If you live in Boston and you are fortunate enough to have a garage, chances are you might be thinking about ways to use it, other than to house your vehicle. City living requires many people to think outside of the box and for years, garages have been used to store more than just cars. If you have been dreaming about transforming your garage into a man cave or other living space, you should. With a few changes, you will be able to enjoy your garage in a whole new way. Consider the following ideas to help you get started.

1. Light
One of the most important features that your garage needs to have is light. Generally, garages aren’t subject to huge windows that allow natural sunlight in, so you really want to ensure that your new “man cave” has plenty of light. You can add anything from track lighting on the ceiling to table lamps, depending on what look you are going for. You can keep it traditional or opt for something more modern. Whatever you decide to do, make sure that your space is bright and airy. No one wants to sit in a dingy room.

Neena’s Lighting
380 Boylston St.
Boston, MA 02116
(617) 859-1700

Hours: Mon to Sat – 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sun – Closed

Neena’s has everything you need when it comes to lighting up your space. From traditional chandeliers to pendant lighting and wall sconces, you should be able to find the right look for your space. While you’re here, you may want to pick up a ceiling fan (with a light) to keep the air moving around your garage.

2. Cover
If you don’t want to spend a lot of money on furniture for your garage overhaul, you should purchase some fabric and foam. You can build your own seating using some wood and then covering the wood with fabric. Doing this will give you a completely customized look at a fraction of the cost. You can cover old chairs or even panels to hang on the wall. To transform your garage space, you will definitely want to take a trip to a fabric store.

Fabric Showplace
86 Coolidge Ave
Watertown, MA 02472
(617) 926-2888

Hours: Mon to Sat – 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sun – Closed

At Fabric Showcase you are guaranteed to find the perfect furniture covering. With tons of different styles, textures and colors, you will be able to create a unique look for your new space. If you aren’t that much of a do-it-yourself-er, the Fabric Showcase offers services above and beyond their products. Just bring your ideas to them and let them help you. The store also has an extensive lending library, so you can take some ideas back to your garage to brainstorm.

3. Store
One thing that is essential to creating a perfect living space in your garage is maintaining the clutter. Chances are, you have a lot of things stored in your garage, maybe even just thrown about. Purchasing functional storage racks and bins will help organize your things and will make the room a lot cleaner. The purpose of storage is not to “hide” clutter, but to “organize” it. Everything should have a place where it’s easy to find and easily accessible. If you’re really savvy, you may opt for storage units that double as furniture. For example, you may purchase (or build) an ottoman that is hollow inside to hold games, magazines or even blankets.

Tags Hardware
29 White St.
Cambridge, MA 02140
(617) 868-7711

Hours: Mon to Sat – 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sun. – 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Tags Hardware has an excellent selection of storage units. Whether you are thinking of getting some free-standing shelving units or you want to build a modular wall system to hold anything from golf clubs to winter boots, you should head to Tags. Make sure you have the measurements of your space and an idea of what you want to do before making a purchase. Drawing everything out on a sheet of paper may help you nail down the perfect storage option for your new garage space.

Related: Winter Can Mean Great Deals On Home Improvement

Boston-based writer Effie Orfanides keeps up with interior design trends. Effie draws on her Greek/Italian heritage for inspiration and shows a keen eye for little things that make a house a home. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.

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