5 Reasons to Shop Local for Your Garage Upgrade Project

man and woman discussing a garage upgrade projectThere are more options for your spending dollar than ever before.

Online spending accounted for 16% of total retail sales in America last year, which was an increase of 15% from the previous year.

Big-box stores are everywhere across North America, offering tempting prices and the convenience of one-stop shopping.

The rapidly evolving retail landscape makes it even more important to think about what it means to shop local and support small businesses.

And “shop local” doesn’t just mean supporting small businesses in your community – it also includes buying domestically-made products.

It’s a simple fact that where you shop and what products you buy end up having a big impact on the community you live in.

Small businesses account for two-thirds of the new jobs created annually in America. In Canada, 70% of the workforce is employed by a small business (defined as a company with less than 100 paid employees).

If you’re planning a DIY garage upgrade project using products purchased online or from a big-box store, here are five reasons to consider letting a local small business handle the job.

1. When you shop local, it benefits your community more

A report from the U.S. Small Business Association and the U.S. Department of Labor found that 68% of the money spent at locally owned businesses stayed in the community.

Research firm Civic Economics did another study that showed only 13.6% of purchases made at large retail chains got recirculated back into the community. Very little of any online purchases consumers make is from a local business, so that money being spent could literally end up anywhere in the world.

When you shop local, most of the revenue generated by businesses you patronize goes right back into your community. This occurs not just via spending at other local businesses, but by more tax dollars being invested in your area’s public services and community organizations.

Garage Living design consultant and install teamA healthy local economy has a positive ripple effect by spurring further economic development that creates more new jobs.

Here are a few additional ways having more small businesses helps communities:

  1. Small businesses donate 250% more than large businesses to local charities and community organizations (from an OnDeck survey).
  2. Consumers get a wider variety of products to shop for and see more pricing competition between local businesses.
  3. A town or city with lots of small businesses has more of a unique, individualistic look compared to a community that is populated with large retailers whose stores all look the same.
  4. The vast majority of small business owners and employees live in the town or city where they work and are more invested in the well-being of the community.

2. You get a more personal and satisfying customer service experience

One of the biggest benefits of supporting a locally owned and operated small business is you typically get a more personal customer service experience.

Garage Living prides itself on the fact that we really get to know our customers. This helps us get a better understanding of their needs so we can customize our designs to fit their lifestyle.

garage design consultation in Garage Living showroom with man and womanOur consultative approach involves visiting our clients’ homes, evaluating their garage’s layout and storage potential and taking measurements, and establishing a proper needs analysis. It’s all part of what we call the “Garage Living Experience”.

Throughout the full-service consultation, design, and installation process Garage Living offers, we remain attentive to our customers’ needs. In addition to the years of garage design expertise we bring to the table, this personalized, face-to-face working relationship is why so many of our clients give us great feedback after their makeover is completed.

Hiring a professional company like Garage Living instead of DIY’ing your garage makeover means the job will get done right, without having to go back later to fix mistakes.

There are many ways a garage makeover can go wrong, starting with the products that are used. Too many homeowners make the mistake of buying cheap garage storage cabinets online or from their local big-box store.

Garage floor resurfacers are another product it’s easy to make a bad buying decision with. Inexpensive floor paints or epoxy coating kits are far from premium quality and simply don’t look as impressive or stand the test of time like a Floortex™ polyaspartic floor coating.

Our roster of products are of the highest quality and built to last. Garage Living also uses our own certified installation staff, not subcontractors. You can rest assured that any installation and floor coating application work we do in your garage will fit perfectly, look immaculate, and be safe for your family.

One more good reason to shop local and hire a garage makeover specialist is you’ll have more freedom to customize your garage’s appearance. Take a look at a few of the many awesome garage makeovers Garage Living has added its custom touch to.

3. North American manufacturing is more eco-friendly

Locally and domestically-made products are more eco-friendly than products made overseas for two main reasons.

First, North America adheres to stricter environmental guidelines when it comes to air pollution and waste disposal in the manufacturing process.

The U.S. and Canada were ahead of the curve in banning manufacturers from continuing to use lead, formaldehyde, and other toxic chemicals in their products.

Next, consider the carbon footprint that comes with shipping any product from outside of North America via the air and sea.

Foreign-made products available on Amazon are either shipped directly from a third-party vendor anywhere in the world to online shoppers or shipped to one of the company’s many huge distribution centers around the U.S. and Canada.

Non-domestic products sold by big-box retailers similarly get shipped overseas to a large warehouse before then being shipped off to each store.

All of that international freight movement creates a much larger carbon footprint compared to locally or domestically-manufactured products.

An additional reason to shop local is the ridiculous amount of packaging that often comes with shipments from online purchases. We’ve all ordered products from Amazon and had many of them shipped in a box that is far bigger than seems necessary. And what’s with all the bubble wrap in that shipping package?

The cardboard can be recycled, but even that process has a carbon footprint (as does the manufacturing of these two things in the first place, obviously). Discarded plastic bubble wrap will just end up in a landfill where it can take hundreds of years to biodegrade.

4. Local businesses use more high-quality, locally sourced products

Garage Living quality sealThe term “locally sourced” is most commonly associated with food products like locally grown produce and vegetables. It can also be applied to any product that is manufactured locally, however.

Generally, large retailers are so profit-driven that they place a higher priority on how low a price a product can be sold to a consumer for over whether or not it’s actually a well-made, quality product.

Small local businesses tend to care more about offering their customers a better quality product. That means using a larger percentage of locally sourced products compared to big retail chains.

“We have been successful in securing local manufacturers and continue to solidify relationships”, says Garage Living Vice President of Product Development Corbee Dutchburn.

For decades, products made in the U.S. and Canada have had a better track record when it comes to quality than many similar types of products that are made overseas. A higher level of quality control during the design and manufacturing process is a big reason.

“Manufacturing in North America is very competitive and the quality is meeting and surpassing our high-quality standards. This adds value to Garage Living products and stimulates our economies”, says Dutchburn.

Take garage cabinets, for example. The inexpensive cabinets available in home improvement big-box stores and on a lot of websites are usually made overseas. They typically use low-quality, heavily recycled steel that rusts quickly and feels flimsy. Cheap hardware is commonly used and they have poor craftsmanship (such as the welding used on the cabinet joints).

man and woman shopping for garage cabinets in a local showroomAll of these manufacturing shortcuts result in a more affordable product, but come at the expense of a product’s functionality and durability.

There is simply no comparison in quality between the storage cabinets you’ll find in a big-box store and Garage Living’s line of storage cabinets. Our cabinets are made in the U.S. and Canada using high-quality North American steel.

The rigorous testing, superior craftsmanship, and higher overall level of quality makes a huge difference in how long our cabinets last, how much nicer they look, and how they function. We also stand behind all of our work and products with a written warranty.

For Garage Living, using high-quality North American-made products has been paramount in helping us become an industry leader in the field of garage makeovers.

5. U.S. and Canadian labor standards are higher

Here’s a final reason to shop local by supporting small businesses and buying domestically-made products – the U.S. and Canada have high labor standards.

With products made in many foreign countries, we have little to no idea what kind of labor standards are in place and whether or not local labor laws and regulations are enforced.

That lack of transparency can often find workers overseas making very little money and not enjoying things like raises, paid overtime and vacation time, and the health benefits the majority of North American workers receive.

Stricter U.S. and Canadian labor standards mean workers are treated more fairly and have access to human resources departments to address any workplace concerns.

Child labor laws in our countries eliminate any worries of kids being exploited for cheap labor, which is something we’ve all heard and read about in other countries all too often.

Workers in the U.S. and Canada also work in safer conditions. This includes things like getting proper safety training for material handling and operating power equipment, having more workplace health and safety inspections, and proper protective equipment being readily available.

Shop local for your upcoming garage remodel

2-car garage remodelled by Garage Living blue EscaladeSupporting a local small business with the products you buy and the services you use is an investment in the economic health of your community, state or province, and country. 

Schedule a free design consultation with us to plan your garage makeover.

In addition to supporting a local small business and ensuring the job gets done right, you’ll get the Garage Living Experience of incredible customer service, competitive pricing, years of garage design expertise, and top-quality North American-made products.

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10 Garage Gift Ideas for Dad

man in garage using ladder, opening drawer, and leaning on wall

When most of us are brainstorming gift ideas for dad around Father’s Day, his birthday, or the holiday season, it’s the “dad gift greatest hits” that first come to mind.

Gifts like a new tie, socks, a car care kit, cologne, a day of golf and a package of golf balls, a “best dad ever” coffee mug, or a (yikes) multi-function tool aren’t original and won’t leave a lasting impression, however.

Get creative and think outside the box when it comes to your gift ideas for dad. The type of gift that is always most appreciated by the recipient is completely unexpected, useful, extra thoughtful, and leaves a lasting impression.

What type of gift checks all of these boxes for dad? It’s the gift of helping dad transform the garage into a special space that is personalized for his needs.

10 garage gift ideas for dad that he’ll love

Mental health professionals believe that occasionally spending time in a personalized space is good for our mental and emotional well-being.

It provides a place to de-stress and focus on and enjoy the things you love, all while surrounding yourself in a comfortable environment that reflects your personality.

For dad, that space can be the garage. If the garage is clean, organized, and designed with dad in mind, he can enjoy using the room more in his leisure time and even for everyday things like parking and finding his things easily.

A garage makeover will be enjoyed not just by dad, but by the whole family who will benefit from having a more visually appealing and functional garage to use.

Here are 10 garage gift ideas for dad that will transform how he uses the space.

1. Help dad declutter the garage

No one who has an excessively cluttered garage would likely say they enjoy setting foot in the room. Who wants to be reminded every time they enter a room that all of that clutter and junk that has built up over the years needs to be dealt with eventually?

This is exactly why organization and medical experts tell us that a cluttered living space clutters the mind and contributes to added stress and anxiety. And the longer the clutter problem isn’t dealt with, the worse it gets and the more daunting a cleanup project seems.

In order to restore a messy garage’s functionality, all of that clutter needs to go. If dad has been putting off that big garage cleanup project for awhile, now is the time to give him a hand.

Help dad declutter the room to get the garage to a solid starting point for beginning the room’s redesign process. Emptying the garage of all that junk and clutter and leaving just the essentials will allow him to better visualize what he needs to store and how he can best use the space in other ways, too.

2. Expand dad’s garage storage capabilities with slatwall

motorcycle and items hung on garage wall

One great solution for helping dad get where he needs to be with the garage’s level of organization is to have PVC slatwall panels installed.

Slatwall storage makes effective use of a garage’s wall storage space by allowing things that might otherwise be leaned against the wall or stashed in a corner to be hung up. That eliminates tripping hazards and the floor clutter that restricts you from getting the most use out of a garage.

Bikes, ladders, power cords, shovels, rakes, and almost any other type of lawn and gardening tool can be hung on hooks of different sizes. Baskets, bins, and shelves are available for keeping things like sports equipment, gardening supplies, and car care products more organized. Specialty slatwall racks can be used to keep dad’s fishing gear and golf equipment safely stored and easy to locate.

The versatility of slatwall allows your wall storage setup to be rearranged with ease when your storage needs change, which is something that is guaranteed to happen with the things you keep in the garage.

In addition to helping dad stay more organized, slatwall gives the garage a more finished look as well. Don’t underestimate the aesthetic benefits of replacing old pegboard panels, a bunch of hooks and nails, or some other type of DIY garage wall storage system with a product that looks more professional and modern.

3. Design the garage so dad can use it as a hobby space

When planning your garage makeover gift for dad, consider his hobbies and passions and how the garage can accommodate some of them.

Is dad a fitness buff? A garage gym would save him from having to trek to a local gym to work out. Exercising in the comfort of your own home is ultra-convenient and very practical. Designate a section of the garage that dad can use for his workouts, with enough room for an exercise machine or two, a weight bench, some wall space for hanging workout equipment, and some open space for stretching and doing his exercise routines.

If dad likes to work with his hands and enjoys tinkering or has a hobby like woodworking, create a garage workshop. Our storage cabinet systems are designed with garage workshops in mind. You can have the cabinet system customized to give dad the type of sturdy work surface he needs and the right amount of drawer, locker, and cabinet storage space.

However dad plans to enjoy his leisure time in the garage, you can make his personalized space the entire garage, half of the garage, or even just a small corner of it. Garage Living will work with you to get dad’s garage sanctuary just right!

4. Maximize storage space with garage cabinets and overhead racks

By using slatwall, you’re already well on your way towards optimizing your garage’s storage capabilities. These garage gift ideas for dad are all about making his life easier, so why not take things a step further and truly maximize his garage’s storage space?

Garage storage cabinets are a great way to supplement dad’s wall storage and are more suited to storing certain things like his hand tool collection and power tools. The cabinet system can also incorporate convenient amenities like a fridge, sink, TV, plenty of charging and electrical outlets, and task lighting.

Many dads use repurposed kitchen cabinets or bookcases, DIY cabinets, wobbly plastic utility storage lockers, or flimsy metal cabinet systems that start to rust within a year of being purchased. Premium storage cabinets that are constructed with superior North American-made steel and high-quality craftsmanship are a huge upgrade over those storage systems and are a garage gift idea dad will truly appreciate!

As another way to keep the garage organized, have overhead storage racks installed to hold bulky items and things that don’t get used often, such as storage bins with holiday decorations.

5. Create a relaxation space in the garage for dad

three men relaxing in garage

The garage isn’t thought of or used as a part of the home where someone can go to sit down, relax, and enjoy a movie or spend time with their friends.

That’s because we’ve been so conditioned over the years to look at the garage as nothing more than a room to park cars in and store stuff. “Garage décor” may sound like a foreign concept to many people, but there is plenty you can do nowadays to make a garage look stylish and upscale.

Look past the fact that garages are commonly dark, dirty, dusty, too hot or too cold, and a décor-free zone. What if you could fix all of those issues and remodel the room into a space that was as cozy as your living room?

With the right touch from a garage designer, dad could enjoy such a space. All of these garage gift ideas we’re sharing will help you upgrade your garage into a clean, tidy room with modern décor.

Dad can have his own private space with some comfy furniture to enjoy some movies and watch his favorite sporting events on TV. Having his own TV in the garage won’t just make dad happy, it also frees up the TV in your entertainment room for the rest of the family.

The garage can also become dad’s social space when he has visitors over to watch the big race or game or is hosting a poker night. He certainly won’t shy away from showing off his beautiful garage space to his friends!

6. Upgrade the garage floor

If you’re designing the garage so dad can enjoy it more, that boring gray, dirty, and cracked garage floor simply won’t do. A proper garage makeover starts from the floor up, so one of your must-have garage gift ideas for dad is a new floor coating.

Don’t settle for just any old garage floor resurfacing product, however. Floor paint and DIY epoxy coatings may be cheap to buy, but they also look cheap when you’re done using them.

Get the best product available for dad and have a Floortex™ polyaspartic floor coating professionally applied by Garage Living.

This high-quality coating makes the garage floor look not just “better than new” (because let’s face it, the home builder didn’t exactly leave an aesthetic masterpiece with their floor work), but as impressive and stylish as the flooring in a high-end car showroom.

Floortex™ is also extremely durable and designed to withstand the demands of a busy garage environment for many years.

7. Optimize the garage’s comfort level with these 5 extras

In addition to the already-mentioned extra amenities you can incorporate into the garage design (like a TV, fridge, and sink), here are some other ways to enhance the comfort level in the room for dad:

  1. Upgrade the garage lighting. Bad garage lighting is a huge factor in why so many garages feel like dark, dreary dungeons. A couple of fluorescent bulbs that provide harsh, uneven illumination doesn’t cut it anymore when it comes to garage lighting. Some energy-efficient LED light fixtures or nice pot lights will do a much better job of showing dad’s dream garage in the best light. He’ll be able to find his things easier, too!
  2. Add garage insulation. To extend the amount of time that dad has for using his garage when the weather gets too cold or too hot, consider adding insulation to the garage walls and ceiling (or upgrading the existing insulation). Good insulation that is properly installed is something that is recommended for any garage to significantly improve a home’s energy efficiency.
  3. Install climate control systems. Enhance dad’s comfort level in the garage when the temperatures soar or plummet by installing cooling and heating systems.
  4. Boost your garage’s WiFi reception. Having a weak WiFi signal when you’re spending time in the garage can be frustrating. Most of your smart devices won’t even work without a reliable online connection. To solve any WiFi reception issues in the garage, use solutions like a WiFi extender, a powerline adapter, or add a mesh network.
  5. Add a great audio system. Modern tech has made it easier than ever to set up incredible-sounding audio systems anywhere in the home, without having to hide a bunch of wires or have huge speakers taking up a lot of space. Smart speakers can be used virtually anywhere. Sound bar speakers can be discreetly fitted into a custom garage cabinet system. Now dad can play his music and watch his movies or the football game a little louder than he might be able to elsewhere in your home!

8. Simplify the garage design process for dad

A personal home space isn’t just about designating part of a living space to function as a getaway for an individual. Part of the “personal” aspect of it is the way it’s personalized to reflect their style and unique tastes.

If dad doesn’t have the first clue about home décor and what colors and design choices work best with one another, simplify the entire garage design process for him.

This is why Garage Living created the Designer Series, which our clients love. It includes seven exclusive garage design themes with appealing color palettes and a selection of high-quality materials.

The themes leverage the expertise of Garage Living’s design professionals and provide a great visual helper for anyone who wants to imagine what their garage could eventually look like.

9. Let dad’s garage décor reflect his passions

custom garage gift ideas

Is dad a huge auto racing fan or does he never miss a game on TV with his favorite NFL, MLB, NBA, or NHL team? Maybe he loves a particular car brand or owns a luxury sports car and wouldn’t mind parking it in a garage that showed it off a little better.

Whatever dad’s biggest passions are, let his garage décor reflect his love for these special things.

The garage pictured above shows the Performance theme from the Designer Series and instantly conveys the homeowner’s passion for Ferraris. The colors of the floor coating, cabinets, slatwall, and the wall and ceiling paint beautifully complement one another and the color of the cars. The artwork adds a tasteful personal touch.

The colors of dad’s favorite team could also set the foundation for the décor of his garage. Ask a Garage Living design professional about what we can do to make dad’s garage design reflect his personality.

10. Add more parking space with a car lift

If dad owns a classic car or any type of vehicle that isn’t driven year-round, he undoubtedly wants it to be stored indoors. Unfortunately, that can mean one of your everyday use vehicles loses a garage parking spot.

The solution isn’t to store the rarely driven vehicle in a costly storage facility across town, nor is it to undergo a messy, expensive garage expansion renovation that disrupts your family’s lives for weeks.

Adding a 4 post car lift to the garage (or a couple of them) can solve your home parking problems.

By taking advantage of your garage’s unused vertical space so one vehicle can be parked on a raised lift above another vehicle, you can increase your garage’s parking capacity.

Car lifts are also useful for storing bulky things like a motorcycle, riding mower, snowblower, and patio furniture, which leaves your garage floor with less clutter. And if dad likes doing his own vehicle maintenance, a car lift even comes in handy for those hard-to-reach underside repair jobs.

Talk to us about these garage gift ideas for dad

For the ultimate gift for dad, turn the garage he’s been dreaming about for years into something that exceeds even his wildest dreams.

Get the process started by scheduling a free design consultation with us.

We’ll walk you through your options for giving dad the gift of a beautiful garage makeover. You can give him a Garage Living gift certificate for the makeover project and get him involved with the planning to ensure it looks just the way he wants.

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4 Effective Garage Gym Workouts to Lose Weight

garage gym workouts

If you place a high priority on living a healthy lifestyle, you likely work out every day or several times a week.

For any fitness enthusiast, what could be more convenient than having a fully functional exercise space right inside your home?

The garage is an ideal area of the home to use for your regular workouts. Modern garage makeovers are capable of creating a multipurpose home space that looks stylish and is much more comfortable to spend time in.

Garage gym workouts and using the room as a workshop or for crafting projects are just a few ways garages can be utilized beyond their traditional usage as a storage and parking space.

We talked to Lisa Pineda, who owns and operates fitness studio Body Zone Fitness in Coquitlam, British Columbia. She recently had her garage remodeled into a space that could accommodate her fitness routine and family’s storage needs.

Lisa shares her thoughts on how the garage makeover has benefited her family, as well as four detailed garage gym workouts you can use to get your heart pumping.

This personal trainer loves using her garage gym

Lisa in garage gymGarage Living Vancouver helped Lisa, a personal trainer and Health Coach who specializes in women’s and prenatal fitness, with her garage transformation.

“Having limited storage options in our home, three active children in competitive sports year-round, and myself wanting a space to work out in, I needed something created to solve all of those problems that were a pain point in our old home”, says Lisa.

Garage Living applied a Floortex™ floor coating to the basic concrete flooring. Lisa loves the aesthetic upgrade and clean surface the floor coating provides, as well as the fact the textured surface makes the floor less slippery during her garage gym workouts.

Slatwall was also installed, adding plenty of hanging storage space for tools, ladders, her kids’ backpacks and sports gear, and Lisa’s exercise equipment.

“I love being able to see what I have access to when working out. It allows my creative side to come alive when training clients and making programs for them. I have utilized my slatwall to display as much of my equipment as possible, including using hooks for my resistance bands and loops. I place my programs, water, and music on the shelf and my weights, yoga mat, and foam roller in the hanging baskets. The easier it is to find these items, the faster my workout flows”, says Lisa.

“Having my garage organized and designed to fit the needs of my family has reduced our stress and daily anxiety, simply knowing that our things have a proper storage place”, she continues. “We created a proper storage system for our recycling and garbage. And, of course, a little space for me to get my sweat on without stepping on toys, crayons, or dolls.”

Try these 4 garage gym workout routines

Lisa lent us her fitness expertise and created four garage gym workout videos that you can use when exercising at home.

These videos show that expensive exercise machines are not required to get a productive workout. Lisa (with some help from her daughter in the kickboxing video) is using nothing more than loop bands, light dumbbells, and a yoga mat.

Take things at a pace that is comfortable for you and let’s start burning some calories!

Stretch workout

Overview: Lisa shares a variety of effective stretching exercises that can be used when warming up and cooling down for your garage gym workouts.

Kickboxing workout

Overview: this kickboxing exercise combines cardiovascular drills and the use of martial arts techniques for a vigorous full-body workout. Light dumbbells can be used for more effective results but are not essential.

Loop band workout

Overview: this fitness routine involves three groups of exercises that utilize loop bands (also known as resistance bands) and light dumbbells.

AMRAP workout

Overview: Lisa’s AMRAP (as many reps/rounds as possible) routine involves a series of exercises that includes pike jumps, burpees, and lower ab lifts.

5 benefits of having a home garage gym

According to a Statistic Brain survey of 5,313 American gym members, 63% of gym memberships are never used. A third of gym members would not have gotten a membership if they had known how infrequently they would go to their gym. And 82% of gym members visit the gym less than once a week.

The time required to commute to the local gym is undoubtedly a big factor in why people rarely see a good return on investment with their gym membership.

Having an at-home fitness space eliminates the hassle of having to travel to a public gym for your workouts. Here are five other benefits of a garage gym:

  1. You can work out anytime without being confined to a public gym’s operating hours.
  2. A garage gym can be set up just the way you like, including how you want to store and organize things and how you want the décor to look.
  3. You can save the cost of a gym membership (which averages about $700 for a year).
  4. There’s no waiting around to use any exercise equipment!
  5. Because only you and your family are using the workout space, there are no health or hygiene concerns (such as other people’s sweat being left on equipment, having to use a public shower, and being exposed to any contagious and infectious viruses).

Create your own garage gym workout space

wall storage in garage gym

This garage gym is set up to keep the homeowner’s exercise equipment organized and easy to find.

Setting up a home gym in the garage is possible regardless of your garage’s size. One of Garage Living’s clients placed a higher priority on using his single-car garage as a fitness space than for parking a vehicle. We transformed the garage into an organized, well-equipped gym that he and his wife use for working out year-round (shown in the above photo).

Like this client, Lisa, and many others, Garage Living can remodel your garage so you can use it as a workout space, for parking, organized home storage, and so much more.

Schedule a free consultation with us to start planning your own home garage gym design.

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Hot Home Design Trends: 7 Smart Upgrades Worth Investing In

A new survey by HGTV shows that 38% of Americans are planning to do some type of home improvement project in the coming year.

While your main motivation for reinventing a part of your living space will be to enhance your comfort level now, it’s always wise to keep the future in mind, too.

Taking a forward-thinking approach to the remodeling projects you undertake and considering how they add value to your home and will make it more attractive to future buyers is financially savvy.

So which home design trends are expected to be embraced by homeowners this year? We took the pulse of various interior designers and homebuilder organizations to find out.

home design trends house exterior

7 home design trends worth paying attention to

Naturally, not all of the home design trends listed below will have staying power with homeowners and still be popular in, say, five years.

Some will evolve and some may well just fizzle out. After all, that’s why they’re called trends! We’ve mostly chosen relatively “safer” remodeling trends, including a few that never seem to fall out of fashion.

Here are seven home design trends worth paying attention to if you’re looking to update the aesthetics and functionality of your house.

1. Modern kitchen upgrades

Of the 2,000 respondents to that HGTV survey, 55% named the kitchen as the area of their home they considered the top priority for a renovation.

Because it’s one of the hardest-working rooms in the house, kitchens are always top of mind amongst homeowners when it comes to living space upgrades.

Another new survey of 1,000 U.S. homeowners by Hausera (an online kitchen and bath specialty retailer) found that 84% of the respondents had remodeled their kitchen, laundry room, or bathroom in the past two years. Two-thirds of them planned to do further upgrades to these rooms in the next two years.

In the kitchen, the top three reasons given by homeowners for doing a makeover were:

  • a change in lifestyle (41%)
  • to add value to home (38%)
  • to improve the room’s functionality (38%)

The “Marie Kondo effect” continues to resonate in the world of interior design. The minimalist aesthetic of gray colors that have been popular for a number of years now are expected to give way to more usage of another neutral color – black.

Two-thirds of the interior designers recently surveyed by Sherwin-Williams planned to use more black colors in their kitchen projects, particularly matte blacks.

The minimalist design approach includes showing less visual clutter. This should lead to more kitchen designs that keep appliances hidden, yet easily accessible via cabinetry with pullouts and lift-up panels.

For kitchen appliances, the stainless steel look continues to be very popular. Convection and induction ovens are expected to make their way into more homes. And more stoves will ditch the over-the-range microwave above them for high-quality ventilation hoods.

Granite will remain one of the most popular go-to materials for kitchen countertops. As a premium countertop option, porcelain slabs and quartz are being used increasingly in kitchen renovations.

2. Finished garages with a more upscale appearance

blue car parked in luxury garage

One of the home design trends that continues to grow is finishing the garage and turning it into an upscale extension of the living space.

The New York Times described garage makeovers as “the final frontier in home renovation”.

Porch.com’s new Homeowner’s Most Wanted survey found that a finished garage was named the fourth most important feature for homebuyers. 25.8% of those surveyed considered it a high priority, especially baby boomers and millennials.

Showroom quality floor coatings, slatwall panels that look superior to a wall’s exposed studs or scuffed drywall, and premium cabinetry can be color coordinated to create a stylish, visually stunning space.

While garage aesthetics are getting more attention from homeowners, so is giving the room more functionality. Primarily, maximizing the garage’s storage space is of significant importance.

Adding enough efficient and versatile storage systems (like slatwall and overhead racks) creates parking space for vehicles. With the proper setup, keeping the home’s single-largest storage space well-organized requires much less effort.

New lighting, insulation upgrades, a new garage door and opener, and cool extras like a TV, audio system, or decorative perimeter LED lighting add to the garage’s appearance and functionality.

A garage makeover is seen as a win-win for homeowners. They can enjoy the comfort of a stylish, modern-looking garage with more storage, which in turn becomes a great selling point for their property in the future.

3. Flooring upgrades

If a trend never seems to go away, can you really call it a trend?

The answer is apparently “yes”. Most of the homebuilding and interior design experts we looked at say that flooring upgrades will be one of the most commonly done home improvement projects this year, just as it is every other year.

The timeless visual appeal and low-maintenance nature of hardwood and ceramic tiles explains why this is one of the home design trends that never ends.

Technological advancements also give consumers an almost limitless numbers of design options to choose from with both products.

If you fancy adding ceramic tiles that look like real wood to your floors, that’s doable (and quite trendy). Engineered hardwood now has a bigger share of the flooring market than traditional hardwood does.

Another popular design trend is having a more consistent flooring appearance on a floor, or even throughout the entire house.

In addition to having a cohesive look, this design strategy also helps make a living space look bigger. 

4. Bolder bathroom designs with modern amenities

The bathroom is another perennial favorite part of the home for upgrade projects.

As in the kitchen, interior designers are looking to take a “bolder is better” approach to the colors used in bathroom remodels and will be more partial to darker tones this year. That means trendy grays are out and black is in.

Black is also expected to become a more popular color for bath tubs and other bathroom fixtures. Deep soaking tubs, freestanding tubs, and large open-concept showers are in vogue right now. Shower add-ons like ambient lighting, anti-fog mirrors, and integrated bench seating will be used in more shower designs.

Industrial-style sinks and vanities are trendy at the moment as well and add a classy (and classic!) look to the bathroom, while also providing a modern aesthetic.

North American homeowners have been slow to warm up to incorporating bidets into their bathroom designs and designers expect progress in this area to continue at a very modest pace.

The Japanese trend of using high-tech toilets that have seat warmers, built-in deodorizing systems, and lids that automatically open will also continue to grow.

Here are several more of the home design trends that are expected to appear in more bathrooms over the next few years:

  • underfloor heating systems
  • terrazzo counters, backsplashes, and wall surfaces
  • brass finishes (particularly brushed brass)
  • lighting that’s creatively integrated into the bathroom’s architecture
  • tiles with unconventional shapes

5. An outdoor kitchen and entertaining space

home design trends outdoor kitchen and furniture

Interior kitchens aren’t the only cooking space that homeowners want to upgrade.

Recently, the American Institute of Architects released their Home Design Trends Survey. Incredibly, 45% of the architects who were surveyed expected outdoor kitchens to be the most popular type of home kitchen remodel project done.

Forbes acknowledged the increasing popularity of outdoor cooking and entertaining spaces by writing “outdoor kitchens and living areas are trending strongly and richly, with more enhancements than ever before”.

Here are some of the key components for creating a home showpiece with an outdoor kitchen:

  • a premium built-in grill with state-of-the-art features like temperature control, smart tech that responds to voice commands, and integrated lighting
  • a stylish, yet resilient countertop
  • durable built-in cabinetry tailored for your grill setup and customized to complement a home’s décor
  • interior kitchen amenities like a sink, side burners, and a countertop grill
  • built-in refrigeration appliances and ice-making machines

6. Smarter home tech

There are a head-spinning number of smart home tech products on the market and choosing the right ones for your living space can require a bit of homework.

Once you have decided which upgrades to make, you should start to enjoy the convenience and savings that these products promise to provide in helping to run your home.

Smart appliances are one of the most widely adopted types of high-tech products. Better voice recognition by the products’ smart assistant systems will widen their appeal.

Wi-Fi-enabled fridges are getting smarter with features like internal cameras, remote access  via a smartphone app, and programmed voice reminders to pick up certain types of groceries.

Motion-sensing faucets for the bathroom and kitchen, as well as smart lighting products, rank near the top of consumers’ wish lists for smarter home tech.

7. Open spaces that also allow for privacy

A new wrinkle in the area of open-concept home designs has been trending upwards in the past few years. 

Sliding closet door systems have been making their way out of the bedroom and into other parts of the home.

Taking advantage of this product’s versatility, the sliding doors are being used as room dividers to partition off large open spaces to create privacy when needed.

A big reason this trend is growing is that it allows homeowners to enjoy the best of both worlds with their living space.

The spacious open-concept floor plan can still make the occupants feel like this part of their home is more interconnected. When more privacy is needed, the simple slide of a door separates an area of the room.

To keep as much natural light in the living space as possible (while maintaining privacy), the sliding door is designed with attractive frosted glass panels.

In addition to this clever concept being implemented into more house designs, condos and office spaces are using it, too.

Which home design trends appeal to you?

Will any of these hot home design trends influence which home improvement project(s) you take on over the next couple of years?

If owning a finished garage you can be proud to show off to your neighbors is at the top of your list of remodeling projects, let Garage Living help you achieve your goal.

Schedule a free design consultation with us today.

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Garage Living Designer Series: Exclusive Garage Designs

The garage makeover process varies widely for each one of our clients.

Some start their journey with a clear, concise idea of what they want their garage to look and function like.

Others may have a general idea of the aesthetic they’re looking for with their garage. Many of Garage Living’s clients come to us with very little knowledge of what modern garage décor and storage options are available.

Regardless of how fully formed the vision for their remodeled garage is, the goal of anyone enlisting the services of a trusted garage professional is the same – they all want to transform their garage’s appearance into something truly special.

To simplify the process of designing your garage, we’re pleased to introduce the Garage Living Designer Series. It’s a collection of exclusive garage designs inspired by and created for you.

2 red Ferraris parked in a red-themed garage

Performance Designer Series

The inspiration behind the Garage Living Designer Series

Since 2005, Garage Living has completed thousands of garage makeovers across the U.S. and Canada.

All of that experience has shown us what works most effectively when it comes to designing garages (and what doesn’t work). It’s also given us a lot of insight and expertise into what homeowners are looking for when putting their garage redesign together.

For this reason – and because we know not everybody has the time or inclination to fully research their garage décor options – Garage Living has produced seven custom Designer Series themes.

A different dynamic color theme is featured in each Designer Series that infuses a distinct, cohesive aesthetic to any garage.

Each Designer Series garage has its own design board that shapes the product and color palette selection. A design board is also known as a mood board or concept board and provides an arrangement of inspiring images that tell a unique narrative.

Design board showing paint swatches, various slatwall panel colors, textures, and materials

Design board showing paint swatches, slatwall colors, flooring color, textures, and cabinetry colors – Performance Design Series.

Why the Designer Series helps anyone planning a garage makeover

There can be a lot of decisions to make when planning a top-to-bottom makeover of your garage.

The Designer Series saves our clients time by simplifying the design process, providing a focussed starting point with contemporary garage themes.

These carefully curated, pre-packaged complementary color and product combinations conveniently bring the vision of your “future garage” into sharp focus.

While each Designer Series helps guide you through the design process, you’re not strictly limited to the colors and products recommended in each Series.

Customization and design flexibility is a hallmark of Garage Living. We will work with you to make adjustments to your garage’s design and address any secondary needs you may have.

Which Designer Series is right for your garage?

Let’s briefly summarize the highlights and features of each Garage Living Designer Series so you can get a better idea of which one may work best for your needs.

Harbor

blue car parked in garageThe Harbor Designer Series takes its inspiration from the world’s most popular color – blue.

Good things come in blue. The sighting of blue jays, freshly picked blueberries, and the allure of blue eyes. Blue is the essence of inspiration and beauty. It can evoke images that calm and relax us, or stir our spirit, creating renewed energy. 

Harbor features nautical colors that conjure feelings of peace, tranquility, and organization. It was the perfect visual concept for one of our clients who chose it as the theme for the garage at their weekend getaway in a lakeside resort community.

Midnight

White Porsche in grey and white themed garage.

You don’t collect cars, you curate luxury. Every vehicle you choose is a refined choice. Like vintage wine, where you keep it should look as finely crafted as what you select.

If these things resonate with you, the Midnight Designer Series may be just what you’ve been looking for when it comes to your garage’s look.

Midnight is an engaging combination of black, grey, and white shades, emphasizing a sense of elegance and simplicity that projects a modern, sophisticated aesthetic.

Midnight provides an alluring place to start and end your next great journey, creating a one-of-a-kind showplace that is an extension of your style.  

Carbon

Charcoal grey Merceds parked in custom garage with dark decor.

Greys are increasing in popularity in the realm of interior design and feature prominently in the Carbon Designer Series.

Carbon is a transitional and timeless blend of grey and black, creating a balanced, finely honed garage look that’s strong and sophisticated.

Carbon provides a brilliant, rock-solid palette that can take center stage in showing off your garage interior. It’s equally capable of receding into the perfect, tasteful backdrop for your star vehicles. 

Barn Board

Jeep SUV in a barn board inspired custom garage.

The Barn Board Designer Series from Garage Living is earthy, warm and natural. Just like you. Just like your home. It’s easy on the eyes, comfortable, and perfectly expresses your style.

Barn Board brings a modern approach to farmhouse-inspired design with warm expressions, distressed wood, and inviting neutrals to form a comforting, grounded experience.

Patriot

Blue Mustang Shelby with white racing stripe in blue and white designer garage.You’re not afraid to show your true colors. You wear your pride like a favorite pair of jeans that are dependable and reliable, just like the cars you choose to drive.

The Patriot Designer Series features a traditional blue, white, and grey color palette that creates a visually stunning yet comforting home space that is a reflection of your values.

Performance

The Performance Designer Series says you’re not afraid to make a statement, especially when that statement honors your love of speed and the finer details when it comes to your cars and where you park them.

The dynamic Performance series is ideal for the consumer whose automotive choices are top-level and engineered with precision and distinction.

Performance captures an adventurous spirit that’s anything but standard, delivering a lasting impression with its bold color palette. 

Tudor

Green sportswear in a green-themed garage.

The inspiration behind the Tudor Designer Series comes from the iconic green color that originates with the birth of the UK motor racing scene.

The finest racing cars from Bentley to Bugatti and Lotus have sported the distinct British Racing Green shade racing in the Le Mans, Grand Prix, and Formula One. So why not bring a hint of racing green home? 

Tudor is a fusion of passion and tradition, where green, white, grey, and neutrals come together to produce a contemporary look.

Tudor Green is also the newest exclusive Floortex™ floor coating color available from Garage Living.

Learn more about the Garage Living Designer Series

To assist in your decision-making process and to learn more about the Garage Living Designer Series, you can download a PDF brochure from the link on each series page.

We encourage you to visit your local Garage Living showroom to view samples of the Designer Series. Please don’t hesitate to ask our professionals any questions you may have about a particular series or anything else related to garage makeovers.

You can also schedule a free design consultation with Garage Living at your convenience. 

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