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Get a better garage

From the Resene decorating blog

If your garage is disorganised, filled with clutter and a space you do your best to ignore, you’re not alone; however, in overlooking it, you’re discounting some prime real estate. Instead, you could optimise your garage’s utility and visual appeal with these savvy decorating suggestions.

A colourful statement floor

A garage with a loft style ceiling for extra storage

Colourful floor: This statement floor sets the stage for a creative crafter in a disused corner of a garage. It was created with a base of Resene Half Villa White and diminishing rectangles of green-gold Resene Rococo, muted violet Resene Memory Lane, lichen green Resene Unwind and bold orange Resene Jailbreak. The walls and pegboard are in Resene Half Villa White with a hand-painted frame, shelves and pegs in Resene Noir; the table is in Resene Rice Cake; and Resene Noir and the chair is in Resene Liberty. The accessories include a plant pot in Resene Noir, jars in red-pink Resene Irresistible and soft-pink Resene Ethereal, and a spotted vase in Resene Noir, Resene Rice Cake and Resene Rose Gold. Styling by Annick Larkin, photography by Melanie Jenkins.  Loft-style ceiling: A loft-style ceiling and wall-mounted hooks offer extra storage space for larger items and those that get used less often. Here, the back wall and ceiling battens in Resene Woodsmoke contrast with the timber panels finished with Resene Colorwood Whitewash. The side walls are in Resene Duck Egg Blue and the trims and rail are in Resene Alabaster. Designed by Pimp My Garage, photography by Jessica Gernat.

Hit the ground

Create an eye-popping statement by painting your garage floor – it’s relatively easy and inexpensive. Before you start, check to see if your concrete has a surface curing membrane (used to stop moisture loss) by splashing water onto it. If it darkens, there’s likely no curing membrane; if it doesn’t darken, your concrete will have to be diamond-ground or acid-etched before you paint it. Prime with Resene ConcreteSeal 3 in 1 before applying two coats of hard-wearing Resene Walk-on. Gloss up an existing concrete floor by tinting your Resene Walk-on with salty Resene Silver Sand, dense grey Resene Half Jumbo or dusty dawn grey Resene Archive Grey. Or use painter’s tape to mask the floor to create a statement with a geometric pattern or stripes. Once dry, seal with Resene Concrete Wax.

Look up, and upcycle

Wall storage is a standard solution for bulky items like bikes, deckchairs and step ladders. But have you considered converting a wall of your garage into a mini-mudroom where the kids can store their coats, schoolbags, gumboots and sports equipment? You could use Resene FX Chalkboard Paint or Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen to create colour-coded stripes on the wall – one for each young member of the family – where you can write their name and reminders such as details on the week’s after-school activities. Prime timber cubbies (one for each painted stripe) with Resene Quick Dry before painting them in the corresponding colours and hanging them on the wall along with coat hooks for jackets, helmets or swimming towels. Raising them off the ground will give you extra storage space beneath them, which you can use for shoes.

A mudroom with colourful personalised cubbies

This mudroom-style area features personalised cubbies that bring order to the after-school dumping ground. The stripes are painted with Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen (so they double as wipeable chalkboards that can be wiped clean with a damp cloth) tinted with (from left) Resene Cello, Resene Enigma and Resene Quarter New Denim Blue. The cubbies from The Warehouse are in the same colours, with Resene Rice Cake on the inside. The floor in Resene Mountain Mist and the coat rack is in Resene Nocturnal. Styling by Annick Larkin, photography by Bryce Carleton.

For an even more budget-friendly storage solution, upcycle an old dresser or sideboard for housing tools and hardware. Paint is the best way to revive old timber furniture; if it has a varnished surface, be sure to sand it gently to provide a ‘key’ for the new paint to adhere to, and fill in any cracks or imperfections first. Prime your drawers with a coat of Resene Quick Dry before applying your choice of topcoat. For a classic pale palette, look to the Resene Whites & Neutrals fandeck and go for white-with-a-hint-of-grey Resene Sea Fog, soft neutralised grey Resene Half Titania or green-tipped flaxen neutral Resene Quarter Linen. For a bit of fun, turn to bolder yet dusky colours such as lucky green Resene Amulet, orange bourbon Resene Whiskey Sour or grey violet blue Resene Ship Cove. For added smarts, mount painted dowel to the sides of the dresser, so you can hang up smaller tools that you access more regularly.

Purposeful repurposing

Speaking of upcyling, if you’re planning a kitchen update, don’t dispose of dated cabinetry – repurpose it for your garage, priming then painting it to shake off its old identity. For a timeless look, choose a serious shade of navy, such as blackened blue Resene Indian Ink, deep marine blue-green Resene Tangaroa or slate blue Resene Dark Knight. Or go on-trend earthy with olive green Resene Waiouru, lichen grey Resene Finch or muted brown Resene Rodeo Dust.

Corner studio with stained timber panelled walls

A grey/blue garage entryway

Corner studio: In this corner studio, the Shadowclad panelled walls have been stained with Resene Colorwood Ironbark and the floor is in Resene Quarter Spanish White. The vases on the shelf are in Resene Canterbury Clay, Resene Putty and Resene Peace; the stool is in Resene Double Pravda, Resene FX Crackle and Resene Quarter Fossil. The rubbish bin and One Soul art print by Loulou Avenue are from Paper Plane, the vase is from Sunday Homestore, the Wheel ceramic incense holder and tray are from Everyday Needs, and the rugs are from Città and Indie Home Collective.  Grey/blue entryway: Wire baskets in Resene Jaguar help keep small items organised but easily accessible. They were painted using Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen, so they can be labelled with chalk. The pegboard by George & Willy painted in Resene Neutral Bay is a stylish spot for tools and everyday essentials you need to access often. The chair is from Freedom; the cushion is from Bolt of Cloth; the baskets, mat and umbrella are from Kmart; and the bag is from H&M. Styling by Vanessa Nouwens and Laura Lynn Johnston, photography by Bryce Carleton.

Let’s get visible

Lidded storage boxes can be an organisational godsend in a garage, and you can make them even more user-friendly. Take painter’s tape and section off a small rectangular area on the front of each box. Paint each section with Resene FX Blackboard Paint, then label with chalk to identify the boxes’ contents: toys, sports equipment, Christmas decorations, this and that.

Boxed office

With WFH being BAU for many of us these days, you could maximise your garage’s floorspace by partitioning off a square for use as your workstation, complete with a desk and bookshelves. Use paint to define the space – even if it’s just one wall. Reduce stress with calming colours such as urban grey-green Resene Rainee, soft grey-blue Resene Ziggurat or dreamy cerulean Resene Escape. Along with heating for your new gar-office, you’ll need to consider the lighting, and pale, light-reflecting paint like cool white Resene Barely There, beige linen Resene Albescent White and ivory Resene Ecru White can assist with the latter.

Resene Ethereal

Resene Rose Gold

Resene Rococo

Resene Peace

Resene Liberty

Resene Memory Lane

Resene Noir

Resene Jailbreak

August 26, 2020

Visit your local Resene ColorShop for more colour ideas and all the expert advice and products you need for a superb finish on all your decorating projects.

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