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Garage Refresh: Storage Space to Inspiring Study Nook

February 05, 2018
Garage Refresh: Storage Space to Inspiring Study Nook

At House of Home we love starting a new year because it brings out the best in us. Words like ’motivation,’ ‘organisation’ and ‘goal kicking’ all spring to mind.

For many of us a new year means a fresh start. We make it a priority to get that ever-growing list of tasks just done and dusted.

Just to prove to our audience that the team at House of Home practice what they preach, we thought we would share with you a project that our office busy bee and Customer Supporter extraordinaire just completed.

Queue Bee’s recently updated garage conversion project. After what had been an idea in the making for just under a year, Bee felt enough was enough and it was time to convert her wasted (and somewhat messy) garage storage area into a fully-fledged study nook.

We chatted to Bee about how she finally got the ball rolling on this little refresh, what challenges she encountered and how they were resolved, along with the 10 simple steps she took to create this gorgeous study nook.

Getting Started

What made you decide to undertake the garage update and how did the garage look prior to this?

I’ve always wanted a creative space that was my own - where I could make a mess, be inspired by my surroundings and then not have to deal with the consequences of cleaning up the mess straight away if I didn’t feel like it!“

I rent out our guest room, which happened to be my makeshift creative space. Every time we had guests, I had to lug all my art supplies up and down the stairs to the garage and then set up the room. “

One day, I decided that I was just going to leave all my boxes downstairs and that this nook inside the garage would be perfect! It was a project-just-waiting-to-happen space.


Design Brief

What were your main requirements or design objectives for the new space?

I wanted a space that inspired me to be creative. Besides the basics of having a table, chair and some storage space, the new space needed to be achievable for a novice. This is my first DIY makeover project! Never painted a wall, or used a power tool in my life!

I also needed some hanging space because in my spare time, I love to work on macrame projects. You might have seen some of my ideas for House of Home’s Christmas wrapping articles! You can view one here: D.I.Y Macrame Gift Ribbons - The Nautical Knot

Design & Layout

What existing design issues were you aiming to overcome?

There were small issues that I encountered, like the giant 40cm hole in the wall to the left (access to the mains water tap), no natural light and no view!

Being the garage this space has no natural light except with the roller door open. It's cold in winter and stinking hot in summer. The surrounding is all white with concrete floors. On its own, it is dull and lifeless with horrible fluorescent lighting. I wanted to make sure it was the complete opposite once I finished. Creating a nicer ambience was essential.


Design Objective

What was your vision for the project?

I wanted to create a beautiful and inspiring atmosphere so that when you walked into the space it felt fresh and crisp. To create a feeling similar to when you see a comfy bed and you want to jump straight into the pillows and burrow under the fresh linen and blankets (but for a work-space that inspires you to dive right into work)!

Originally, I was going to paint the feature wall Dulux Ploughed Earth to match the feature wall inside the house, however moved away from this when I was advised by House of Home’s resident Interior Designer to consider something a bit brighter, yet calming such as a dusky blue. I ended up selecting Dulux Stream.

As there was no natural light or view, the idea to bring the outside in came later when I met Sammi from the Green St Hub. She helped me create a jungle full of beautiful botanicals.

If you need quick advice on design selections or sourcing items they can help you. Just email House of Home.


Concept Design

Where you find your inspiration and do your research?

I normally start with Pinterest and was drawn to all the Nordic / Scandinavian look. This space definitely has a scandi feel to it, a touch of Boho and the eclectic jungle vibe.

House of Home’s Electro Botanical Style article really had the aesthetic that I loved.

Once I had a good idea of the aesthetic I wanted to create, I hopped on to House of Home to research products and compare prices.

Design Details

What’s your favourite thing about the new space?

I was probably the most nervous and excited for the blue wall. It was a little more adventurous than I had original envisioned but it turned out beautifully. I absolutely love the crisp blue wall and could easily have my eyes on this colour all day and be comfortable with it.

The jungle is definitely up there - the photos just don’t do it enough justice. Standing in the space, gives you tingle - Its magical. Must be all the fresh oxygen!


Colour, Materials & Finishes

What colour palette was chosen and why?

Blues, gold, white and brass have always stood out to me when shopping for decor. I just love the combination. I’ve always been a water baby love anything ocean inspired. Maybe it’s because I am an Aquarius!


Design Challenges

Did you encounter any challenges completing the refresh? If so, how did you tackle them?

My main challenge was just getting started - I just needed the right motivation. Not knowing how to paint proved to be a learning curve. I hadn’t realised how much was involved in just getting the walls and shelves ready to be painted. Whenever I thought I was ready, there was a hole to fill, sand and then be cleaned. Painter’s tape saved me more than once, and so did the glad wrap/foil trick - it helped keep my paint roller fresh for the next night of painting.

Construction Period

How long did it take to complete the project?

I drew up the original plans a year ago, January 2017. I bought most of my furniture a month later, but didn’t take any action until January 2018. Life just got busy and I finally had the motivation to get down and dirty this year.

Filling, sanding and prepping the wall and shelves took about 8 hours.

Painting took about a week and a bit - I ran out of paint half way through (buy the bigger paint tin than you think!)

All up, from when I started to clear the space to the photoshoot, it took me about 3 weeks.


10 Steps to Creating a Study Nook

Can you take us through the process of how you eventually created your new study nook?

Step 1:

Do your Research - look at magazines and go online for ideas and inspiration. For obvious reasons I use House of Home a lot!

Step 2:

Decide on a theme and colour palette.

Step 3:

Measure Up - Jot down’ overall measurements of the space, widths, depth, height to ensure you buy suitably sized furniture.

Step 4:

Research furniture and decor and compare prices, using a platform like House of Home makes this process so much easier!

Step 5:

Put together a mood board of ideas to help visualise how the space will look and if the items will work together.

Step 6:

Make a list or pin all of the items you wish to purchase on a Pinterest Board. This is a great option as it links directly to the product.

Step 7:

Go shopping! Hit the stores to check out the items or order online.

Step 8:

Once you have everything, commence any painting that needs to be done.

Step 9:

Once paint is dry it’s time to style! Place furniture & rugs then add decor, plants and accessories.

Step 10:

Sit back to admire your handy work and enjoy your new personalised space.

Get the Look

We hope you found this article helpful. We would like to thanks the following retailers who's products feature in the Study Nook.

Below is a list of the plants included in this space. Rubber Tree, Philodendron, Mother in Laws Tongue, Chinese Money Plant, Philodendron ‘Heart Leaf’, Weeping Fig, Hoya Carnosa (Krimson Princess), Devil’s Ivy, String of Hearts, Peperomia Silver Heart, Dwarf Tree Fern and a Parlour Palm.

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Image Credits: Photography by Julia Chapman. Styling by Bee Nguyen. Plant Styling by Sammi Kuoch