For most of us, the garage is a peculiar liminal space that could more often than not use a little more love. It’s meant to house cars, sports equipment, and power tools, sure, but the additional square footage has so much more potential than simply a drop zone on the way into the house.
Looking for interesting ways to breathe some life into your garage? Below, we’ve rounded up a handful of cool expert-approved garage decor ideas to try—as well as the easiest ways to kick any clutter and make the space a usable and cohesive part of your home.
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Take advantage of vertical space.
“My first thing in working in garages is to get everything off the floor,” explains Kim Jones, founder of Lock and Key Home and author of The No-Nonsense Home Organization Plan. “Vertical space is often overlooked in garages but since most items are not needed daily you can likely store up high.”
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Another big big thing you can do to clear up your space and take advantage of the extra square footage is to store away anything that you don’t use on a daily basis or enjoy looking at. “There are also thinner and taller storage containers you can buy to set alongside the wall,” explains Jen Stark, founder of Happy DIY Home. “Make sure you label everything so you're not trying to dig through everything to find one specific item.”
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Upgrade your lighting.
It's also a good idea to examine the kind of lighting and light fixtures you’ve been using in your garage. “Many people don't give much thought to it when they build or upgrade their garage, and the lighting can make or break a space,” explains Stark. Recessed lighting is a nice touch to keep them out of the way while lighting up the whole interior—if you plan to use your garage as an extension of your living space rather than a home for your vehicles you can opt for more visually-appealing mood lighting.
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Create a coffee zone.
Nothing beats having a warm cup of coffee while taking in the summer breeze or winter chill—and the garage is the perfect spot to set up that designated coffee zone. Place an espresso machine, coffee maker, and a couple of sturdy mugs on a rolling table or utility shelf and get ready to spend every morning hanging out in the comfort of your new coffee shop-slash-garage. If you commute to work and have the good fortune of having a fancy coffee maker with a timer at home, set it to brew so you can grab your hot cup of joe on the way out the door.Continue to 5 of 10 below.
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Don’t forget linens.
Hanging window curtains is the finishing touch to any space that you're decorating, including the garage. “Turning a garage into an extension of your home is a great way to have more useable and livable space—but the finishing details in your new garage space are what will create cohesiveness with the rest of the home,” explains Angela Boswell, co-Founder of The Drape. Windows in garages tend to be abnormal in size—but going a little past the window itself in this case won’t be the end of the world. (Just be sure to choose a material that is washable so it doesn't become storage for dust.)
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Consider the flooring.
“Painting the floor and garage door is also a simple way to upgrade the space,” adds Boswell. “Incorporating mats or carpet when there is no car in the garage can also turn it into a more functional area for kids, working out or hanging out with neighbors.” Consider adding a small welcome mat, or if you want to go all out, add an area rug. When it's time to do some messy home improvement projects, you can simply roll up the mat or carpet and store it away.
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DIY a media room (seriously!).
Whether you’re dealing with a small home and need a little more space or you just want to take advantage of your garage that is sitting empty, turning that space into a media room is a very efficient use of the square footage. Simply throw down some warm rugs, add a coffee table, and position a couple of chairs—voila, you’ll have an instant conversation area.
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Turn your space into a home office.
We could have all used a little extra space for a home office this year—and a garage is the perfect solution. Swap your tools for tech by simply adding a desk, a rug, and perhaps a couple of storage shelves for additional paperwork, office supplies, and snacks. If you're thinking of staying there longterm, get some plastic bins for storing important papers (you'd hate to have them warped by moisture or sent flying by a leaf blower). Additionally, check that your tech can sustain whatever temperature extremes your area experiences.Continue to 9 of 10 below.
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Create a home gym.
Looking for a space for all that gym equipment that is practical but, well, not exactly the most aesthetically pleasing? The garage is a great spot to set up a small home gym. Not only does it get your equipment out of your main living space, but it’s also a great indoor-outdoor spot to workout with a breeze.
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Hang license plates and vintage signs.
Let’s be honest: the garage is still the best spot to store your vehicles or work on that hobby car. If you want to keep the practical appeal of the garage but would still like to make it a little more visually interesting, consider hanging vintage license plates or signage.