All too often, our garages become hives of random disarray.
Half-assembled bikes lie forlorn on and ignored on the floor, countless old metal tins of bolts, nuts, screws, nails, and miscellaneous spare parts wait forever to be useful again, and an array of WD-40 cans with various nozzle types steadily rust into an amorphous, ruddy mass.
Considering this is the most task-oriented space in an entire property, it seems particularly strange that it often becomes the most chaotic.
If anything, our garages should be treated with the same care we afford our living space, more even, as a poorly designed garage interior can be straight-up dangerous!
So, without further ado, let’s take a look at 10 practical garage interior design ideas to transform that deathtrap into a streamlined, organized environment that facilitates your best tinkering, weight lifting, greasing… whatever you use your garage for!
1. Vertical Storage Bins
With these bins, not only can you install things like this in seconds, but you can slide all your fittings to new locations, making layout changes a total breeze!
I don’t know about you and your garage, but in mine, floor space is always running a premium, so I’ve been experimenting with ways to utilize vertical space rather than horizontal space.
My favorite solution thus far is vertically stacking bins, but as they can be a topple risk at a certain height, I used my newfound space to build what are essentially tall, thin, deep bookcases for the bins to sit in, stabilizing the structure.
I then painted the cases in accordance with a color key so I always know what kind of things I’ll find in the boxes, whether they’re labeled or not.
2. Car Care Cabinet
It takes so many different products to keep our cars in top shape, and all too often we end up with a wealth of different oils, waxes, sealers, and pumps strewn across work surfaces and sometimes even the floor.
To fix this glaring issue in my garage, I decided to craft my very own car care storage cabinet and mount it to the wall. As such a cupboard only holds thin bottles, pots, and tins, it doesn’t need to be very deep, so it takes next to no time to make.
The part that took the longest was the swing door that closes over the bottom shelf, but this was essential for me, as when closed, it provides an extra mounting point for fitting small white boards, paper towel dispensers, a chamois cloth drying rack… whatever you need to streamline your car maintenance protocols.
3. DIY Overhead Storage
Another way to make use of higher-level space in your garage is to install some wooden rails at precisely the width of the storage tubs you like to use. The lips should fit perfectly into these rails so you can run them along your ceiling space.
It’s a super easy job that can help free up some wiggle room in your garage. Here’s how it’s done:
- Grab some 2x2s and screw them into your ceiling.
- Use one of your tubs to mark the spacing out perfectly.
- Grab some 1x4s, and nail them dead center on the 2x2s, thus creating the rails.
4. Super Strong Wall Shelves
We’d all love to make something of that skinny path between the wall and our car, but the thought of stacking hundreds of pounds of equipment on the surface that towers up over our vehicle is enough to give most of us the willies.
However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try and utilize this typically neglected wall space.
You just need to make sure that both the wall and the shelving are strong enough, and you can do so by mounting a sequence of horizontal wooden strips across the length of the wall before using them as mounting surfaces for shelving.
You can also leave a section of your panels shelfless and install hooks instead for hanging all your long tools such as rakes, snow shovels, and brooms.
5. Corner Shelves
It’s easy to get carried away dreaming up ideas to put our walls to use, and thus, neglect the potential of corners as shelving spaces.
In fact, with support from two walls rather than just one, corner shelves can be made incredibly strong, so if you’ve got lots of small items that collectively weigh a ton, this is the spot to store them!
If you have exposed wall studs, I find it’s good to mount the shelves against them, but not to worry if you don’t, as you can simply install a pair of exterior studs.
You’ll then create the support for the shelves with some cleats, and once complete, you can simply cut some plywood down to size and fit each piece in place over the cleats.
6. PVC Loading Rack
Believe it or not, PVC pipes make for some incredibly practical overhead storage in a garage space, and as you purchase piping in sections and fit it together with connectors, you can customize it however you like. Here’s how it works:
- Bolt the straight pipes to the joists of your garage roof.
- Bolt a few angled sections to the cross brace of your garage roof in order to stabilize the straight pipes.
- Connect a horizontal base pipe to the vertical straight pipes.
- Rinse and repeat across the entire length of your garage (or as far as you want to take it).
Thanks to the smooth surface of the piping, you can slide things into and out of his DIY storage rack with ease. It may not be what these pipes were designed for, but they certainly can make our lives easier in this role.
There are actually a whole bunch of different PVC garage hacks, so if you have to cut any pipes, don’t throw out the excess just yet, as you may be able to put it to good use.
7. Repurposed Concrete Tubes
You know concrete-forming tubes? The large cylindrical things construction companies use to create perfectly rounded concrete columns? Well, they have a secret secondary purpose that appeals more to the average homeowner.
Secure them to an otherwise unused section of wall in your garage with metal hanger straps, and you’ve got yourself the perfect storage solution for all your longer tools and any other items that don’t really have a home anywhere else in your property.
Your kid’s baseball bats, hockey sticks, and tennis rackets, for instance, will fit right into these handy tubes, as will any large rolls of materials like spare insulation or carpet.
You’d think that cardboard would be a bit too flimsy to hold all these heavy items, but, on the contrary, concrete-forming tubes are incredibly strong, as they’re designed to hold entire pillars of concrete.
That said, it’s worth elevating them on 2x4s to protect against flooding and damp.
8. Long-Handled Tool Rack
If concrete-forming tubes don’t appeal to you, you’ll be able to whip up a long-handled tool rack in no time at all.
This is essentially just a normal shelf, but you’ll cut deep, thin recesses into it with a jigsaw so you can slot the handles of your tools in. The heads of the tools then act as the very thing that stops them from falling down.
You can also buy some pretty great metal tool racks for long-handled instruments if you’d prefer not to take on another project at this point, which to be honest, might be best until you’ve got all your tools in order and have more space to work in.
And if an entire rack is overkill for your current collection of long tools, you can also pick up some nifty extra long individual tracks.
9. Track Lighting To The Rescue
For some reason, garages tend to be quite dark spaces, which really makes no sense, as everything you do in your garage requires a powerful task light.
Even some large garages only have a single overhead light, which simply isn’t enough. But don’t worry about hardwiring in a bunch of supplemental fixtures, as you can introduce multiple track lights using only the wires from your overhead.
Track lights are called so because they’re clipped into a track containing a conductive strip running its length.
These lights can be moved up and down this track and can often be turned 350 degrees and tilted to point straight down, meaning this one fixture can cover all your lighting needs.
Unless you buy a full track lighting system kit, you’ll obviously need to install the track itself and other intermediary modules before you can use your track lights, but it’s an easy adaptation process.
10. Track Channels
Gladiator are one of the premier garage gear brands, and one of the best things about their products is that they’re all designed to form a singular, streamlined ecosystem, and these GearTrack channels are the foundational element of this synergy.
With these channels, not only can you install things like this Gladiator GearBox in seconds, but you can slide all your fittings to new locations, making layout changes a total breeze!
There you have it — 10 super practical garage interior design ideas to help you tame your workspace, boost your productivity, and generally improve your quality of life (and that of your tools!).
Apply some of the things discussed here to your garage, and you won’t even recognize the organized space that stands before you.