Getting Our Groove On in the Garage!

Time for another garage update and this one is a doozy!  We have been working away to finally get to the finish line and with one project left, we are in the final stretch.

So although I have been a little MIA lately {kids home for summer vacation, 2015 planner launch approaching and garage takeover in full swing}, today you are getting about five posts in one!  Can I get a woo hoo!?

Let's begin and take a look at what I started with at the end of last year.... seriously scary stuff!

The garage was a clutter catcher.  It held items to project, items to donate, items for extended family, items to build, items purchased on Craigslist, everything we didn't know what to do with.... Cars were not parked here, toys were a challenge to access, it was discouraging and just down right out of control.

A few years ago I had my mind set on adding beautiful paneling around the exterior garage walls.  My thought was that it would extend the living space our home offered while giving me a space that I was motivated to love and maintain.  We started adding the beadboard paneling two years ago when we installed our sport's station.  Then it all came to a halt until late last fall.  Other projects, busy schedules and lack of motivation all played a part in the delay.

Last fall we decided to do what we could to move forward with the garage makeover so we could get our cars parked in the garage for winter.  We started purging down our clutter and even began installing our upper cabinet storage.  But winter approached faster than we could work and soon it became far too cold to be productive.  We made space for one of our two cars and after another big cleaning this spring, it was still looking a little overwhelming.

As we worked on the garage, we realized more and more what a big project it was becoming.  Here is a list of everything we can now say we accomplished over the past year:

  • Finished the ceiling and upper walls by taping, mudding, sanding and painting the sheetrock.
  • Built wall-to-wall upper cabinets
  • Primed and painted newly built cabinets
  • Installed beadboard paneling 
  • Installed base trim and molding 
  • Caulked paneling seams and trim 
  • Finished purging all garage contents - wiped down everything remaining
  • Organized garden tools and yard supplies within the garden shed
  • Installed shelving and organized the outdoor toy station
  • Installed the bike storage rack
  • Installed cabinet hardware
  • Painted entry doors
  • Painted entry step
  • Installed pendant lighting
  • Swapped out almost light switches and outlets for white
  • Organized contents of upper cabinets

    And the very last and final thing on our list will be to re-finish those floors.  So close I can taste it!  Mmmmmm, concrete....

    But now that we have come this far, let's take a closer look and chat a little more about the details that make this newly organized space so great!

    The outdoor toy storage area is probably one of my most favorite parts.  It is holding up beautifully, super easy for the kiddos to maintain, and it adds life and color to the garage.  Although I am sort of tooting my own horn here, I seriously high-five myself for this area on a daily basis.  All of our outdoor toys are now super simple to access which has made playdates heavenly.

    We love being outside during our warmer Wisconsin seasons and all three boys are in outdoor sports.  The sport's station holds items we need for their nightly practices and games; a hook for each boy's bag and baskets below for their footwear.

    The stair to the house was looking mighty shabby, but in perfect working condition.  Instead of building a new step, we gave our existing one a good sanding....

    I purchased a non-skid additive which I mixed into some paint.  This gave the step a nice built-in grip to prevent slipping should it become wet.

    I still added a colorful mat to catch dirt.  Dirt catchers are essential for any entry and color is highly recommended.

    Last year we stored our mud boots on the front porch but after receiving daily afternoon sun, they began breaking down and fading.  This year they needed a home inside from the sun and now we finally have the perfect spot for them!  You guys!  It is the little things that really get me excited!

    The traveling wall baskets were in my studio for awhile, but now have a new home in the garage.  There is always a small pile of random items that land on our kitchen counter right inside the door, that really belong out in the garage or in the car.  These baskets are fantastic for catching miscellaneous necessities.

    I am guessing many of you recognize the sweet hooks I snagged at Target, designed by the darling Young House Love peeps.  Bees were fitting for our outdoor space, and bloggers gotta support bloggers!

    You all have seen our new bike storage which has been working like a charm.  The best part of the white paneling we installed is how easily it wipes clean, however, we still may add a little extra protection from the bike tires down the road.

    Above the bikes is where the storage magic really happens!

    Those upper cabinets were a pretty hefty building project.  To keep it as inexpensive as possible, we used 2x4's to frame everything out, and 1/2" MDF for the bottom and doors.

    The 2x4's were all anchored into wall and ceiling studs making this very sturdy storage.  Here is an example diagram of how Bryan framed things out.

    The new storage runs wall to wall in the back of the garage and is four feet deep, so that is A LOT of added storage.  And because it is reinforced throughout, it is strong enough to hold me when I climb up and dig around in those bins.  Those wondering where everything in our garage went, this was the answer.

    Because the doors are made with MDF, they were a little heavy to hold up while adding or removing items.  To save my arms, we installed simple handles to the fronts of the cabinets {reinforced with washers} and spring clips into the ceiling {also reinforced with 2x4's in the ceiling attic}.

    Now I just use a broom handle to clip up the door and grab a nearby ladder.  So good!

    Speaking of the ladder, a couple small hooks from IKEA and it now hangs right below the cabinets.

    The final organizing project was an old wardrobe which once held our winter wear.  The winter items were placed into bins above, and the cabinet now holds frequently used garage items such as automotive care and picnic gear {cooler, blanket, basket...}.

    A few Command Hooks paired with twine was an easy solution for our fire pit poker sticks.

    One item I couldn't wait to see installed were the new lights.  I purchased them from Wayfair last fall and they have been sitting in a box since.  I am glad we waited until the ceiling was finished because it just made me love them that much more.  We paired each pendant with a canopy and rod found at Lowes and now they are simply beautiful.  Is that a thing?  Beautiful lighting in a garage?

    A few more little project details:
    • Beadboard is not the most cost effective way to finish garage walls but I absolutely LOVE that it brightens the space and it washes up so easily {super important in such a dirty part of the home}.  It really is everything we were after and we feel we have maximized our usable entertaining space {one party down, many more to go!}.  
    • We trimmed out the beadboard with the same moisture resistant trim we used throughout our lower level.  Love it!
    • The top portion of the beadboard was trimmed out with bull-nosed moisture resistant moulding, the corners received a similar style corner moulding.
    • The step and ceiling are painted in Behr's Classic Silver.
    • The doors are painted in Behr's Cloud Burst {following the same steps as I did with our front door}.
    • We can now park both cars in the garage with plenty of room to spare.  Boom shakalaka!

    And because a good before and after always rocks our world:

    With everything so organized, simplified and clean, it is time to focus our attention to that floor!  It will be our first time re-finishing garage floors but there are a lot of great products on the market so it will just come down to selecting the right one and doing our research.  We have come so far, I have a feeling the floors will be just like putting in that final piece of a 1,000 piece puzzle!

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