Brainstorming Your Dream Garage
Brainstorming Your Dream Garage
Home improvement can be overwhelming. Start your garage transformation by brainstorming your dream garage. Learn how to start, where to look and what you’re looking for.
You’ve taken the first step: deciding that you are ready to transform your garage from the plain and simple to something uniquely you. This is an exciting time as you start to imagine everything your space could possibly become.
I know I always feel overwhelmed at the beginning of a huge project. There are so many decisions to make and it’s often hard to know where to start.
I always like to start with the fun part – brainstorming! Before I commit to anything, I love to see what’s out there, what other people have done and which options may be available that I wouldn’t have thought of on my own.
This part is no stress. Don’t worry about whether you can afford it or even whether it’s physically possible in your home. Just get an idea of what you like. Dream big. Almost everything is possible and you can (and probably will) scale down as you go along.
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What You’re Looking For
Right now you’re looking for literally anything that inspires you. Color swatches, furniture, art, and of course, fully decked out garages.
However, don’t get stuck thinking you should only be looking at finished products. Often, you will be inspired by lots of little things as well.
Additionally, you can look for pictures of old mechanics shops, classic diners, speakeasies, extravagant gyms and more. Don’t filter. That comes later.
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Where to Look
I’m going to give 2 sweeping generalizations. Forgive me.
- Men are less likely to browse the internet for home improvement inspiration than women.
- Men are more likely than women to want to beef up their garage.
Not that the opposite never happens. We’re just talking about the “norm”.
Having said that, logic tells me that a man looking to create a sweet man cave out of his garage may not think to look at places like Pinterest, but I think you’ll quickly see why leaving out these inspiration resources would be a mistake.
There are countless places to look for inspiration. Below are a few of my tried and true favorites.
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It’s not just for Millennials! Okay, dudes out there – I know what you’re thinking. Pinterest has over 70% female users, But that doesn’t mean guys can’t get something out of it too.
The truth is, Pinterest really changed the game as far as brainstorming and gathering inspiration goes. Now, I am not one to create a million Pinterest-perfect DIY crafts or follow step-by-step instructions for entertaining flawlessly, but I do love the ease of searching for inspiration in seconds.
It’s really no different than bookmarking a page. Only it’s better because all of these bookmarks (pins) are organized in one place where you can access them easily anytime you want to check them out.
If you’re not familiar with Pinterest, you can browse entire categories, but I like it best when used like a search engine. Simply type “vintage garage” (or whatever looks you’re interested in) into the search bar and you will instantly be greeted with more ideas than you know what to do with.
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Just like Pinterest, you can use Houzz like a search engine to look up whatever you’re interested in. The difference is Houzz is only home things so your search won’t get muddled with unrelated images. You can save these images to an Ideabook which is the equivalent of a Pinterest board,
Personally, I think Houzz is great if you plan to have a professional help you with your job. So many things on Pinterest are geared towards DIY, while Houzz tends to offer more professional jobs and photos.
On Houzz (and Pinterest too, but less consistently) you can often even make your purchases directly from the site. That way if you see something you really love, you can either buy it right there or there is usually a link to the product for easy purchasing.
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Old(er) school. Of course, if you use Google Images, you have to bookmark your favorites the old fashioned way. However, Google still has the best search engine on the internet and gives you the best chance of finding exactly what you want.
You can search for entire garage looks or even specifics like “mechanic garage decor”. Then, you can easily go to the page and (usually) find a way to purchase whatever it is you like.
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I love Instagram. However, it’s not always my favorite when I’m searching for something specific. Especially when I’m searching for things I plan on purchasing,
Instagram is great at the very beginning stages when you just want to nonchalantly browse for inspiration. You’re probably not saving things and getting serious yet, but it’s a great beginning stage way to see what’s out there and what you like.
Instagram works best when you search by hashtag. Although, some people have some interesting ideas on what should be hashtagged “garage”… But anyway, you can search #garage, #vintagegarage, etc., but you don’t want to search #SuperCool1950sAutoshopGarageWithTurquoiseCeling. You will not find anything.
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TV / Movies
Chances are, you spend at least 30 minutes per day in front of the TV. In fact, if you don’t, I am super impressed with you. Anyway, my point is that you have all of this inspiration right in front of you with big Hollywood budgets.
You don’t need to seek out garage-specific films and shows (I mean, you totally can if you want to..). Everything you need is organically in front of you.
Pay attention when you see things you like or things that inspire you. Take a note or snap a picture with your phone to remember it for later.
Friends & Family
There’s nothing that can make you feel bad about your life choices like going to your friend or family’s house that is straight out of Better Homes & Gardens. I’m kidding. Half kidding.
Recently, I went to a house with the most AMAZING garage! It was enormous and divided to be half sports car, half home gym. The sports car section had this black and red patterned floor and the gym part had a rig, barbells, pull-up bars, mirrors…I was in heaven! This place was seriously half out of a racing magazine and the other half was basically my entire CrossFit gym.
The point of this story is that it showed me exactly what I would want in my garage. The gym part, anyway. But for someone who likes cars? There would have been tons of inspiration there, too.
So just look around when you’re at new houses. You don’t have to be weird about it and knock on your neighbors’ doors asking to see their garage. Just be aware and keep mental notes of what you like.
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Now you have your Pinterest board, Houzz ideabook, Google bookmark folder and notes and images on your phone with everything you like in the world of garages. What next?
It’s time to narrow everything down. Keep the things you love and that you know are possible and cut the rest. It will probably take several rounds of cutting, but eventually, you will be left with the idea(s) that really speak to you.