Thinking of turning your garage into an office? These tips will help you create a beautiful, functional working space.
The number of people doing some or all of their work from home rose exponentially during the worst months of the Covid-19 pandemic. Now that restrictions are easing many people are opting to continue to work from home either some or all of the time. In fact, it’s one of the biggest interior design trends seen this year, as discussed by interior designer Bobby Berk from Queer Eye on the Getting Curious Podcast with Jonathan Van Ness.
If you’re wondering which part of your house could be transformed into a great home office, one of the most popular options is the garage or just part of the garage if it is large enough. Sure, it will take some work to transform those grubby oil stains and walls stacked with clutter into a beautiful working space, but it is possible. Here’s how to turn your garage into a stunning home office that you may never want to leave:
Clear It Out
The first thing you need to do is clear the garage out. For most of us that will require a major decluttering session but it is well worth the effort. You’ll then need to find somewhere secure and clean to put everything that was stored in your garage that you are keeping. Items such as: camping gear, summer garden furniture, garden equipment or even things like a vintage motorbike or a wine collection. Unless you have friends or family willing to let you use spare space in their own garages the easiest and cheapest option is to use a local self storage facility.
Once the garage is clear it needs to be insulated because they are usually built without any form of insulation at all. Therefore, the space is likely to be very cold in winter, and very warm in summer and it won’t be comfortable to work in. There are various ways to insulate a garage and you will need to consider wall, floor and roof insulation to make the space comfortably habitable all year round.
The existing construction of the garage will impact the type and thickness of insulation that can be easily installed. Garages built from bricks or concrete blocks can simply have insulated plasterboard added to the inner walls by fixing then to wooden battens. Other types of garage construction may require full stud walls with insulating blocks between the new inner walls and original outer walls.
Create A Great Base
You will need to put some flooring down once the floor has been properly insulated and paint your new walls. This base will allow you to start to view the space as a functioning room.
Floor and walls don’t have to be fancy – just some wooden flooring and neutral colour walls will do. Alternatively, there are companies who will fit the space out fully for you, including the insulation we mentioned above, and fitted cupboards, shelves and a desk, of course.
Focus On Lighting
Most garages do not have windows for obvious reasons. This works well for security but not for your general wellbeing. So realistically you will need to have a window added. Choose the position that will allow the maximum natural light to enter. Also, utilise recessed lighting, floor lamps, dimmer switches and even fairy lights to create a range of lighting types that work for different times of the day and create a pleasant atmosphere in which to spend your working days.
Keep The Style Simple
Very fussy styles are unlikely to work in this kind of space. Industrial or minimalist shapes, tones and materials work really well. Combine this with some splashes of a bold colour or two and some plants and you’ll have a very modern, fresh feeling space to work in.
It is important to boost the security of the garage now that it contains your computer, and possibly stock and other valuables. Additional locks, CCTV and security lighting will help deter potential criminals.
Keep It Separate From Your House
If you can, keep the garage as separate as possible from your house. If you can create a small coffee making station, and create a comfortable workstation you love, this will mean you will have to go into your house as little as possible. This is important as it gives you that all important work and home separation, so when you close the door on your new home office in the evening, you leave work behind. It will also help you with productivity as you’re less likely to get distracted by going inside your home for refreshments.
The tips above can help you create a functional, beautiful home office in your garage. Before long you’ll be working from home boosting your career day after day in a space that you created and that you love.