Tag Archives: garage

Pin of the day: Some midcentury garage love

1958 asbestos garage. Repinned by Secret Design Studio, Melbourne. www.secretdesignstudio.com

Garages are usually lucky to get a quick coat of paint and a tidy up.

But in the fifties… they got Fibrolite! I love the upbeat feel of this decades advertising, and its trademark fonts. I think I’d even call it my favourite design era.

And of course I’m loving that colourful panelling, the awning, and most of all – the planters!

Protect your car! (But not your health… asbestos beware!)

Have a lovely Monday…

Father’s weekend in the man cave

Father’s Day rolled around this year with a few hints that tools were required (aren’t they always?!). Actually I should rephrase because he doesn’t do hints. When pressed I got “I think I need a spanner set.”

What he got instead was a sweet handmade card that is the spitting image of our newly painted (yes, yes, more on that later I promise) garage and a promise from Mama and the kids that we would dedicate two whole days to help find a spanner set.

Some…. where….. in…… here:

A spanner? In there? Hardly likely… and he wants a whole set?! Before I go any further I need to say two things: No attempt has been made to sort this garage since things were thrown in on moving day, and with all going on inside the house the garage has born the brunt of hurried returning of tools and bits and pieces. Secondly, my poor husband can’t stand up in this garage… being 6’4″ has it’s advantages – a low roof is not one of them.

Now, arrow 1 points to the chest freezer where I have a few meals stored for “one of those days”. For some time I have not been able to get to any meals on “one of those days” which is just the last straw and makes it “ONE OF THOSE DAYS!!!” Arrow 2 points to the “tool drawer” which hung out in the house for quite some time and quickly became the dumping ground for anything that I or Andre couldn’t immediately find a place for ie. everything! Arrow 3 marks the spot where one or two motorbikes are usually parked but weren’t for this photo – I just have to point that out so you know I really, really couldn’t get to the freezer and there was a very valid reason for sending Andre back out for takeaways as soon as he got home.

Anyway, there are loads of photos so I’ll let them speak for themselves for a bit:

Ugh! Because this was a serious operation, Andre took a couple of days off work so we had ourselves a four day weekend to get this chaos into order. Being Auckland, rain was guaranteed at least four times in those four days so we put the tent up to store everything in the meantime. This is how it looked by coffee time on the first morning:

Some time after lunch everything was out (including Miss E) and in various piles designated for the rubbish truck or Trade Me or for keeps (this is where we put Miss E).

And we got to cleaning in preparation for a repaint (looks like someone had tried to clean their paintbrush on the walls previously…??).

I have no progress shots of the painting because it was all hands on paint brush to get it done before dinner. I was pretty delighted to get so far in one day – never thought we’d be painting until day two!

Day two was another big one which involved splitting all the scrap timber into kindling for next winter:

And starting the slow process of moving everything back into it’s rightful place. Because this is my kind of job I was so engrossed I also missed pictures of this process, but am delighted to be able to present some “finished” pictures after a solid three days of getting well acquainted with our man cave and all that is in it (and no longer in it).

Sooo much better don’t you agree? Thanks to removing an old blind off the window, freshening up the walls and painting the lower beams white (hmm… varying shades of leftover white or not so white) and putting everything “away” the garage looks bigger, lighter and there is space to work at the work bench at the back, or even work on bigger projects without having to hang from the ceiling beams. The bench just to the left of the motorbike holds all the “for sale” things, so if you squint and picture that free from clutter it just gets better! I didn’t wait for that to be gone before I took after pictures because… well, I just couldn’t wait.

I’m pretty proud of this corner:

It’s my gardening station. I no longer have to fight with the ladder for possession of the rake. Dare I give you a close up look for my tool rack? Oops, you can see where I took a wee shortcut and didn’t paint the underside, but I can assure you only small children or squatting photographers see this view.

Down below are these old nail boxes which have faithfully followed our every move since Andre claimed them from his Dad’s (or Opa’s?) garage when he moved out. They look so smart lined up together and they’re doing a great job storing the smaller gardening tools and gloves, seeds etc.

Further back in the garage are these shelves (repurposed from the kids room, which now has a new manrobe) which hold the only new purchase for this makeover: 8 storage crates from Mitre 10 at around $9 each. We’ll call them the Father’s Day present (I think we found the spanners!).

They hold painting supplies, plumbing bits and electrical things, as well as some other odds and ends. Based on the above view I have imposed a “no more paint” rule. Surely there is enough paint, sealer and filler to allow for whatever project we dream up next?

Once I had “my” gardening corner and these shelves set up I pretty much left Andre to get to know his man cave on his own. I am absolutely delighted at the transformation and am no longer afraid to venture in for a piece of sandpaper, but it’s Andre’s place to hang out, not mine. Besides, my usefulness had expired by then anyway – I was just getting in the way and putting things in the wrong place, which was definitely not the idea. I snuck back in one morning last week to get some more photos.

Long may it last!

Using up the leftovers

It’s not hard to use up leftovers in our house – they get eaten for lunch the next day, or if there is enough for another meal I pop it in the freezer to save me some time another day!

But leftovers of the builders mix variety had us wondering what to do. For our recent concrete wall project Andre got a trailer load of builders mix for cheaper than a few bags from Bunnings. But we didn’t use anywhere near all of it, and it was just wasting trailer space. We discussed listing it on Trade Me (not worth the money we could get for it or the hassle of having to deliver it off our trailer) or just dumping it at Andre’s work (sshhh! The things that end up there must mean they have a pretty giant skip or even their own rubbish dump!) but then Andre thought of one place that could do with a little spruce up to use as a storage area.

There’s a grimy little path that runs down beside our garage, around the back (where there is an entrance to the dungeon under the garage) and around the other side. Apparently previous occupants of our house used to dump food scraps around there and it got a bit rat-infested. We did have a couple of dead rats appear after we shifted in but thankfully we haven’t seen any for a while now.

Here’s the path down one side, with some junk hauled out from the other side (destined for the aforementioned work skip) and a whole lot of weeds that is all that is growing in our back yard for the time being.

Ugh! No wonder I don’t go down there… along the back is even gloomier with the dungeon on one side and a mouldy fence on the other. Even Master W is wary of the man cave:

Anyway, I snuck past to see what happened to the leftover builders mix and was pleasantly surprised at the tidy little patch that I found:

Andre found some weedmat in the garage and laid that down before spreading the builders mix over it. I think he did a great job! Beyond Andre and Master W you can still get a glimpse of how this area was once a glorified dump for all things unwanted and I will admit it has gathered a few branches and stray bits of building supplies since we’ve taken over management. However, the little improvement of “paving” with builders mix has left me hopeful that it won’t forever be a dreary wasteland and might even one day be a useful little spot to store things… like timber that might come in handy for a future project.

I’ve also floated the idea that it could be a spot for a compost bin (we are getting enthused about gardening these days, now that we’re just days away from having one that is not made of weeds, and Andre has even signed up to do a composting course one night this week) but we’ll reserve judgement on that for now.

A further spruce up by way of painting the garage and fence will help immensely too:

And I was glad to see the trailer emptied. Now we can load up some of the rubbish that is lying about (like the previous owners old compost bin and some reinforcing mesh that came out of our newly tidied space).

Anyone else been using up extra building materials in an unexpected way? Or tidying up a space that noone else ever sees?

Spring clean on an Autumnal day

Before we even got out of bed this morning Andre said “I might just have a good tidy up today.”

Hallelujah! This is what we’ve had to look at while sitting on the toilet for the last lots of months:

It seems today might be the day it will find its rightful place, which is absolutely not in the bathroom! Kind of embarrassing to reveal such a photo… yes, this old kitchen drawer has become the “toolbox”, which essentially is a dumping ground for all tools that haven’t otherwise been put here:

This, believe it or not, is the cupboard in the  kids bedroom – despite being only a few weeks new, it fast became a good place to put all potentially dangerous tools and substances out of reach of one inquisitive toddler (as opposed to the “toolbox” above, which may as well be his toy box). Obviously, it needs some attention before we can move said toddler into his new bedroom.

Fingers crossed we have a tidy bathroom and cupboard by the end of the day! Here’s to my brave husband who will attempt to find space for all these essential items in the garage… which is a very, very scary place folks. Take a look:

Aaaargh! The roof is too low for Andre to stand up in, so fair enough right?