When a client approached us and asked us to create some cabinetry for their garage, we naturally said, “What would we want if this was our garage?”
After all, our client’s hobbies were right in line with my own, and I know how much work it takes to keep all of that gear in order.
That’s when it hit: active people need a tailored system that focuses on their special interests while emphasizing organization and efficiency. Which is why, rather than simply designing storage for one client, we decided to design a garage cabinetry line that would work for many.
First consideration: design around the hobby. Whether it’s biking, snow sports, golfing or even fast cars, keep that as the nucleus of the garage storage system and give that interest its own area. This will help prioritize the gear so you don’t have to spend as much time looking for it when you’re ready to use it.
Second: the kids. Kids rarely appreciate our desire to keep things orderly. But if we give them their own space this will help them take ownership and make it easy for them to keep track of what they need when they’re off to school or a sports activity.
Lastly: organization. Keep those frequently used items handy. You don’t want seasonal or other rarely used items to get in the way of the things you use more frequently. The last thing you want to do when you have the opportunity to go away for a weekend is spend two evenings digging for ski or camping gear.
Technical challenge: the sloping floor. A typical garage floor will have 1 to 2 inches of downward slope towards to the garage door to drain water if any accumulates on the floor. While most garage systems deal with this issue by hanging off the walls, we thought it would be best to come up with a way to also use the floor for support. This way we could increase the capacity of those cabinets and maximize the use of the space.
If you have a hobby that makes up a big part of your lifestyle, let’s celebrate it. With this project, we focused on the client’s interest in cycling. As a busy executive with a wife and two kids, any chance to ride his bike was considered a gift. With this in mind, we focused on providing enough storage for all his biking gear and space to show off a couple of his most-used bikes. This keeps all his biking gear together so he can quickly grab what he needs and be on his way.
Help kids help themselves
Many homes don’t have adequate space for a mudroom, so we decided to incorporate one into this project. Our client thought this was a great idea and so did Houzz. In a recent article called, “10 Smart Ideas From Beautifully Organized Garages” our project was mentioned as a great way to organize the space.
And you can always tell if kids are excited with something new by how quickly they start to adapt. (They were the first ones to move in!) Now they have a seating area just for themselves, with places to hang backpacks, jackets and store soccer gear.
Time to tidy up
Unfortunately, garages can become a dumping ground if keeping things organized takes too much work. So, to prevent that from happening the key was to focus on making it easy to maintain. To achieve this we decided to focus on two types of storage for our garage cabinetry line: open cabinets and hinged door storage. The tall open cabinets can be used for those frequently used items that get put to use, say, on a monthly basis. Meanwhile the hinged-door cabinets are primarily used for seasonal items and keepsakes that can be kept out of sight. Both styles of cabinets are sized around large plastic totes to help keep things grouped together.
So when you approach organization in this manner it’s imperative that you break your items into different categories by use. The goal is that when you’re packing for that weekend camping or ski trip, you can just grab and go. This will allow you to focus on those things you love to do and eliminate a lot of the time you used to spend searching for gear.
If you need more tips on how to get organized, you can find great advice from Marie Kondo on Tidying Up.
It's all about the base
On the technical side there was still the issue of how to deal with the slope of the floor. Our end solution uses a combination of adjustable feet and a detachable toe kick base. The metal feet create a gap between the cabinet and the floor that reduces the chance of moisture coming in contact with the plywood. Then the detachable base allows us to increase the height of each base by a quarter of an inch. This increases the overall height of the cabinet and helps us follow the slope of the floor. In doing so, we can still maintain those straight horizontal lines on the doors that modernists love. And should you ever move or want to reconfigure the space, it also increases the likelihood that this system could be moved to a new location with minimal additional work needed.
If you’re ready to organize your space and think you could benefit from our line of garage cabinetry, give us a call or use our contact form. We’d love to help.