Get the Look for Less: Garage Organization
You've seen those man-cave garages in commercials and movies, but how on earth could you go from your existing avalanche-in-waiting to a sleek magazine worthy stylish garage?
Believe it or not, it is possible. It may take some elbow grease, but it doesn't have to be expensive. Try out some of these great tips to make your garage the envy of the neighbourhood.
Step one, clean it out and purge. Get rid of anything you don't want or need or that doesn't work. If you feel guilty throwing it away, put it on Kijiji Free and let someone else get some use out of it.
The next step is optional: paint. Paint the floor and the walls. A dark floor and light walls creates an illusion of space. Even if the inside of your garage is unfinished wood, painting it a matching light colour, or staining it all to match will make it look like you've done it that way on purpose.
Now, to put everything back inside...
You'll notice that a lot of garage interiors that were professionally designed almost look like kitchens, only darker. The workbench resembles a kitchen counter, the storage looks a lot like kitchen cupboards. So, a quick and inexpensive trick to immediately make your garage look like a pro designed it is to go on Kijiji and find second hand kitchen cabinetry that someone is getting rid of after a kitchen remodel. If you're not having any luck there, check with someone who does kitchen renos to see if they have any leads on old cabinetry being thrown away. You can pick up everything you need on the cheap, and a lot of people will even deliver if you don't have access to a truck. Grab a can of exterior paint for extra durability (you don't need to worry so much about low VOC since you are working outside of your main dwelling - just make sure to keep a window or door open for ventilation while you work). A great look for a garage is to paint the main cabinets black and the doors dark grey.
Second Hand Wardrobes offer another level of storage, and can also be found for very low prices in second hand stores and classified sites. And if you paint them to match your new-to-you "kitchen" cabinetry, this will start to look like you have invested a lot of money in your impressive new garage. Keep it really sleek by ensuring you align the tops of any wall-mounted cupboards flush with the top of your armoires. Not only will this look amazing, it will also offer another level of vertical storage.
Peg or slat board is tried, tested and true for any workshop or garage, and can also be found at very low prices when you buy it second-hand from stores that are going out of business or have recently renovated. Peg board gets a bad name because it can look kind of mediocre. Give it a coat of the same dark grey as your cupboard doors, or cherry red for great contrast and you will have the ultimate storage area for all of your tools, no matter the size.
Store bikes vertically instead of horizontally to free up extra space. Bike storage hooks can be bought online or even at Canadian Tire, and are much cheaper than buying a storage rack - often even cheaper than the materials you'd need to build your own. Simply install on the wall of your garage, and your bike hangs from the front wheel rim. This is an excellent way to store bikes, especially if you have a few. It also looks really professional.
Of course you will still have plenty of odds and ends that need separate storage. After all, the Christmas lights just wouldn't look right draped across pegboard hooks. So the final tip to keep your garage stylish is to make your other storage containers match. You could put totes all the way across the top of your new cupboards and armoires, and as long as they are all the same style, they'll look great! For this, you're best to wait for a sale. Watch the ads and check online, and when ones you like go on sale, swoop. Buy them all and then go back for a raincheck just in case you need more. As you can see in the top image, keeping it all consistent will just make the whole thing feel cleaner. Now go get that look for less!