When you only use your garage to park the car and store your lawnmower, you may not care much about its appearance. However, once you decide to repurpose your garage as a playroom, home office, gym or workshop, the stained concrete floors, exposed wall studs and messy piles of gardening tools get old quickly. Making your garage more attractive doesn’t necessarily have to cost a ton of money. Even one or two small changes can make all the difference in how space looks.
Garages provide room for parking, storage, function as the main access point in and out of the home, and can be used as a hobby space.
Or at least they should be able to do all of these things.
Unfortunately, excess clutter sitting in many garages limits their functionality. It makes this part of the home (which is already overlooked when it comes to making décor upgrades) look visually unappealing.
If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to improve your home in some way, why not focus on transforming your garage’s interior look from drab to fab?
The garage is often neglected messy space. With a little organization and a few handy projects, though, we can get much more use out of our garages and also modernize them. Here are our top garage upgrade ideas.
Toss the junk
The best justification for getting your garage organized is this:
Why is junk that’s covered in dust and barely (or never) used taking storage priority in your garage over your expensive vehicles that are being used daily?
It’s a simple fact that having a nicer garage interior doesn’t happen unless the junk that’s been accumulating over many years in the space is eliminated. Follow the “one year rule” that can be applied to any space being tidied up, whether it’s a closet, workspace, or junk drawer: if you haven’t used an item for a year or more, do you need it?
Tossing your junk to free up floor space and also make the garage easier to clean automatically makes the room more aesthetically appealing. But that’s just the first step. Now it’s time to transform the garage into a home showpiece!
Put your makeover project in the hands of a pro
Do you want to know what the single biggest decision you can make is when planning how to achieve your goal of a nicer garage interior? It’s who you choose to do your garage makeover project.
Successfully and efficiently executing a plan for a garage remodel requires years of expertise. 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 garages pictured here and on our website are the result of all that experience and because of the high-quality products we use.
Bring us your design ideas, and we’ll work together within your budget to make your garage a destination you’ll enjoy driving into every time you return home.
A showroom-quality floor creates a nicer garage interior
An attractive garage floor has a much bigger impact on how space looks than you might think. Until the past 10-15 years, a garage floor was seen as a grey and featureless utilitarian surface.
Modern floor coatings that are professionally applied have been a game-changer for garage aesthetics, however.
High-quality products like Floortex™ polyaspartic floor coatings add a clean, consistent look to a garage’s floor surface and can be customized with designer colours that produce a showroom quality appearance.
If you live in a colder climate, you don’t have to worry about delaying your garage makeover project until the spring or summer in order to have the floor done. One of the many advantages that polyaspartic coatings have over epoxy floor coatings is that they can be applied year-round, in virtually any type of temperature.
Eliminate floor clutter
Okay, so you’ve tossed all of that junk that was hindering your ability to do much in your garage. That’s only half the battle when it comes to having a clutter-free garage, though.
For all of the yard tools, hand tools, automotive supplies, and other things you need to store, establish a set-in-stone rule that the garage floor is off-limits for any storage.
That may go against the conventional wisdom you’ve lived with your whole life, as well as how most people use their garages. But unless you have a very small single-car garage space, there’s room to store everything in your garage and not have a single stored item aside from your vehicles touching the floor. Really. Just keep reading to find out how to make this happen.
And with an empty garage floor, you won’t need to worry about causing damage to items left on the floor or your vehicle when driving in and out of the garage. You’ll have ample space to comfortably park and get in and out of your car or truck.
Besides, if you’ve invested in getting a shiny new garage floor coating applied, why would you want to cover it up with clutter anyway?
Use the garage walls for more storage
A garage can have the latest and most stylish décor, but that won’t mean anything if there aren’t proper storage systems in place, so the room stays tidy.
Using high-quality storage systems to keep tools, sports equipment, and other items off the floor goes hand in hand with establishing and maintaining a nicer garage interior.
Garage walls are commonly used for hanging storage, but not to their full ability. Slatwall panels that are precisely cut to fit your garage’s dimensions (including cutouts for wall switches, outlets, central vac tubing, etc.) will add a wealth of storage space, making floor clutter a distant memory.
They’re not just functional, either. Our PVC Slatwall panels give an unfinished garage a clean and finished look, which is a lot more desirable than having exposed studs or unpainted drywall that’s scuffed and dirty.
Use hanging storage that’s more versatile
It’s nice to have the wall hanging space you need to store your things. It’s even nicer to be able to change your wall’s storage layout with ease to accommodate your ever-changing storage needs when seasons change or new tools need a home.
The horizontal groove design of Slatwall panels and Slatwall hanging accessories makes it a breeze to rearrange how your things are hung up, especially when compared to cheaper pegboard panels and hanging accessories.
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.
See all that empty ceiling space? Use it!
Not only are most garage walls underutilized, so are their ceiling spaces. You only have to look upwards in most garages to discover unused space that can be converted into valuable storage.
Adding overhead ceiling racks further enables you to keep the garage floor clutter-free, particularly because they can store items that are bulky and heavy.
Here are just a few items that are tailor-made for ceiling rack storage:
- out-of-season patio furniture
- camping and sports equipment
- plastic storage bins
- off-season tire sets (wall-mounted tire racks are another option)
Cabinets keep things tidy and hidden
Not everything has to hang from the walls. Adding cabinets to your garage is a great way to store smaller items, trash and recycling bins, shop vac or compressor, and valuables or dangerous chemicals you want to be 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, look nicer, and use higher quality materials for smoother functionality and longer life.
Another overlooked reason to use more cabinetry storage in the garage is your stored items are kept hidden. Eliminating visual clutter preserves the orderly appearance of a garage.
Create storage zones, so things are easy to find
One of the most frustrating things about trying to function in a disorganized garage is the amount of time that gets wasted looking for things.
It is setting up storage zones with your storage systems that groups like items together is a practical time-saver that removes the guesswork with locating a specific tool or accessory when they’re needed.
Of course, the system only works if things are put back in the right place, but that becomes easier to do if everything has a dedicated home that is easily accessible.
For items that don’t need to be moved due to a change in season, use labels to mark their permanent homes. That makes it even harder for anyone using the garage not to put something back where it belongs!
Protect the garage floor
A good floor coating doesn’t merely contribute to a nicer garage interior look, and it also provides much-needed protection for a garage’s concrete floor.
All of that wear and tear on a garage floor from cars coming and going, foot traffic, dirt and dust buildup, water, road salt, and spills or leaks from damaging chemicals take a toll.
Without adequate surface protection, the floor will slowly begin to crack, crumble, and wear away over time, producing dust-like fine particles that make the garage dirtier.
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 a garage floor looking pristine for many years. Their structural durability includes providing much better resistance to impacts and abrasions than epoxy coatings. The occurrence of permanent markings caused by hot tires is also minimized.
Updating your garage’s dirty concrete floor is an easy way to make the space more attractive. Depending on your budget, there are a variety of options to choose from. Painting is the least costly option and can easily hide grease and oil stains. Use an epoxy coat paint for a durable, stain-resistant finish. When you have more money to spend, you can cover the floor with tile. Simple peel-and-stick vinyl tiles are easy to install and come in a variety of colours that allow you to customize the floor’s look. Rubber tiles are more costly, but they feel softer underfoot and may be a better option if you’re using your garage for a playroom or exercise space.
When your garage has unfinished walls, you’re not going to have a very appealing space. Finishing the walls makes the garage feel like more of a room instead of a utilitarian space and allows you to paint for a brighter, warmer look. If you’re comfortable with do-it-yourself projects, finishing the walls isn’t that difficult either. You should add insulation first if you plan to use the space as a playroom, office, gym or another recreational area, topping it with drywall. When you’re finishing the walls, consider adding windows at the same time. They’ll allow natural light into the garage, so it’s brighter and more inviting.
Traditional garage doors serve a purpose, but they lack aesthetic charm. When you plan to use your garage for more than parking your car, you may want to replace the ugly door with a more decorative option. French doors are ideal for a garage. They have a much more attractive appearance than typical garage doors, and they allow plenty of natural light to filter into space. To create a little privacy for your garage, just pair your French doors with blinds or shades that you can easily open and close.
Even if you plan to use your garage as a catch-all for yard tools, seasonal decorations, sports equipment and other odds and ends, space looks more attractive if it’s neat and organized. Improving your storage options can help reduce clutter and ensure that you can find whatever you need when you need it. Look for ways to move storage from the floor to the walls. Mount a piece of pegboard on the wall near your workbench to conveniently hang tools. You can also add wall-mounted shelves to hold plastic bins for holiday decorations, your children’s beach toys and other smaller items. When your garage has to store several bikes, add bicycle storage hooks to the ceiling to keep the bikes off the floor. Hooks and brackets also work well for storing other large items like your suspension ladder and wheelbarrow on the ceiling or wall.
Nothing puts a quicker end to working in the garage than frigid temperatures made worse by a lack of insulation. But before you think about plugging in a heater, try sealing the space against drafts. Replace the rubber gasket on the bottom of the garage door and put new weatherstripping around any other doors. While you’re at it, fill gaps around garage windows with caulk. Sealing the garage will trap warm air, making for a more comfortable workspace.
Create Organizational Zones
To optimize the space in your garage, set aside separate zones for different types of items. For example, create one zone for sports paraphernalia like baseball gloves and tennis rackets, and another zone for garden tools like rakes and shovels. Zones nearest the door can be designated for items you often use, such as coats or pantry overflow.
Just because your garage is a functional space doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it. This cool layout from IKEA divides the space with the placement of furniture so that there’s a mini-workshop for bike repairs, a space to sit and have a coffee plus bags of storage for all the usual seasonal items like garden cushions and even delicate plants that can’t survive the winter. Some cool industrial-style lighting and a slick of sage green on the end wall makes this an inviting place to be.
Maintain your transformed garage space
Once your better-than-new garage is set up and looking pristine, the work doesn’t stop, unfortunately.
To keep it looking that way, get in the habit of decluttering and cleaning regularly. Every two or three months should suffice for your garage cleaning needs. Give it a more thorough cleaning (including washing the floor) at least once a year.
Luckily, keeping it organized will require less effort on your part if you use the storage and organization systems suggested here.
Also, be conscious of limiting all but essential new purchases of items that will be stored in the garage. Exercise more restraint during sales and don’t buy those things you might use one day, just because the price was too attractive.
This good practice will serve you well in preventing clutter from accumulating once again in the garage.
Create a nicer garage interior with these stylish upgrades
With everything we’ve covered about what’s required to achieve a nicer garage interior, we’ll leave you with one final thought: don’t forget that an open garage impacts your curb appeal.
Neighbours and passersby notice a garage interior that’s messy left unfinished and has outdated décor. This is a big reason 52% of homeowners want to own a garage their neighbour’s envy, according to a Thompson’s Company study.