Well homebodies, this whole “enjoying the warmth, comfort and simple pleasures of being at home” thing is getting a little ridiculous.
With many of us starting to pull our hair out after having cleaned out the Netflix library of anything remotely watchable, littered the house with DIY craft projects, rearranged the furniture 7 times to get a different perspective, and eaten enough takeout calories to power a Space X rocket to Mars, it’s time to do something substantially productive; and, in the spirit of killing three birds with one hammer, something that will not only transform, but expand the played out living space you’re currently climbing the walls of, but give you a feeling of achievement as well as something else to do and somewhere else to hang out when you’re done! There’s one big catch – you need a garage.
What better way to shake up your homebody life rut than to transform a space that’s usually for parking the car (there’s a perfectly good driveway and/or roadside curb outside to do that) into something that you can enjoy – a getaway of sorts for those of us feeling more than a little trapped these days.
So here we go – 10 ways to transform your garage space into something more useful or fun. Choose the one that suits you best and get going! I mean, there’s no reason not to at this point – you got nothin’ but time!
- Home Gym
One of the most popular options for those looking to modify their garage space, this is a no-brainer for anyone with the desire to live a healthy life and keep fit – even when the gyms are closed. I’ll bet thousands of garage gym renos are underway across North America and beyond as you read this! For those on lockdown it’s the best and only gym option right now, but this is also great longer term for people who tend to make excuses about not having time to get to the gym. Make sure you order in not just a few dumbbells and a bench, but necessary materials to make it an experience you’ll really get into and enjoy. High quality floor mats to deaden the thus of dropped weights, some insulation and drywall if you’re living in a colder climate, and some wall-mounted racks for storage to keep it uncluttered.
- A Play Room for the Kids
If you are a) going bonkers from having the kids at home ALL THE TIME and b) feel guilty about letting them spend days on end in front of the TV, video game console or staring at their mobile phones, just to keep them out of your hair, then let me present option C! Make a space just for them to hang out and do activities that are NOT either damaging their eyes or drawing them into an alternate online universe they may never want to come back from. If this lockdown lemon can be made into lemonade, it could be in the form of an opportunity to let your kids enjoy some of the good old fashioned fun that helped us grow into the healthy, well-balanced creative geniuses we are! Spongy cushioned flooring, soundproof wall covering (that part is for us), a bookshelf with all of the classic books every kid should read. A long crafting table and bench for them to sit and do Lego, make doll outfits, model-building, build circuit boards, Play Dough, whatever DIY projects you and they can imagine. Some comfortable chairs for reading aforementioned books. Toys, a train set, even something to get them exercising, a kiddie basketball hoop, soccer net, jump ropes etc.
- Games and Sports Man Cave
Billiard table, darts, foosball, even a pingpong table or golf simulator if you’re rocking a double or triple car garage! How about the ultimate gaming setup? Cool.
- Workshop Man Cave
If you’re a handy type who likes to spend time building and fixing, optimize your garage to become a well-organized woodworking shop or mechanic’s lair. Organize the space first, having made a list of the tools and equipment you have or want to have in the future, then visualizing where it will all best fit to make an efficient and enjoyable workspace.
- Music Studio
Whether your thing is the cello or the slide guitar, put up some sound-proofing and comfortable flooring and rock out! There’s little better for taking your mind off of life stresses and sheer boredom than do dive into a good practice or jam session. Make sure you test out the acoustics not only in the room but how well you’re protecting the neighbors and family inside the house, for whom you’re practice may be more of a racket than a concert!
- Guest Bedroom
Is your living space taken up by you and the kids and your makeshift home office? Have you felt awkward in the past not being able to put up visiting relatives and friends, forcing them to shell out big bucks for a hotel? Have you thought about making a few extra bucks renting out a room? With a little effort you can turn than damp dusty garage space into something not only liveable, but comfortable and charming!
- Home Office
If you’ve dreamed of working from home but struggled with the idea that you won’t be as productive, this might be the perfect compromise. The garage is an extension of the house but not the house – it feels just separate enough – and far enough away from your normal living space, to let it feel like a true get down to business workspace.
- Yoga or Martial Arts Studio
What opposite yet congruent ideals: cultivating your abilities to stay in one place, slowly stretching your body into contorted static poses, versus flying through the air with kickass intent. What yoga and martial arts have in common is their emphasis on controlling the self, quieting and focusing the mind, improving oneself mentally, physically and spiritually. The requirements for the space you need are simple and similar. Good quality floormats and a clean, uncluttered space are enough to get you started!
- A Sports Bar / Pub
Miss hanging out with the locals watching the game at your favorite bar or pub? Well if we wanted to just say “screw it” and go completely in the opposite direction from the previous healthy suggestion, we might setup are own right in our garage! Imagine that, you never need to worry about the temptation to drink and drive, always watch the games YOU want to watch, it always has your favorite beers, it’s cheaper, and NO TIPPING! Furthermore, when the significant other decides you’ve had enough “me time” and needs you to wash the dishes or take out the garbage, they can literally come and drag you out by your ear. No muss, no fuss.
- A Spa with Sauna
Particularly for those who live through cold winters, a sauna can be a godsend, especially for those of us getting old enough to be experiencing some tight muscles and creaky joints on the reg. More and more studies seem to confirm the health benefits of sauna use, and a session certainly seems to pick up you mood. Looking for the ultimate combo? Sauna and ice bath! For those living in icy climes, you can achieve that part (at least for several months per year) more easily – open the door and jump in the snow!
Well, there are a few ideas to chew on. We’ll be following up in the near future with some recommended sources of detailed “How To” information and supplies to make these homebody dreams come true!
Title Illustration by Charlotte Shen