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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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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Garage Home Gyms: 13 Reasons to Invest in One Today


In this challenging time, the health and safety of our families are of great importance.

With health clubs and fitness centers closed or operating at a limited capacity, you may not need another reason to invest in a garage home gym. But here’s 13 more reasons you should have a dedicated workout space in your home.

1. Convenience

Having a home gym is much more convenient. If you commute to work and back, why spend more time in the car driving to and from the gym? Those minutes of travel time or looking for a parking spot add up over the course of a month.

Maybe you live in a rural area and just don’t have a fitness club nearby.

At home, there’s no commute time or parking issues. Spend more time exercising and less time sitting!

2. Virtual workouts

In a previous article, we shared how Lisa Pineda (Garage Living client) created a home gym workout space in her garage. She created a series of garage gym workouts. See an example below.

There are more resources for working out at home than ever before:

  • instructional exercise videos on YouTube
  • virtual workout classes via Zoom
  • websites with workout tips, exercise routines, and nutritional advice from fitness pros
  • fitness and activity tracking apps for your phone and watch, to keep you motivated

3. Home gyms are healthier

The local gym or community center can be a liability to your health. A recent headline from the Washington Post caught our attention – Your gym is teeming with invisible members: Germs.

The article says that “studies have found that the surfaces of treadmills, weight machines, and other typical equipment are teeming with bacteria and other infectious germs.”

Numerous studies have shown that most public gyms have poor hygiene standards. Exercise equipment, water fountains, pools, showers, and locker rooms are just a few of the things in your local gym that are loaded with germs.

During a pandemic, it’s probably not a good idea to stand near anyone who is on a treadmill. Most gyms do a good job to maintain their air quality but nothing is safer than your own bubble.

4. Improve your mental and physical health

Maybe you’re already adjusting to being home full-time, taking on extra responsibilities with home-schooling and child care. That’s a lot of added stress. Just dealing with day-to-day life has been trying for everyone.

Having a home gym is a great way to reduce stress and anxiety, lose weight, build muscle, and boost your immune system.

5. Exclusive membership

There are no expensive gym memberships with a garage gym. Say goodbye to expensive memberships and renewal fees. Use that money to invest in the exercise equipment that is right for you.

Fitness clubs do have their place. Some people join for the social aspect but if you prefer the privacy of your own home, then a garage gym is right for you.

6. Your whole family can workout together

From the social benefits to the physical health benefits, sharing a workout makes the hard work more enjoyable.

7. No line ups

It’s leg day. You’re at the gym and all of the leg press machines are being used. You consider asking someone if you can ‘work in’ a set but nobody is lifting the same weight as you. So you wait until a machine becomes free.

In your home gym there are:

  • no line ups for machines
  • no sign-up sheets
  • no schedules to work around

You’ll experience fewer hassles and get through your workouts in less time.

8. Your garage is a great place for a home gym

Now that every spare room in your home has become an office or schoolroom, the garage is a brilliant place to create a home gym.

You won’t be using that guest room for company any time soon, so make the best use of what you have. A dedicated workout space is practical and requires no set up such as moving furniture out of the way. If you have a large enough garage, you may be able to work out and still park your vehicles comfortably.

9. You may actually go to the gym, now

A survey of 5,313 American gym members by Statistic Brain Research Institute found that:

  • 63% of memberships go completely unused
  • 82% of gym members go to the gym less than 1 time per week
  • 22% completely stop going 6 months into their membership

There are pretty good odds you will use your own gym more often.

10. No gym rats

If you’ve ever gone to the gym regularly you’re familiar with the gym rats. Some like to grunt loudly while others scream out so you know they are lifting an insane amount of weight.

You might find it amusing at first but this routine grows old quickly. Another favorite gym user is the sweaty monster that never wipes down the equipment after using it.

With your own gym, you make the rules.

If you are that person – the beloved gym rat – everyone will be happy you chose to build a home garage gym instead!

11. Your garage is versatile

Your garage can be so much more than just an indoor parking space. It can be used to store sporting equipment, garbage, recycling, yard tools, bikes, spare tires, etc. Surprisingly, many people use the garage to store empty boxes and useless clutter.

With expert planning and great design, your garage can become a multi-purpose space – a workshop, fitness room, or even a home classroom.

12. Customization

Whether you want to use the space for lifting free weights, cardio machines, kettlebells, or yoga, you can customize the space for your fitness regimen. Setting up a garage gym is easier than you might think.

The problem with many garage gyms is that they look terrible. The drywall and floors are usually unfinished. The storage space is inadequate or nonexistent.

Refinishing the entire garage properly, with a new floor, slatwall storage, and cabinetry can take a garage from mediocre to amazing!

Long after the pandemic is over, a garage gym can be a valuable extension of your home’s living space and enjoyed for years to come.

13. You’re the boss

You can set your own hours of operation. It’s your home gym so you can use it 24/7, whenever you want. You’ll love the convenience.

Contact us to learn more

Your garage is capable of being one of the most versatile spaces in the home. The key to unlocking its full potential is to have it designed with your lifestyle in mind.

Garage Living can help you transform your garage into a home gym space that is designed for your needs. Request a free in-home or virtual design consultation today. There’s a whole lot more living in your garage to discover.

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How To Transform Your Unfinished Garage Into More Usable Space

woman in garage working out on exercise bike

Your home garage provides room for parking vehicles and organized storage. Some people use it as a hobby space or a home gym.

A home garage should be able to do all of these things. Does yours?

Unfortunately, excess clutter in many unfinished garages makes this impossible. If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to improve your home in some way, start with transforming your garage.

According to a Wall Street Journal survey, only 11% of homeowners don’t want to improve their garage in some way. Owning a home with an organized garage is something most homeowners want. They just never get around to making it happen.

Begin the new year by getting organized, starting with your garage. Here are several ways to transform your garage into a usable space that you can be proud of.

Get rid of the junk

If your garage is filled with junk, you might be among the 24% of homeowners who are embarrassed to leave their garage doors open, according to an Impulse Research survey.

A cluttered and unfinished garage is a common sight in many homes.

Why do we let the valuable space in our garage fill up with worthless junk? Most of us would prefer to park our vehicles in the garage instead of the driveway.

Clutter multiplies quickly. Before long, it is out of control. Try following the “one year rule” when you tidy up your garage. If something hasn’t been used in the last year, do you really need it?

Get rid of the junk in your garage. It will free up floor space and make it easier to keep things tidy.

Upgrade your garage floor

If you still have a dusty, unfinished garage floor, it’s time for an upgrade. An attractive, finished garage floor has a huge impact on transforming your garage.

A garage floor coating will protect your floor and make it much easier to clean. It will also increase the value of your garage. Without getting too technical, your main choices are epoxy or polyaspartic.

A polyaspartic floor coating, like Garage Living’s Floortex™ floor coating system, provides the best protection. It can be applied in less than a day, even during the cold winter months.

New garage floor with white Range Rover driving into garage on snowy day.

Garage Living’s Floortex™ floor coating system can be applied during cold winter months.

Without adequate protection, your garage floor will begin to crack, crumble, and wear away over time. Pitting is one example of how the surface degrades, as many small indentations start to show on the floor. Spalling (where the surface crumbles or flakes away) is another example.

Floortex™ floor coatings are engineered to keep your floor looking like new, for years to come.

Garage cabinetry helps prevents clutter

Not everything has to hang from the walls in your garage. Adding cabinets is a great way to store:

  • tools
  • smaller items
  • trash and recycling bins
  • a shop vac or compressor
  • valuables or dangerous chemicals you want locked up

Custom cabinet systems are worth the extra cost. Compared to off-the-shelf cabinets from big-box stores, they provide a more precise fit in your garage and look nicer. The higher-quality materials and craftsmanship they’re made with also provide smoother functionality and longer life.

Another overlooked reason to use cabinetry in the garage is your stored items are kept hidden. Eliminating visual clutter preserves the orderly appearance of a garage.

Use the garage walls for storage

Garage walls are commonly used for hanging storage, but not to their full potential.

Maximize the storage space in your garage by using slatwall panels. They are precisely cut to fit your garage’s dimensions (including cutouts for wall switches, outlets, central vac tubing, etc).

The horizontal groove design and the slatwall accessories make it a breeze to organize your things. As your storage needs change, you can move your hooks and shelves around with ease.

garage slatwall panel wall storage in garage

Customize your wall storage with over 40 slatwall accessories.

Slatwall panels aren’t just for better functionality, either. They give an unfinished garage a clean and polished look. Choose from eight colors to match your cabinetry or flooring.

And with the more than 40 types of hanging accessories Garage Living carries, you won’t have any issues finding the perfect specialized accessory to satisfy most of your wall hanging requirements.

Overhead storage for seasonal items

Not only are most garage walls underutilized, so are their ceiling spaces. You only have to look up in most garages to discover more storage space.

plastic storage bins in garage overhead storage racks

Storage bins in heavy-duty overhead storage racks are a great way to hide clutter.

Overhead storage racks help to keep your garage floor clutter-free. Their durable construction lets you store heavy items. They are also adjustable and come in different lengths.

Here are a few items that are perfect for garage overhead storage:

  • patio furniture
  • sporting equipment
  • storage bins (great for hiding clutter)
  • holiday decorations
  • winter tires

Double your parking space with a car lift

If space is at a premium in your garage, it may be difficult to park more than one vehicle. Off-site vehicle storage might seem like your only option, but that can be expensive in the long run.

Consider investing in a 4 post car lift that enables you to double your parking space.

double car lift with parked cars

Car collectors will love the convenience of having vehicles nearby and ready to drive.

Car lifts are also useful for storing cars that are only driven during certain times of the year. With an attachment, your lift can also store:

  • boats and jet skis
  • snowmobiles
  • all-terrain vehicles
  • other bulky seasonal items

And if you like to work on your vehicle, a car lift is the best way to get underneath it easily.

Hire an experienced garage remodel company

Creating a nicer garage interior with more usable space is worth the time and expense. To achieve this goal, who you choose to do your garage makeover will be the single biggest decision you’ll make with the project.

There are a number of important things to look for in a garage remodel company. Successfully and efficiently executing a plan for a garage makeover requires years of expertise.

Garage Living installer applying slatwall panels to a garage wall.

A Garage Living installer applying slatwall panels to a garage wall.

Over the past decade-and-a-half, Garage Living has completed thousands of makeover projects across the U.S. and Canada. The professional, high-end look of the transformed garages pictured here and on our website are the result of all of that experience and because of the high-quality products we use.

Bring us your design ideas. We’ll work together and within your budget to make your garage a destination that gives you enjoyment every time you drive into it.

Love your garage space!

Don’t be embarrassed about your garage. Be proud of having an organized garage with more usable space that also looks great.

Don’t forget that an open garage impacts your curb appeal. Neighbors and passersby notice a garage interior that’s messy, unfinished, and has décor that’s outdated. This is a big reason 52% of homeowners want to own a garage their neighbors envy, according to a Thompson’s Company study.

Schedule a free design consultation with us this new year to start planning a strategy to create a nicer garage interior you’ll enjoy for many years to come.

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Luxury Car Garage Storage: 5 Ways To Create a Stunning Garage

If you own luxury cars, chances are that you live in an upscale home. 

The garage tends to be the last area in luxury homes to get remodeled, which makes the room stick out like a sore thumb in two ways.

First, there’s the fact that a boring, shabby-looking luxury car garage storage space is the wrong type of setting for parking high-end vehicles.

A Porsche or Lamborghini are works of art and beautiful artwork isn’t displayed in a setting that looks cut-rate. Even magnificent cars like those will lose some of their visual “wow factor” when parked in an unfinished garage that lacks any appealing décor.

Second, having an unattractive garage that doesn’t match the same high design standards that have been established throughout the rest of your house only detracts from your home’s overall visual appeal.

Garage remodel or car storage facility?

Some luxury car owners who keep adding to their collection of vehicles end up turning to luxury car storage facilities when their garage can no longer handle their storage needs.

Creating the perfect luxury car garage storage space right in your own home is easier than you might think.

One of our clients recently discovered this when we remodeled their garage so it would better complement the high-end appearance of their luxury vehicles more and give them more car storage space. 

Solutions like installing car lifts, adding some cutting-edge décor, and upgrading the storage systems transformed the garage into a showroom-quality space. We’ll get into more details about the remodel below.

Drawbacks to luxury car storage facilities

There are two main drawbacks to using a luxury car storage facility – cost and convenience.

Expensive

Using luxury car storage facilities is expensive and any type of rental arrangement is never a tangible investment that provides any long-term benefits for the renter.

We expect that if you can afford luxury vehicles and have enough of them that offsite storage is being considered in the first place, however, that the extra expense of storing your vehicles isn’t an issue. Even still, regardless of how much money is in your bank account, no one likes to waste money.

Those security guards, climate control costs, and a more upscale aesthetic compared to a standard car storage facility don’t come cheaply. Neither do the extra services many luxury car storage facilities offer, such as valet delivery, monthly vehicle status reports sent to the car owner, car-washing and detailing, and regular vehicle maintenance.

Here are the approximate starting prices for keeping a single car at some luxury vehicle storage facilities in a few select cities:

  • Dallas: $275 USD
  • Miami: $380 USD
  • Detroit: $320 USD
  • Toronto: $325 CAD
  • Vancouver: $300 CAD

Inconvenient

Another big negative of not having enough luxury car garage storage space at home and having to use a remote storage facility is the inconvenience.

Even if a car storage facility has vehicle pickup and drop-off services, you need to schedule an appointment. Also, most vehicle owners are uneasy with anyone outside of their family driving their car – especially if it’s very expensive!

It’s impractical to keep luxury cars parked in a different location where you can’t appreciate and admire their beauty.

We’re not saying all luxury vehicle storage facilities are bad. They’re useful if your garage is small and expanding the size isn’t an option or if the maximum number of car lifts are installed in it. And they make sense if you’re just a really serious auto enthusiast whose collection has outgrown even a large home garage.

Unless any of the above issues apply to your situation, however, there is no reason you can’t have your car collection stored right under your own roof. 

Here are five ways to create a stunning garage for your luxury vehicles.

1. Add car lifts to store more luxury vehicles in your garage

double car lift with parked cars

Car lifts are a more practical and cost-effective storage solution than undergoing a garage expansion project or keeping some of your cars at a storage facility.

Any construction project that involves expanding the size of a garage is going to be expensive, messy, lengthy, inconvenient to your family, and require dealing with local zoning laws. 

Adding one or more car lifts to a garage is the best way to increase your home’s available parking space.

The ceiling space in most garages goes unused, which car lifts take advantage of (provided the ceiling is a minimum height of about 10 feet).

By allowing a vehicle to be parked on a raised platform above another vehicle, you double each available parking space in the garage with each lift that is added. A 2-car garage effectively becomes a 4-car garage, for example.  

The spacious garage featured here is approximately 1,120 square feet and can store six vehicles, so there is a wealth of luxury car garage storage space if the homeowner adds to their auto collection.

A double car lift setup helps keep most of the ample garage floor space open, which makes driving in and out of the garage and parking easier. It also creates more space for other non-traditional garage uses, which we’ll get into later. 

Car lifts are also ideal for parking vehicles that aren’t driven on a regular basis, such as a luxury sports car or classic car owned by someone living in a northern climate who wants to store it for the winter. With a car lift, your lesser-driven vehicles won’t take up the garage’s prime parking spots.

When you can conveniently keep all of your vehicles right in your own garage, why waste money on luxury car storage fees?

2. Showcase your luxury cars

luxury cars on car lifts

Car lifts create more parking space and let you to display and showcase your luxury vehicles. Pictured are a Corvette ZR1, Lamborghini Aventador, and Porsche GT2 RS.

Car lifts have more functionality than just creating more garage parking space – they’re a great tool that allows you to showcase your vehicles, too.

Elevating some of your cars creates a more impressive sight than if you had a collection of, say, four or five cars parked at floor level in a garage. The vehicles parked behind other vehicles are less visible and their true beauty can’t be fully admired.

In a way, you could look at car lifts as display platforms that enable high-end car collectors to display the vehicles they cherish to their best effect, especially when surrounded by tasteful upgrades to the garage’s interior décor.

A luxury car garage storage space that uses car lifts also stands out because although lifts made for residential use aren’t exactly new, they’re still fairly uncommon in garages. These impressive devices are a talking point in and of themselves, even without an exotic sports car parked on them!

If your garage is as large as this one, you could even have an extra car lift or two installed during a remodel to accommodate vehicles you’re looking to add to your collection. 

3. Make your garage interior luxurious

Most homeowners don’t associate the word “luxurious” with a garage interior, but that’s only because the concept of high-end garage décor is relatively new. 

Garages should look as nice as any other part of the home, especially since so many of us primarily enter and exit our main living space through the garage.

Upgrading your garage interior creates a nicer-looking transitional space. It also creates a true extension of your home’s living space that makes you feel more comfortable. And when you factor in owning luxury cars, there is even more reason to make your garage look gorgeous!

As seen in the “Before” photo below, this garage had a dull, monochromatic look and needed some decorative flair to upgrade the room’s aesthetic.

Before the garage remodel

Garage Living added a Nightfall Floortex™ floor coating with decorative flakes and a glossy finish that adds visual appeal to the room and nicely complements the cars’ high-end look. This durable polyaspartic floor coating provides superior protection to an epoxy floor and is easier to maintain.

In addition to providing wall hanging space, the surrounding grey slatwall gives the room a tidy, consistent look. The lower black slatwall strips provide a nice visual contrast and incorporate LED ribbon lighting for extra visual interest.

Here are some more décor-related upgrades that were part of this luxury car garage remodel:

  • Numerous pot lights replaced the outdated incandescent bulb lighting to brighten the room and showcase the luxury cars in the best light – literally!
  • A fresh coat of white ceiling paint gives the garage a clean look, makes the room feel more relaxing (one of several benefits of using white paint), and reflects light better.
  • A Floortex™ baseboard coating around the garage’s perimeter creates a more seamless aesthetic between the floor and walls of the room.
  • A GL Custom Steel cabinet system adds a further infusion of high-end style to the garage’s appearance. A pressure washer and its two hoses are kept hidden behind some cabinet doors to preserve the room’s tidy look.
  • New garage doors were installed to upgrade one of the home’s most noticeable exterior features and boost curb appeal. The doors have obscure glass panels that provide privacy while allowing natural light in.

To get more examples of what a garage interior is capable of looking like, browse through our Designer Series. It has seven exclusive themes of pre-chosen color palettes and design materials that help simplify the garage design process for you.

After the garage remodel

4. Keep the garage organized and maximize its storage

A luxury garage won’t look so luxurious if it’s untidy, so investing in high-quality storage systems is a must.

We offer numerous solutions that allow homeowners to maximize their garage’s storage space. Working with garage remodel pros like Garage Living allows you to make the best use of the room’s storage space and have it designed accordingly to fit your family’s needs.

We’ve already mentioned how our storage systems contribute to the modern, stylish look of luxury garages. Here’s how they maximize your storage space and give garages more functionality.

luxury garage cabinets

High-quality garage cabinets contribute to a luxury garage’s upscale look and expand your storage options.

Garage wall storage

Your garage walls are your biggest asset when it comes to finding more garage storage space. As you can see in these photos, slatwall creates lots of hanging space for bikes and other types of sports equipment, ladders, tools, apparel, and anything else capable of being hung up.

Overhead storage

Just as car lifts get more use out of a garage’s underutilized ceiling space, so do overhead storage racks. They’re ideal for storing bulky items like storage bins and out-of-season items that you don’t want sitting on the garage floor.

Garage cabinets

Garage storage cabinets expand your storage options and provide space for keeping valuables and hazardous materials that you’d prefer to be locked up. This garage’s cabinet system is wall-mounted and was customized to include drawers beneath the locker doors.

A stainless steel countertop, sink with a pullout faucet, and a mounted 4K TV gives the garage extra functionality as a workspace.

Multipurpose space

With an organized garage, you can use it for things besides parking vehicles and home storage. Making your garage work harder (and more efficiently) as a storage space opens up opportunities for using the room as a workshop, exercise space, or even as a home relaxation area.

5. Make your garage more secure

It’s a wonder that so many luxury cars get parked in driveways instead of the garage. This is usually because there is too much clutter in the garage, an all-too-common issue that causes about 25% of homeowners to park outdoors most of the time.

luxury garage interior

Protect your luxury car investments by making your garage as secure as possible.

Not only are cars and trucks left exposed to the elements, but they’re also much more vulnerable to theft and vandalism. 

Once a garage is organized so you can park indoors, there are numerous other ways to keep your luxury cars safer when they’re parked inside:

  • Install smart wireless security cameras with motion sensors outside your garage doors and inside the room that can be accessed through your smartphone.
  • Invest in a good garage alarm system.
  • Keep the garage doors locked (which sounds obvious, but you’d be amazed at how many homeowners fail to do so). A keyless garage entry system is also worth considering.
  • Upgrade your home’s exterior lighting around the garage to provide better lighting coverage that will deter burglars.
  • Limit the garage interior’s visibility from the outside by using opaque treatments on windows or window coverings.
  • Upgrade your garage door openers to take advantage of convenient features like smart MyQ technology that lets you monitor and control your doors remotely via a smartphone app.
  • Invest in a sturdier, more secure exterior garage access door.

Create your one-of-a-kind luxury car garage storage space

Garage Living specializes in designing one-of-a-kind luxury car garage storage spaces just like this one. 

We can help you get a lot more out of your garage, both in terms of how it looks and functions. And we can accomplish this in less time than you might think. 

In as little as 3-5 days, we can complete a full garage remodel. A flooring project can be done in only 1-2 days.

Schedule a free design consultation with us to get your dream garage project started.

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See more photos from this garage and get more details about what went into the remodel by viewing this gallery. You can also take a highly detailed 360° tour of the garage by visiting here.