As homeowners, we often give little thought to garage décor. After all, outfitting a garage to store our cast offs and rarely used “stuff” isn’t nearly as exciting as picking granite countertops and hardwood floors out for the kitchen.
Still, just as we have a preferred style inside our homes, we tend to have a preferred style when it comes to the aesthetics of garage storage. To determine your storage style, let’s first consider three important questions.
How would you like to use your garage?
Start by assessing your garage in its current state. Is it neat and organized or is it a hodgepodge of items not easily found? Now consider how you would like to use your garage. Most homeowners want to achieve one of the following three goals:
- Park the vehicles inside and still have room for storage.
- Create a dedicated workspace for gardening or other tasks.
- Make the garage an extension of their home.
Which goal aligns with your needs? Once you are clear on the primary ways in which you’ll use your garage, you are ready to address the next big question.
Who will use the garage?
Accessibility is a key consideration when it comes to garage storage. After all, it doesn’t help to have a well-organized garage if you can’t reach anything when you need it. A variety of factors should be taken into consideration when designing garage storage space. Height, age and upper body strength are a few of the factors that should be taken into consideration when determining item placement.
For instance, storing bicycles vertically is aesthetically pleasing. This storage option works well for riding enthusiasts who are in excellent physical shape and own several bikes. However, if you have small children, the upper body strength required makes it difficult, if not impossible, for them to store their own bicycles this way. Vertical bicycle storage can also be prohibitive to older riders or anyone who has limited upper body strength.
Safely storing chemicals where they cannot be easily accessed by pets or small children is another matter to consider. Households with pets or small children will want to invest in a lockable storage cabinet or store potentially dangerous household chemicals well out of reach.
Once you’ve addresses issues regarding the functionality of the space, it’s time to consider how you want the space to look.
Easily accessible or out-of-sight and out-of-mind?
Close your eyes and visualize your ideal garage interior. For some, their ideal vision includes every item neatly displayed in its designated space using open shelving, hooks and baskets. Everything would be easy to find and easy to access. Others, however, prefer to see the space lined with cabinets which would house all items behind closed doors.
Which option is more appealing to you?
Likely, you have a strong inclination toward either closed or open storage. Or perhaps you’d prefer a blend of the two. For instance, you might prefer open storage for sports equipment and gardening tools while everything else is tucked away behind cabinet doors.
Now you know how you want to use your garage, who needs access to items stored there and which storing option is most appealing to you. However, there are a few other factors that could have a bearing on your final decision of whether to go with open or closed storage in your garage.
Weighing the pros and cons of open and closed storage
Open storage makes retrieving items quick and easy. Your family can see exactly what is stored there and access it. Open storage typically incorporates shelving, hooks and baskets as part of a garage wall organization system. Many homeowners like the punch of color and visual interest created by items neatly arranged in open storage. Lastly, open storage is a budget-friendly option whether you decide to hire a garage renovation specialist or try to tackle the project on your own.
Closed storage requires cabinetry. This is preferable to homeowners who don’t like seeing all of the items stored in their garage. There are a variety of cabinetry choices:
- High-quality laminate cabinets (similar to those found in most kitchens)
- Modular steel cabinets
- Custom aluminum cabinets
Each style provides homeowners with a different pricing option. Still, installing cabinets will certainly cost more than installing shelving. However, if you prefer a clean, neat, closed-door look, storage cabinets will give you the polished look you desire.
Garages come in a variety of sizes and configurations. Modular or custom cabinetry can be configured to take advantage of the storage potential in odd-sized nooks and corners. While custom cabinetry can be pricey, the results are stunning.
Understanding your unique needs and preferred storage style will help you get the most out of your garage, whether you decide to organize it yourself, or hire a garage renovation specialist to do so. Need help discovering your storage needs and style? Request your no-obligation consultation today.