There’s more to garages than parking the SUV
In March 2007, Michael Grousd invited a few friends over to watch the NCAA basketball championship. He and his friends watched the game, enjoyed some snacks and smoked a few cigars.
Oddly enough, Grousd’s wife, Sue, didn’t mind the cigar smoke at all. That’s because the sports fans watched the game not in the family room of the couple’s Gurnee ranch house, but in Grousd’s clubhouse, which happens to be the third bay of their three-car garage.
Last year, the Grousds spent more than $10,000 outfitting the space with organizers and even a special spill-resistant vinyl floor. They were so pleased with the neat, user friendly results that they went a step further, adding a 20-inch flat screen television and a small refrigerator to the space.
Now their garage is organized enough to store possessions and attractive enough to serve as a hangout for Grousd and his friends.
“They use it a lot,” said Sue Grousd, adding that the workbench makes a great buffet table for the chips, Italian beef and other snacks. “At the end of football season, they had a club meeting every Sunday.”
Sunday afternoon in a garage? The room that Mo, the irascible bartender on “The Simpsons,” calls the carhole?
Most Americans can’t walk through their garage much less watch TV in it. Dank, dark, and tinged with the smell of gasoline, the stereotypical garage exists as a place to stash stuff from push mowers to potting soil – and maybe, just maybe, a car.
For homeowners such as the Grousds, however, the garage has become more than a storage space for the SUV. Along with a place to park the car, they’re seeing the garage as a place to work, to indulge their interests, and even to entertain. Other homeowners are turning them into stylish storage areas.
Businesses are already tapping into the trend. Armed with research showing consumers are ready and willing to gussy up their garages, retailers and manufacturers are flooding the market with garage organization products and services.