With space to hold two cars, two workbenches, a rolling table, and a slew of baskets, drawers, and cabinets, this garage renovation is seriously hardworking.
The garage is often merely a big repository for tools, yard implements, and off-season items with nowhere else to go. But Miesje and Dana Corbo of Scottsdale, Arizona, knew it could be more. Working with interior designer Caroline DeCesare, they filled their three-car garage with work areas, storage, and art. “You spend more time in the garage than in some rooms of the house, especially if you’re like me and a little bit handy,” Dana reasons. The end result is a stylish space to sort and store everything a busy family with four preteens might need—and then some. In the hardworking zone, open wire shelving organizes often-used tools (drills, flashlights, tape measures) in easy reach of work surfaces. Framed signs lend a playful mood.
From the outside, you’d have no clue what lies behind these rustic garage doors. One bay of Miesje and Dana Corbo’s three-car garage is dedicated to two workbenches and a table on casters. The other two garage bays are for cars.
Like items are grouped together inside a corner cabinet. Cleaning products are rounded up in baskets, pesticides are out of reach in another labeled bin, and golf club covers are stored next to golf balls. If you have kids or pets in your family, be sure to store dangerous chemicals out of reach from curious little hands.
Have a lot of tools? Store one type in each bin to avoid a jumble. Here, containers suit the size and shape of various supplies. Shallow metal drawers below one workbench stow hand tools; under them, big wire mesh baskets hold bulky extension cords, rope, and cases for Dana’s drills.
A cabinet outfitted with screen doors for a rustic look is built into the wall so it doesn’t take up any extra floor space. The Corbos measured the shelves to make room for Dana’s golf bags. Hooks get ladders and a broom off the floor.
Want flexible storage fast? Dana Corbo recommends installing a wall-mounted rail system. “That’s the first thing I would do if I were starting with a new garage,” he says. “You can hang the rack as high or as low on the wall as you want.” The rails (which include hooks for specific tools) can be installed with a drill, screws, and anchors.
An antique table got a new set of casters so it can be moved wherever it’s needed. “It’s also a convenient place to dump things when you get out of the car,” Dana says. Light is gained from windows, ceiling cans, and pendants.
Don’t forget about the storage potential near the ceiling. The Corbos added a shelf high on the wall for a dozen black plastic totes that store off-season clothing, camping gear, memorabilia, holiday decorations, and “anything we get down once a year,” Dana says. For maximum benefit, they added extra framing support to make sure the shelf would support heavy items.
Deep drawers tucked into alcoves under windows are big enough for all the sports equipment the Corbo kids can throw in them. Individual baskets in the drawers keep items sorted and organized by sport. There’s no excuse for a cluttered backyard with these organizational tools in use.
A multipurpose cabinet stacks items from the stained concrete floor nearly to the ceiling. Metal bins (some vintage scores, some new purchases) store items such as lightbulbs, paint cans, rags, wood stain, gardening gloves, and seed packets. The two largest shelf items are stored on the bottom to avoid heavy lifting.
Two sets of drawers fit snugly under the windows along the back of the garage, leaving plenty of room for cars. A spacious surface on top of the drawers is a useful space to work on projects or store supplies. Industrial-style stools offer a resting place next to the table.
An industrial rotating bin the Corbos found at the Round Top Antiques Fair in Texas holds nails and other small items that can easily get lost. It sits atop a cabinet with numbered drawers, where Dana stashes such things as batteries, hook-and-loop tape, and glue. A framed print makes this work space feel less like a garage and more like home.
The work space boasts a utility sink and faucets (formerly a weathered zinc bucket and outdoor spigots). “Paint and all that stuff is very messy,” Dana says, “and we just deal with it in the garage rather than in the house.” The workbench features tilt-out bins sized just right for a table saw, clamps, and other bulky tools. Repurposed vintage finds serve as clever containers for tools and supplies.
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