The title of ugliest room in my house is a hotly contested one, or at least it was when we first got this place. But our garage easily takes the crown. It is a dark, graffiti-ed, pitted, holey mess… or, as we like to say, it is sure full of potential.
Why am I showing you this? Aren’t home improvement blogs supposed to be aspirational?
Well, now that we’ve finished some basic painting and updates to our library/guest room space, the garage is next on the list for a DIY transformation. And I’m terrified. So let’s take a look at what we’re dealing with!
The garage is long. If we cleared it out completely, we’d be able to park two cars end-to-end. However, it is also very narrow, such that it is hard to park the car so car doors can open on both sides. That makes the wide side shelf of splintery old wood and rusty metal particularly useful.
… if by useful you mean a great place to indefinitely put things that we should hurry up and take to the town hazardous waste disposal day, already. I can’t wait to take this thing down and add some thinner storage with designated uses.
The garage is where we store all of our gardening tools and supplies. The previous owner installed a board with rusty nails to hang rakes and shovels from, which is mostly functional if not attractive.
We also keep smaller items, like gardening gloves and clippers, on a little set of shelves toward the back.
We’re actually reasonably neat people, but this sort of set-up just doesn’t give the “everything in its place” vibe.
In the back, we have a huge workbench left by the previous owner, which is probably the single heaviest piece of furniture I have ever seen. It’s very handy but not super attractive. We’ve almost always got some project out here drying, curing, or off-gassing – like our side table made from a thrift store plastic cactus that we wrote about last week. I’d definitely like to keep this thing if I can figure out how to make it look a little better.
Just looking at that photo gives me anxiety. I’m sorry to put you through this. It is a very claustrophobic space because of the hose storage overhead. And I DON’T KNOW IF YOU NOTICED BUT NOTHING IS CENTERED. (The workbench is too heavy to move, and there are some wall outlets that get in the way of centering the cubbies.) We’ll be figuring out how to open this up and put in some good symmetrical shelving and other storage back here.
I am just dying to make some aesthetic upgrades, from hiding the exposed insulation, to painting over the graffiti, to fixing up the peeling wall and loose cords.
But before we can even think about that, we’ll have to fix the floor, which is cement, but has been worn down over time and is pitted and holey.
We’ll also have to figure out how to fill and patch the random holes that we have in the walls and ceiling, and to run electrical that doesn’t make me think my house will burn down. (We did have an electrician in to check it out, though, so don’t worry.)
I have to say I’m pretty nervous. This is definitely the worst space we’ve taken on with just our own DIY efforts, and we’ll need to learn a whole lot of new methods and materials to get it into shape. But we’ll be so glad when we’re done! We’re actually in here quite a bit all year round – doing and storing projects, getting garden/yard care supplies, parking the car, fetching wood for the fire, etc. It will be such a relief to have this be a
pleasant non-anxiety-attack-inducing place to be.
So now on to the fun part: inspiration! Because obviously the first step of any sound DIY project is spending a whole of of time on the internet.
That’s not sarcasm.
I would love to bring in some functional but attractive tool storage, like Shannon of AKA Design did in her garage makeover.
I love how it is functional and still “garage,” but attractive and organized, with space for a lot of different types of tools.
Pegboards might be the way to go, or we might put up some track storage like this image from A Beautiful Mess.
I also really love the painted half-wall, and the bright, clean colors. That would sure be an improvement on our current color palette…
Oh, wait, how did that ugly photo get in the middle of the inspiration section? Sorry. I’m a little fixated on getting rid of that graffiti.
I love the white, black, and yellow look, but am also considering something a little tamer, like this simple white, gray and blue look from I Heart Organizing.
I love how clean and calm it looks, and also how the black fixtures and hardware really stand out.
But I am most excited about taking on the floor. After we fix the surface, I would love to paint and seal it so it is bright, pretty, and shiny. We could go with just a solid, happy color, like a blue or turquoise, like this one from Dans le Lakehouse.
Or I could go all out and stencil a pattern on the floor as if it were beautiful tile, like Tasha at Designer Trapped in a Lawyers Body did in her kitchen.
Because obviously I should continue to play out my obsession with patterned tile by painting floors, designing shower curtains, and wallpapering my backsplash, rather than, you know, actually tiling something.
I am also considering painting a rug (like this one by Rebecca at You Are Talking Too Much) onto the floor right under where we park the car. I think that would be a super fun way to mark the parking spot!
Or that could be waaaay more work than anyone should ever put into a garage floor. OR, it could be the most awesome garage floor anyone has ever seen. What do you think?
I’m quite nervous about the scale of this project, but so excited to jump in. With this space, there is no where to go but up!