In the past four or five years, the concept of the multi-functional garage has gained favour in the United States. Now, Canadians are catching on. Since most garages adjoining a home are already insulated and heated, homeowners are now asking how they can optimize that space, which often spans more than 27 square metres. While preserving its primary use as a carport and storage space, the garage can also serve as a workshop, a games-and-fitness room, a laundry room and storage space for extra food. It can even be used for family gatherings and teen evenings in lieu of the basement, which nowadays is often the designated home-theatre space.
Layout, it goes without saying, plays a fundamental role. No one wants to dance with friends or jump on the treadmill amid a jumble of cardboard boxes, ski boots, construction materials and garden hoses. The word from professionals is that the catch-all storage garage will soon be a thing of the past. Today, in some cases, garage design practically falls more aptly under decoration. Many clients are asking for the same type of melamine storage cabinets they have in their dressing rooms or kitchens. But there’s a hitch: While making the garage habitable, you still need to have a practical and usable space that is also well ordered and attractive. A lot of companies are seeing their client base grow with each passing month. And this is just the beginning. Chances are that within a few years, the finished garage will be spoken of in the same breath as the walk-in closet.