuable ceiling storage space go to waste while you deal with the headache of floor clutter on a daily basis.

Garage Living will change the way your garage functions with our storage systems for the ceiling. We also carry the best organization and storage systems for the rest of the garage, such as slatwall and cabinet systems.

Transform your garage into a high-performance space in both looks and function by scheduling a free design consultation with us.

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7 Smart Reasons To Complete Your Unfinished Garage

Unfinished Garage Ideas hero pic

Is your home still “a work in progress”? One impactful way to get you a little closer to the finish line with your home’s design and completion is to finally take care of that unfinished garage.

Garages are commonly overlooked when home remodeling projects are being considered. It’s understandable that bathroom, kitchen, and floor renovation projects rank as the most popular home improvement projects year after year.

An unfinished garage deserves just as much love as those areas of the home, however.

One positive by-product of an otherwise difficult time living through the pandemic is that it’s shown us this: an unfinished living space doesn’t serve our needs to its full potential.

Why it’s time to complete your unfinished garage

Here are a few statistics that illustrate why completing an unfinished garage should be high on any homeowners remodeling priority list:

  • Only 11% of homeowners say they’re satisfied with their garage and wouldn’t want to improve it. (Wall Street Journal survey)
  • More than 55% of homeowners use the garage as their house’s main entryway. (Chamberlain Group study)
  • A Garage Living poll found that 20% of homeowners can’t park in their garage because it’s disorganized.
  • 24% of homeowners are embarrassed to leave their garage doors open. (Impulse Research survey)
  • Garages ranked higher as a desirable storage space for homebuyers than basements or attics. (Braun Research survey of realtors)
unfinished garage

An unfinished garage deserves just as much remodeling love as any other area of the home.

parked red Ferrari and red storage cabinets

A finished garage can be whatever you want it to be. Maybe you need lots of storage. Perhaps you want to set up a workshop. Or maybe you want a garage that looks like a Ferrari showroom. Yes, this is the same garage as the photo above it!

A finished garage is simply a better garage

These revealing statistics provide us with five key takeaways that should provide all the inspiration we need to finish an unfinished garage:

  1. Most homeowners believe there’s room for improvement with their garages.
  2. We use our garages a lot (it’s become the new front door for many of us).
  3. Many garages aren’t being used for their primary function – parking vehicles.
  4. A messy, unfinished garage embarrasses a sizable number of homeowners.
  5. Garages are the most valuable storage space in a house.

This Garage Living video sums up how most homeowners feel when they return home to their cluttered and unfinished garage:

An unfinished garage is like a blank canvas

As Garage Living’s Aaron Cash tells the National Association of Realtors, the company’s most common customer requests are to make their garages more functional and multipurpose.

The company’s co-founder says two of the ways they make this happen are by improving the storage capabilities of the garage and making it more hobby-friendly.

Most homeowners may see an unfinished garage as a dreary, disorganized space. Garage Living views an unfinished garage as a blank canvas, just waiting for some creative input to produce something beautiful that you can’t stop admiring.

Here are seven reasons why completing an unfinished garage to make it easier on the eyes and to make space for parking, storage, and hobbies is well worth the investment.

1. Having an unfinished garage is so last century

For the vast majority of the time that the home garage has existed (about 100 years), it was a part of the house that was viewed purely as a utilitarian space. How it looked simply didn’t matter.

Over the past couple of decades, that mindset has shifted dramatically.

Merriam Webster defines “unfinished” as “not brought to an end or to the desired final state” and “being in a rough state”. Yep, that nicely sums up the state of about 90% of the garages out there!

Is a home really finished if the garage is unfinished?

Most homes are left with unfinished garages (and sometimes basements) when the builder constructs a house. Calling them “finished homes” isn’t exactly accurate then, is it?

For so many years, it was easy to just get used to having an unfinished garage and adapting to how it looked and functioned, even though it was coming up short in both areas. Most garage interiors are not even primed and painted, if they’re drywalled at all!

Even when an effort was made to add some extra functionality to the room, it usually came in the form of ugly brown pegboard for hanging things, a few screwed-in wall hangers, and maybe some long nails for hanging yard tools.

When you think about it, it’s rather amazing that we waited for so long to wake up to the fact that having clean garages with a swanky interior design and efficient storage is something we should have been aiming for decades ago!

Why settle for having an unfinished garage?

Most people may have an unfinished garage, but why settle for the status quo and mediocrity with such a large part of your home?

In the 21st century, the value of transforming our garages into a more functional room that complements and extends the rest of our finished living spaces is being realized by more and more homeowners.

Think beyond the type of garage environment you grew up with, which prioritized functionality over aesthetics. You can have both!

unfinished garage before makeover

The owners of this garage wanted to create more parking and storage space and update the decor to complement their luxury cars.

2 car lifts and Porsche

Mission accomplished.

2. Most garages don’t pull their weight as a storage space

One in seven Americans have a room in their home they can’t use because it’s filled with things they rarely use, according to a ClearVoice Research study. The garage is often that room.

How many times have you said, “Just put it in the garage for now”? Before too long, the inside of the garage can start to look like a garage sale that never ends.

Poor usage of our home storage spaces causes us to do wasteful things like rent self-storage units. In most cases, simply making better use of the storage space we have (particularly in the garage) and taking the time to eliminate all of the needless junk we hold onto will significantly boost the usefulness of our homes for storing things.

Not all garage storage systems are created equal

Garage storage systems don’t all provide the same level of functionality needed to maximize the storage space in the room. These are usually DIY garage storage systems like repurposed kitchen cabinetry and homemade shelving racks.

Using cheap garage storage organizers can be even worse than making them yourself. Cheap products like plastic freestanding tool caddies, flimsy budget-priced storage cabinets that rust quickly, and pegboard panels that are only 1/4″ thick don’t last as long as they should. Most DIY and cheap garage storage systems leave a lot to be desired in the looks department, too.

Choose higher-quality storage systems that are specifically designed to be used in garages, have an attractive design that adds to the room’s appearance, and provide you with a healthy degree of storage flexibility.

Make your wall and ceiling space work harder

When Garage Living is looking for ways to get the most out of our clients’ garage storage spaces, we always look at the walls and ceiling areas first.

You’d be amazed at the wealth of storage potential just waiting to be tapped in these two areas. PVC slatwall panels with hanging accessories allow you to hang up a wide range of items to keep the floor free of clutter. Slatwall also gives the garage a stylish finished appearance that looks nicer than painted drywall.

The garage’s “fifth wall” (also known as the ceiling) offers a vast amount of storage space as well. Having heavy-duty overhead racks installed provides you with lots of room to store bulky items and things that are only used seasonally.

The other garage storage solution worth investing in is cabinetry. Garage cabinets are a perfect place to store tools and anything that can’t be hung on the walls or stashed up high in racking.

empty unfinished garage with unpainted drywall

Most garage interiors are not even primed and painted, if they’re drywalled at all!

storage bins and cabinets

Cabinetry and overhead racks provide ample storage space in this finished garage.

3. Finished garages are more comfortable and hobby-friendly

Considering half of the people who own a home use the garage as the primary entry and exit point for their house, creating a nicer-looking, more welcoming space that doesn’t require navigating around clutter every day should be a goal.

You shouldn’t only want a tidier garage because you’re passing through it so often, though. Remodel the garage to fit your lifestyle as well.

With the right design upgrades, your garage can become more accommodating for your family’s hobbies and passions. Here are just a few examples of what we mean:

  • add a garage workshop with lots of storage for your tools
  • set up a home gym
  • create a beautiful car showroom that shows off your luxury vehicles
  • use the garage as a crafting space
  • create a space to relax and read, watch movies and sporting events, or listen to podcasts

Boost your garage’s comfort level

To add to your comfort level in the garage, you can add conveniences like a garage-ready mini-fridge, TV, better WiFi, and a reliable security system. For improved climate control, add insulation and a heating and cooling system so the garage can be used year-round.

As you can see, there’s a lot you can do to make your garage more useful. Once you’re done adding some of these quality-of-life upgrades in the garage, it’ll almost feel like you’ve added an extra room to your house!

woman on exercise bike in home gym

A finished garage creates extra room in the home for hobbies and activities like working out.

4. Your vehicles deserve a proper home

Garages were invented to store vehicles, so why do so many homeowners not use them for that purpose? The fact that so many of us are unable to use the garage for parking shouldn’t come as a surprise.

Maybe you’ve never given it much thought but the next time you’re driving through your neighborhood, keep an eye out for how many vehicles are parked in driveways or on the street.

Getting the garage organized with storage systems that open up the floor for car parking is one of the best things you can do to protect the investment you’ve made in your vehicles. First and foremost, they’ll be far more secure in a locked garage.

Sitting outside 24/7 takes a toll on the body of a vehicle over time, too. Getting them under the cover of a roof will result in fewer car washes being needed, plus you won’t have to clear off ice and snow in the winter or wait for them to warm up for as long.

A car lift, which allows you to use your ceiling space to park one vehicle above another, is an additional solution for increasing the amount of parking space in a garage.

It’s a shame when bad garages happen to nice cars

Parking a luxury car in an unfinished garage is like displaying the Mona Lisa in a run-down art gallery with bad lighting, peeling wall paint, and terrible flooring. Each of them are still things of beauty, but they lose some of their magnificence because the unattractive space they sit in is such a bad fit visually.

Your luxury vehicles should be surrounded by high-end décor that is worthy of a beautiful car showroom, because it’s a shame when bad garages happen to nice cars.

3 luxury cars on car lifts

Luxury cars deserve a luxury garage to call home.

5. A garage should look as nice as the rest of a home

How many home garages have you ever set foot in that left a lasting impression on you because the décor looked so stylish and high-end? And of all the garages you’ve seen in an upscale house, how many of them looked as posh as the rest of the home? Very few, we suspect.

A luxury home isn’t truly finished until it has a dream garage. Any home, really, isn’t completely finished until the garage has gotten the same remodeling attention as every other room in the home has.

Fixing up the more visually unappealing aspects of an unfinished garage will go a long way towards transforming the room’s look from drab to fab. The floor is an ideal part of the room to start with.

Nicer floor, nicer décor

Simply by giving a grey, dusty, and cracked concrete floor surface a refresh with a high-quality decorative floor coating, any unfinished garage instantly starts to shed its outdated look and take a big step forward into the modern day.

Garage Living uses Floortex™ floor coatings for all of our flooring jobs because of its superior durability, decorative benefits, and because we can apply it year-round.

Hide the ugliness away

A lot of homeowners in the process of finishing their garage use plywood as a wall covering, but slatwall and painted drywall are much better options for both looks and functionality.

Most garages have unsightly things like exposed wiring, electrical panels, plumbing and central vac pipes, or ductwork out in the open. Exposed insulation is another eyesore. Have your garage remodel company tailor their design to cover them up with creative usage of cabinetry, slatwall, and drywall.

unfinished garage before

Before: This unfinished garage had unsightly wiring, an electrical panel, and a central vac system in plain view.

open cabinets with central vac and electrical panel

After: The garage design included custom cabinets with enclosures to keep the home’s utility systems hidden, while also providing room for storage in the other cabinets.

Put your garage (literally) in the best light

Adding better lighting is another essential when finishing a garage. In terms of the most noticeable things that tell anyone entering your garage the room isn’t finished, having one or two incandescent bulbs that don’t even have a dome covering them are right up there.

Choose a garage lighting solution that provides warmer, more uniform lighting coverage in the room. Modern pot lights or some LED lighting fixtures are more energy-efficient, look better, and make the space brighter (and therefore safer).

To give your garage an extra unique look, ask Garage Living about incorporating LED ribbon lighting into the room’s design for visual appeal.

Personalize your garage décor style

All of these improvements, combined with having a cohesive design theme that makes a garage’s appearance really stand out, are what transform an unfinished garage into not just a finished garage, but a finished garage that looks stunning.

According to a Thompson’s Company study, 52% of homeowners want to have a garage their neighbors envy. Well-chosen storage systems, along with product and paint colors that coordinate the look of the floor, storage cabinets, slatwall, drywall, and ceiling, will make a bold statement that makes others notice your home and wish their garage looked as impressive.

Ask Garage Living about our Designer Series collection of stylish design themes that help simplify the garage design process.

6. An unfinished garage hurts your curb appeal

The average garage door opens and closes 3-5 times per day. That’s up to 1,500 times every year where your garage interior is on full display for everyone to potentially see!

When your garage doors are open and staying open for a while because you’re going some work or gardening, no one should worry about anyone getting a glimpse inside their garage, like that quarter of homeowners we mentioned earlier.

It’s a common misconception that only the front exterior of a home counts for curb appeal. Because garage doors open so frequently, that naturally factors into your curb appeal. The sides and back of a home are part of its curb appeal, too.

A luxury house with an A+ exterior featuring stunning architecture and immaculate landscaping, but a garage that gets an F in the appearance department, ends up only scoring somewhere around a C in terms of curb appeal.

Speaking of garage doors, they’re a major factor in your curb appeal. They can account for as much as a third of a home’s front exterior, so outdated doors with faded paint and dents will get noticed.

When you’re having a garage remodel done, considering updating the garage doors to boost your curb appeal. Did you know that adding new garage doors has one of the best returns on investment of any home improvement project?

2-car garage remodelled by Garage Living blue Escalade

The average garage door opens and closes 3-5 times per day. The appearance of a garage’s interior affects your curb appeal.

7. Completing an unfinished garage adds value to your home

We live in the now, so not everyone puts a high priority on the long-term investment benefits of a home improvement project. It’s worth knowing, however, that a finished garage adds value to your home.

Finished, organized garages with lots of room for storage are highly valued by homebuyers. The National Association of Home Builders’ recent What Home Buyers Really Want report found that 85% of homebuyers want a garage with ample storage space.

Even if you’re not planning to move anytime soon, it’s always reassuring to know that you’re investing in something that most future buyers will covet. An attractive, tidy garage makes a great first impression on a potential buyer that very well may be the difference-maker in closing the sale of your home one day.

And in the meantime, your family reaps the benefits of having a beautiful, high-functioning garage every day. It’s a win-win.

If you’re finding it difficult to convince your significant other about why you should finally do a garage remodel, use these two facts to help get them on-board!

person exiting blue car in garage

A finished garage adds value to your home. Future-proofing your garage with upgrades now will pay off later when you eventually sell your home.

Transform your unfinished garage

Just imagine the satisfaction of living in a home where there are zero home improvement projects weighing on your mind.

Bring your garage closer to the higher aesthetic standard the rest of your home has. Talk to Garage Living about transforming your unfinished garage into a space with superior functionality and the kind of “wow factor” any homeowner should want.

Get started by scheduling a free design consultation with us.

Our design pros will listen to your unfinished garage ideas and goals and look forward to collaborating with anyone seeking to reinvent their garage into something great!

To view more before and after photos of a few of the thousands of garage remodels Garage Living has successfully done, view our Garage Makeover Ideas gallery.

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Is a Garage Fridge Practical? Everything You Need To Know.

fridge in garage

It’s a hot summer day and you’re in the garage exercising or working away on a project. A cold, refreshing beverage is calling your name, so you open your garage fridge and grab a beer, soda, or water.

Having a fridge in the garage is undeniably handy in such a scenario. Is it practical or even responsible to have a second fridge running in your home, though?

There are differing opinions on the subject. Environmentalists think it’s wasteful. Experts who study food waste (which is a major issue in the U.S. and Canada) believe it contributes to the problem. A lot of homeowners love the convenience of having two fridges, however. 

Get all the facts you need to know about garage fridges and whether or not you should be using one.

Do you really need that garage fridge?

Owning a second refrigerator is quite common. An estimated 23% of 35 million homes in the U.S. have two fridges, with the second appliance usually being located in the basement or garage.

If you’re considering buying an extra fridge for the garage, moving an old fridge out there, or debating whether or not to get rid of that extra fridge, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Are the temperatures in my garage suitable for the fridge I want to buy or currently have? 
  2. Do I spend a lot of free time in the garage and love having a nearby fridge to store beverages?
  3. Is an additional fridge and/or freezer used regularly for storing extra groceries that won’t fit into my main fridge?
  4. Could the space my garage fridge is taking up be put to better use?
  5. Do I really need to have a full-sized fridge loaded up with more beer, bottled water, and soda than my family can drink in the next few months?
  6. Can I justify the extra expense of running a second fridge?

The pros and cons of having a second fridge in the garage

To further help you decide on the practicality of running a fridge in your garage, here are some pros and cons to consider:

Pros:

  • An extra fridge is handy for staying well-stocked on groceries and reduces the number of trips made to the grocery store.
  • Having a garage fridge that can hold bottled drinks is super-convenient and lets your main fridge be used mainly for food items.
  • A cooking enthusiast will appreciate having room to store their leftovers.
  • If you entertain frequently, an extra fridge is ideal for keeping prepared dishes you’re serving and for leftovers.

Cons:

  • Having an extra refrigerated storage space can cause you to overbuy when food shopping.
  • Food in the second fridge is more likely to go to waste because it’s forgotten about.
  • Running a second fridge in your house adds to your electrical bill.
  • A second refrigerator uses up space in the garage.
  • Owning a second fridge doubles the chance of future fridge maintenance costs.
  • Operating an additional fridge can create garage condensation issues from the extra moisture produced by the appliance.
open fridge with drinks and condiments

There are pros and cons to running an extra fridge in the garage. (Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash)

Why regular fridges aren’t ideal for most garages

Regardless of what decision you make after weighing your pros and cons about using a second fridge, there are a few important things you should know.

Unless you live in a climate with consistent year-round temperatures and they fall within the manufacturer-recommended range of temperatures for running the appliance, using a regular fridge in the garage is a bad idea.

Just for starters, operating a fridge in an inhospitable climate that doesn’t comply with the manufacturer’s recommended guidelines will probably void your warranty.

High temperatures and regular fridges = a future repair bill

Regular fridges are made to operate at room temperature. High temperatures cause a fridge in a room without climate control to run all the time without a break because it’s constantly struggling to keep the interior cool.

This extra stress the appliance is under increases the amount of electricity being consumed. It also turns the fridge into a major repair bill (and eventual complete breakdown of the appliance) just waiting to happen.

Fluctuating temperatures can cause the drip pans in these appliances to fill up with water quickly. When it gets hotter, condensation will also form on the outside of the appliances and evaporate. In both cases, that means extra unneeded moisture in your garage.

A regular fridge’s freezer doesn’t enjoy your cold garage

It might seem illogical, but very cold temperatures in a garage with a regular fridge can play havoc with the appliance’s freezer section.

Some refrigerators only have one thermostat in the fridge section, especially older models. When the temperature in a room drops, the temperature control unit is fooled into thinking the temperature in the freezer is fine.

Although the fridge compressor should turn on to lower the freezer section’s temperature, it may fail to do so. The next thing you know, the malfunction could leave you with nothing but a freezer that’s full of spoiled food when the room’s temperature rises.

A garage refrigerator kit might help

One way that a regular fridge could be used in the garage is to buy a garage refrigerator kit for between $20 and $40.

The kit lets you connect a heating pad or coil to the fridge’s thermostat and essentially trick the appliance into thinking the temperature in the room is higher than it is.

Buy a kit that is made by the appliance maker specifically for your fridge model.

It’s worth keeping in mind that buying a refrigerator kit for an old fridge may not be worth it. As we’ll explain next, old fridges aren’t energy-efficient. Therefore, it might be wiser to invest in a new garage-ready fridge that won’t cost as much to run.

Old refrigerators aren’t energy-efficient

The saying “they don’t make ’em like they used to” has a lot of truth. This writer has witnessed one of the most impressive examples of this – and it actually involved a fridge!

I’ve spent a lot of time at my best friend’s cottage over the years, which his family has had for several generations. One of the things that I was always fascinated by was the fridge running in the cottage.

It was a Viking fridge that my friend believes his grandfather bought in the 1950s. Back then, they called them “iceboxes”. And it still worked, summer after summer, surviving through many decades of Canadian winters in a cottage that isn’t winterized.

That’s impressive. Now, as quaint as this may be, that old beast was probably responsible for the lion’s share of the cottage’s electrical bill.

Old garage fridges are far less energy-efficient than modern fridges (and that’s in an ideal setting). When you factor in that they work a lot harder in hot weather and are rarely cleaned or serviced, that lack of energy efficiency is exponentially worse.

And let’s face it – a lot of old fridges aren’t exactly “lookers”. Remember the good ’ol 70s and those lovely fridge colors like avocado green, brown, and orange?

Here’s what it costs to operate an old refrigerator

energy star logoWhy is it probably time for your old fridge to be sent off to the appliance graveyard?

A fridge manufactured before 1990 could potentially be costing you between $250-300 a year to run in a garage.

To find out what your old fridge is costing you to operate, use this Energy Star calculator.

Replacing the fridge with a newer model may involve an upfront expense now, but you’ll save on electricity costs in the long run. It’s better for the planet, too.

ice buildup in fridge

An old fridge may last a long time, but you’ll occasionally see sights like this that indicate it’s not working properly. Old fridges are far less energy-efficient than modern fridges, too.

The best choice for running a fridge in the garage

If you’re still set on having that second refrigerator running in the garage, what you need is a special type of fridge.

To prevent problems, buy a garage-ready fridge that can function efficiently when it gets bitterly cold and also stiflingly hot in your garage.

A refrigerator designed to run in a garage has better insulation and components that can handle temperature changes. This special design does make them a little more expensive.

If your garage fridge is going to mostly be used for keeping canned or bottled beverages cold and not for overflow food storage, a mini-fridge makes more sense for you.

Remember to keep the fridge out of direct sunlight and plug it directly into an electrical outlet instead of using an extension cord.

Make sure you buy the right appliance

outdoor fridge

Outdoor fridges are also constructed with electrical components that can handle changing climates and temperatures, as well as moisture.

The appliances are built with thicker insulation and their exteriors are constructed with materials that will withstand exposure to the elements.

Don’t make the mistake of buying an outdoor fridge for use in your garage, however. These appliances are meant for areas like an outdoor kitchen.

Like a garage-ready fridge, outdoor fridges cost more than regular fridges in terms of the amount of cubic feet of space you get per dollar. There’s no point in paying more for a fridge with a weather-resistant exterior that is always going to be in a covered space.

Install a garage fridge inside a cabinet system

Garage Living helps our clients make their garages an extension of their living space. Adding extra amenities to the garage like a fridge is one way we make this happen.

Our garage cabinet systems can be designed to incorporate a garage-ready mini-fridge under the countertop like the one pictured below and in the top photo.

You can view additional photos of this Ferrari-themed garage remodel by viewing the Performance Garage gallery.

A mini-fridge won’t even feel like it’s taking up space in your garage because it’s recessed into the cabinet system’s design!

Other traditional indoor living space amenities that can be added to a cabinet system design are a TV and a sink with a faucet.

two ferraris parked in garage with red cabinets

This garage’s cabinet system was designed to include an under-counter mini-fridge.

Insulation will help with climate control

Adding or upgrading your garage insulation is a wise investment, whether you have a second fridge running in the room or not.

Garage insulation helps to regulate the room’s temperature so it doesn’t get such extreme temperature swings.

Along with extending the life of your garage fridge, you’ll boost your home’s energy efficiency.

A garage fridge is convenient. So is indoor parking.

Having a fridge that is specifically designed for use in the garage is convenient.

Being able to park your vehicles in the garage and having a well-organized space is even more convenient.

Update your garage’s appearance and optimize its functionality by scheduling a free design consultation with Garage Living.

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Minimalist Garage Ideas: The Beauty of Elegant Simplicity

minimalist garage

Minimalism is in.

Leading the minimalist movement are The Minimalists (Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus), who write, speak, and make documentaries about the subject. Organizing expert Marie Kondo has also made minimalism popular.

Their message about the benefits of living with less has been embraced by millions of people around the globe in recent years.

Minimalism is popular in most aspects of the designs we see every day. Phone apps, web pages, advertisements, and products like electronics and cars often feature designs with a minimalist influence.

The architecture and décor of the spaces we live and shop in also employ minimalistic design elements.

Can the “less is more” concept be applied to a garage?

Absolutely. Find out why a minimalist garage philosophy and design style could be perfect for your home, especially if the rest of your house features minimalist design elements.

What is a minimalist garage?

minimalist modern garage

So what exactly is a minimalist garage? It’s a simple concept that involves two things:

  1. A neutral color palette is used for the garage’s décor to give the room an aesthetic that is simple, yet appealing.
  2. Giving the room plenty of open space by ensuring anything being stored in the garage is essential and arranged in a tidy, organized manner.

When some people hear the word “simple” associated with interior décor, they think “boring”. Minimalist garage design looks anything but boring when it’s done right by a talented design professional, however.

The photos in this article prove that applying a minimalist approach to a garage’s design can produce results that look sleek, clean, and ultra-modern.

An uncluttered garage with a muted color palette also has a calming effect that you’ll appreciate whenever you enter the room.

Can a garage really be clutter-free?

Taking a large room like the garage and keeping it clutter-free may seem impossible. After all, it’s the catch-all space where things that don’t have a home tend to end up…and usually forgotten about.

cluttered garage

A cluttered garage from the documentary film, The Minimalists: Less Is Now.

After a while, it’s easy to become accustomed to keeping clutter around. Unfortunately, this results in a room that’s far less functional than it should be.

Getting your garage to the point where clutter is a thing of the past isn’t as impossible a task as it may seem. All it takes is a little hard work and discipline.

Garages are the most valuable storage area in a house, not just for things like yard tools, sports equipment, and overflow storage from your main living space, but for your vehicles.

“Trimming the fat” from the contents of your garage by getting rid of unessential items allows the room to have more open space and be used more efficiently for storage.

Is minimalism still a thing?

Kondo often gets credit for kickstarting the minimalist movement a few years ago with her bestselling The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up book. In fact, The Minimalists were out there promoting the minimalist lifestyle shortly before her.

The Minimalists, who grew up in Ohio and have been close friends since elementary school, quit their corporate jobs and began evangelizing the benefits of minimalism full-time in 2011.

They have co-authored several books, make public speaking appearances, and host the popular The Minimalists Podcast. You may have seen one of their Netflix documentaries, Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things and The Minimalists: Less Is Now.

Minimalism is more than a trend

Minimalism isn’t just a passing fad – the concept has been around for centuries. The Minimalists and Kondo just redefined how we view material minimalism and brought their message to the mainstream.

Kondo’s message was so successful that her name has even become a verb for organizing (as in, “I’m planning to Marie Kondo my garage this weekend”).

Different approaches

The Minimalists and Kondo have different approaches on how minimalism can work for you. Kondo puts more emphasis on decluttering, while The Minimalists take a more extreme approach that encourages getting to the root of why we think we need to own so many things and trying to change our consumerist habits. Both offer useful lessons in how we can learn to live with less.

You don’t have to go “all in” with minimalism and have it be the drastic lifestyle change it’s sometimes made out to be.

Less is more

The basis of what they’re preaching really isn’t profound or rocket science. Essentially, their message boils down to this: not allowing possessions (that you don’t really need) to occupy your space is practical and better for your mental health.

Architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s “less is more” design rule is also just as relevant now as it was when he first popularized the phrase a century ago.

Variations of that saying have sprung up over the years, such as the U.S. Navy’s “KISS principle” (an acronym for “keep it simple, stupid”). It may be blunt, but it’s still effective.

Visualize your minimalist garage

One of Kondo’s 6 Rules of Tidying is to visualize how you want your home to look before getting started on a decluttering project.

Apply that concept to the garage by establishing goals for how you want your garage to eventually look.

Goals for your garage-in waiting:

  • Having enough space to park vehicles comfortably.
  • Keeping things organized so that they’re easy to locate quickly.
  • Transforming your unfinished garage from an eyesore to a beautiful, stylish-looking space you enjoy returning home to.
  • Having heads turn from impressed neighbors and passersby when your garage doors are open.
  • Creating enough space to turn your garage into a more functional and comfortable extension of your living space.
  • Eliminating the never-ending stress that comes with dealing with a messy garage.
  • Being able to clean your garage much easier.
  • Having a clutter-free garage floor that doesn’t force your family to hopscotch around tripping hazards.

See your future garage before building begins

Your garage designer can help you envision what your finished minimalist garage design will look like. During the makeover process, 3D models are created with CAD (computer-aided design) to ensure everything is precisely designed.

3d drawing of minimalist garage design

3D render of a minimalist garage design by Garage Living.

These models also allow the client to view the design and ensures they’re happy with it before work begins in their garage.

unfinished cluttered garage before makeover

Before: Prior to its makeover, this unfinished garage’s exposed central vac, circuit panel, and wiring were an eyesore for the homeowner.

minimalist garage after makeover

After: The utility systems are discreetly hidden inside custom-designed cabinets that complement the overall minimalist garage aesthetic. We’d bet that the finished project exceeded what the homeowner visualized for their new garage!

Think of it as curating, not decluttering

You could spend thousands of dollars on a luxury garage makeover project that makes the space look like a high-end car showroom. It won’t mean much if you can’t actually see most of those upgrades because of excess clutter, however.

The vision of what your minimalist garage will eventually look like should be an open, clutter-free space. Living with fewer material possessions requires us to make numerous tough, disciplined choices during the clean-up process.

Curating clutter

No one enjoys decluttering. Therefore, try to look at the process of eliminating the junk from your garage as curating. Curating is defined as selecting, organizing, and presenting something, which aligns perfectly with what you’re trying to do.

Kondo’s tidying up approach admittedly isn’t for everyone. If pondering whether or not an inanimate object like an old shovel sparks joy and should be thanked for its service to you before being tossed out seems a little silly, do things your own way.

As you go through each item, just ask yourself if it has any practical value to you. Use whatever barometer works for you to make those decisions, which could involve applying the one-year rule (has it been used once in the last year?).

Remove larger items first

Start by removing the easiest and largest items first. You’ll quickly start seeing more space open up and stay inspired to continue further. Our previous article listing some suggestions for garage junk items to toss or donate can help.

Use this as motivation: clearing out a clutter-filled room is guaranteed to make you feel lighter and unburdened when you’re finished. It’s a natural, healthy response to liberating yourself from useless things that have only been impeding your ability to enjoy your living space more.

Add hard-working, stylish storage

Part of creating a minimalist garage look is to use storage systems that look attractive, yet don’t call attention to themselves. They need to blend well with the rest of the room’s décor, too.

Any storage systems you choose should be highly efficient to maximize the room’s storage space. When paired with setting your garage storage systems up in the right places, this goal is easily achievable.

Use your walls and ceiling space more efficiently

Make your walls and ceiling space work harder by having slatwall panels and overhead storage racks installed. Each of these provides a wealth of versatile storage space that keeps your floor empty and open, which is just what we want for that tidy minimalist garage look.

tidy garage wall storage

Only keep essential items that you can store tidily. Set a goal to make your vehicles the only thing being stored on your garage floor.

Your storage needs will change over time. Aim to have space not only for everything you’re storing now, but also to accommodate future purchases (but not too many of them, okay?).

Remember that empty space is a key aspect of minimalism. It may be a challenge giving homes to every item in your garage, while also leaving some wall space unfilled.

Organize to minimize

Organizing everything on your walls in an orderly fashion and grouping like items together not only looks nicer, it makes it easier to find and return things to their home. The room’s minimalist look will be more emphasized than if items were haphazardly stored on the walls in a random fashion.

Avoid having too many storage bins in your overhead racks. They’re ideal for storing infrequently used things like holiday decorations that are only used once a year. Odds and ends stored in closed storage bins that are stashed up high and out of your way tend to be forgotten about over time, however (the out of sight, out of mind principle).

Overcrowded open shelving will create visual clutter that conflicts with a minimalist aesthetic. Make use of a closed storage system like garage cabinets to preserve the clean presentation of the space by keeping some things hidden.

Creating a minimalist garage design aesthetic

A game plan is in place for reducing the number of things that will be stored in your garage and where they’ll be stored. Let’s now turn our attention to the “canvas” your designer will work with.

One could jokingly argue that a minimalist design aesthetic has been the default look in garages since they were invented a century ago.

The dirt and grass floors of the earliest garages evolved into grey concrete surfaces. The wooden barn-like structures of garages in the past gave way to a surrounding backdrop of exposed framing studs or scuffed, unpainted drywall with a grey or ivory shade.

Get creative with your colors

To give the room a minimalist design update that stands out, some contrast and a little more creativity with the color scheme is needed.

Choose a combination of subdued neutral colors like black, white, brown, gray, beige, taupe, and tan for your color palette.

Garage Living’s slatwall panels and cabinets come in a wide variety of neutral colors and accents that complement each other beautifully.

To complete your simplified color scheme, the designer will help you choose a Floortex™ floor coating color that blends harmoniously with the rest of the room. A new floor coating isn’t just cosmetic – it also provides high-performance protection for your garage floor.

minimalist garage storage

Cabinets keep stored items hidden to preserve the garage’s tidy look. This minimalist design is the Midnight theme from Garage Living’s Designer Series.

Simplify the garage design process

To simplify things, you can choose a minimalist theme from Garage Living’s Designer Series, which features themes with pre-chosen colors and materials that help simplify the design process.

The garage pictured just above uses the Midnight design theme that includes a combination of black, grey, and white shades. The photo above showcase a remodel that is featured in our Minimalist Garage makeover gallery.

The designs are similar, with both using the same color of floor coating, black cabinets, and grey ceiling paint. The big difference is the walls. The Midnight theme garage has black slatwall with a black diamond plate backsplash that closely matches the cabinet color. The other garage went for more of a contrasting look, using floor-to-ceiling grey slatwall.

Both designs work effectively and illustrate a mere fraction of the range of minimalist design combinations available.

The black cabinets contrast nicely with the lighter neutral colors on the floor, walls, and ceiling.

Adding visual interest to your minimalist garage design

One of the biggest challenges with a minimalist aesthetic is to avoid having the decor look sterile and bland.

We’ve already shown how contrasting minimalist colors can add visual interest. Using textures, lines, and subtle accents are other ways to create more visual appeal.

Floor coatings have decorative flakes with different colors and give the floor a textured feel and attractive, distinct appearance.

Enhance the décor with lines and textures

The slatwall grooves provide the horizontal lines (lots of them, in fact!) and help the space look bigger. Thin slatwall strips that are a different color from the slatwall panel color used for the larger amount of wall space add tasteful contrast. Aluminum diamond plate backsplashes also provide a contrasting effect, along with a rugged, textured look.

Even subtle elements like the horizontal and vertical lines and contrasting colors of the pulls on a cabinet system’s doors and drawers add some variety to the room’s look.

Use negative space in a positive way

If your garage is big enough, using negative space can be an effective design tool as well. A painter knows that sometimes it’s what’s not added to the canvas that makes the rest of the piece stand out and deliver a more powerful visual presentation.

Using negative space as part of your minimalist garage design focuses more attention on the room’s finer points. That could be your prized luxury vehicles, a deluxe cabinet system, or your ultra-tidy walls filled with hanging items that are neatly organized.

car lift

A double car lift leaves more open floor space in this garage with a minimalist design style.

Bring your minimalist garage ideas to life

Give your garage’s appearance and functionality an overhaul with these minimalist garage ideas.

To bring your garage remodel project to life, get started by booking a free design consultation with Garage Living.

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