Oh to have a garage again, well, kind of. We haven't parked a vehicle in our garage for about six years. I do remember what a novelty it was to get into our car before work and not feel frozen or melted, depending on the weather. But, overall I'm thankful that we have our woodshop workshop, and sending Sam out to heat up the van on a cold day isn't so bad.
When we look for a new house we all have a list of things that we want. Most of us would pay extra for a home with a garage. When we moved to Colorado the garage size was crucial when it came to making a decision.
As new homeowners, we move in and we start out with the best of intentions. We might do some crazy protective things like read a tonneau cover comparison to add extra safety on the road, get an expensive alarm system installed, and certainly keep our trucks in the garage every night. The garage stays clean, the house stays clean, and we keep the closets organized. But, as time goes by many of us get comfortable and our vehicles start to stay outdoors, and the garage becomes a messy storage unit. "Where should we put the garden tools?", "the garage". And before we know it we have to set aside an entire month to "organize the garage" to prepare for a "garage sale".
Instead of the chaos, why don't we make our garages a space of intention? There are several beautiful ways to maximize this unique space.
A garage can be transformed into a beautiful home office. It’s large, it has electrical outlets, and typically much higher ceilings. A beautiful rug can add warmth to the space, and if you're able to install a garage door with windows you'll receive plentiful natural light.
Now more of us are working at least some of the time from home and a garage can be the perfect division between home and office. If you still need garage space for storage, a few modern built-ins with cabinets can conceal the storage clutter. You can still have a lovely airy home office studio while storing some things away. And why not splurge on a coffee machine and a few yummy candles too!?
All homes could really use more creative space. We all are gifted and have interests that we want to pursue. If you create products for a living, a garage can become that perfect workshop, it's essentially a blank canvas. If you're a hobbyist, why not let your hobby flourish in the garage. There is enough room to share this space with the other hobbies in the family as well. Setup a small painting ateliér for your husband, and a cozy reading nook for yourself. With hobbies you are able to keep your mind active and your heart alive.
When we model creativity to our children we allow them to freely choose and explore their own creativity.
This can be challenging if your climate has extreme temperatures; you will need to install heating or air conditioning. If that's not a problem, a garage can make a beautiful guest retreat. Practically it can become the new bedroom for your eldest teen. The garage door can be replaced with secure doors that have windows to allow more natural light and circulation. If a contractor is in the budget you could have a bathroom installed as well.
A finished garage bedroom with a bathroom and a kitchenette could also become an excellent source of extra income for you, and a space for local college students to rent. (Keep in mind that converting a garage permanently can either help your harm the resale of your home.)
"Man Caves" are all the rage, but thankfully Sam isn't interested. They are essential an extension of bachelor living, and when you're no longer a bachelor why do you need this cave? That's his thinking anyways, haha. Whether you want a "man cave" or some type of space to gather and lounge, a garage can be ideal. As families grow in number the space seems to run thin along with the thinning budget. Having an additional space for the teens to gather, the guys, the gals, whomever, a gathering space will give everyone the space that they need.
If these ideas aren't for you, well, you can always park your cars in the garage. :)
*This is a collaborative post.