The average single garage in Australia offers up about 18sqm of precious real estate, or roughly the size of a small Japanese apartment. If you can squeeze a bed, kitchenette, bathroom and your entire living area into that amount of space, imagine what you could do with your garage with a bit of inspiration.
Now, we’re not suggesting you turn your garage into a rental property or Airbnb – unless you’re prepared to make some major modifications – but it’s worth appreciating how much usable space you’re sitting on.In the vast continent of Oz, where we are generally blessed with larger homes and an abundance of space, we can be guilty of taking our garage for granted. We either don’t take advantage of the space or pile it to the ceiling with all the junk we’ve banished from the house but haven’t gotten around to giving away.
If the current state of your garage looks like something from an episode of ‘Hoarders’, you may have a bit of work to do.
But with a bit of blood, sweat and most probably tears, organising or transforming your garage can be a highly rewarding experience.
And if you’ve struck the jackpot with a double, or dare we say, triple garage (like in our latest $1.3 million Prize Home at Little Mountain), that means double or triple the opportunities.
As the saying goes though, it’s not the size that matters but what you do with it that counts.
The obvious option is to use your garage for storage – most notably for storing your… you guessed it… car.
But this valuable piece of real estate has a whole lot more potential than that. So, before you settle on how you’ll use the space, it’s worth spending some time thinking about all the possibilities.
Imagine being able to roll out of bed in the morning and in a few steps be in your own personal gym. Sounds amazing, right? You don’t even need a lot of fancy equipment to do it. Just throw down some rubber matting or a yoga mat and source a few simple pieces of equipment like some resistance bands, kettle bells, a gym ball and a skipping rope. Yes, it might get a bit hot in summer, but people pay a lot of money to do hot yoga. Now you can do it at home for free.
Has spending more time at home given you a chance to get your creative juices flowing? Why not set up an art studio in your garage so you have a dedicated space to ‘create’. Best of all, because it’s in the garage, you can channel your inner Pro Hart or Jackson Bollock and get as messy as you like – all in the name of art.
If you like getting crafty, chances are your cupboards are bursting with piles of fabric and containers of beads and buttons. How about giving your cupboards a break and creating a storage area for all of your craft bits and bobs in your garage. You can even set up nice a workbench or table, so you have a place to spend your crafternoons with everything right at your fingertips.
Particularly while we are all spending more time at home, it’s great to have a space where everybody can let of some steam and have some fun. If you don’t have a family room or rumpus room at your place, you could turn your garage into a games room with a table tennis table or even a pool table.
If your kids like to play the other sort of games that exercise their thumbs, you can set your garage up for that too. You could even create your own home cinema with an old projector and screen. Garages tend to be quite dark so you’re already half way toward creating that cinema experience at home.
Every musician or budding musician needs to practice. But as amazing as it sounds, your family or neighbours don’t need to hear it every time. If that’s the case at your place, the solution could be your garage. With some acoustic foam or even egg cartons on the walls, you could transform the space into a sound-proof music studio.
If your family is growing up and it sometimes feels like you all need a bit more space, maybe it’s worth considering turning your garage as a teenage retreat. All you need is a secondhand couch, a coffee table, a lamp or two and maybe even bar fridge stocked with a few snacks and drinks (of the non-alcoholic variety) and chances are you may never see them again.
For those working from home, setting up a home office in the garage could be the first step toward reclaiming the dining table. It could also be a way for you to cling on to some kind of work/life balance and actually feel like you are leaving the house to go to work… if only just.
There’s nothing like being able to put your hand on a tool when you need it rather than having to rummage through piles of stuff to find it. Whether you’re going to be working on your car, your bike or your next timber project, having a great workshop space in your garage can genuinely spark joy in the hardest of hearts.
Even if you choose to use the available space in your garage for simply storing your stuff, it pays to put some effort into how you do it too make the most of the area you have and make it easy to find things when you need them.
If you’re feeling inspired and eager to turn your hoarder’s paradise into the space of your dreams, we’ve put together a few tips to help you get the job done:
Friends don’t let friends organise alone. Don’t be afraid to ask for help – your friends will be glad to help if they get the pick of your ‘give’ pile or if you offer to return the favour at their place. If you have a partner or kids, you have some readymade helpers, so make sure to rope them in to help.
The best way to start is to empty everything out of your garage. This might seem a bit extreme, but it really is the best way to go through everything you have in there and to see the space you are working with. So, take a deep breath and dive in.
As you take everything out, sort it into ‘yes’, ‘no’ and ‘maybe’ piles so you can work out what you want to keep and what you can sell or give away. In the ‘yes’ pile, it’s a good idea to put related items into groups. This will help you work out what you need to plan space for and how to store things when you’re ready to put it all back.
This might simply mean giving everything a good clean down or you might choose to spruce up the walls and ceilings with a fresh lick of paint. If you’re going for a full garage transformation, this is your chance to add some personality and help create the ‘vibe’ you’re after. If you want to make your space more like an actual room, you could consider a floor finish like paint, epoxy or laying down some vinyl timber-look plank.
Whatever your plans are for your garage, you’ll want to make the most efficient use of the space, so take the time to sketch out what you’re thinking. You can either do it on a piece of paper or grab a piece of chalk and mark it out in place to help you visualise how you’ll use the space.
One of the best ways to use your garage space wisely is to utilise the walls. That could be by installing shelving that goes right to the ceiling, or installing hooks hanging racks to help get things off the ground and make the most of every inch.
When it’s time to start putting things back into your garage, be ruthless. Think carefully about each and every item and whether you really need it. The last thing you want is stuff you’re never going to use taking up valuable space.
Even though it’s ‘just the garage’, there’s no reason why it can’t still be a nice part of your home, especially if you’re transforming it into a new space like a gym or a games room. Doing things like screening off storage areas from the rest of the space or using nice looking storage containers will help keep things looking tidy and make it a nice space to be in. You can even decorate the walls with some art or memorabilia. By the time you’ve finished, you’ll barely remember it’s a garage at all.
When we custom-build a Prize Home we don’t cut corners. That’s why Endeavour Foundation’s $1.3 million Prize Home at Little Mountain boasts a triple garage – more than enough room to house your cars, your camper, or your hobby.
For your chance to make it yours, buy your ticket now. Or to check it out in person, you can find the address details and opening times here.
As the new Brand Ambassador for Endeavour Foundation, Angie was invited along for a sneak peek of the spectacular new $1.3 million Prize Home atop Little Mountain on the Sunshine Coast.
Watch Angie and Brandon’s full tour through the Prize Home here and see Angie talk about the reason behind her decision to support the Endeavour Foundation.