For Conway Reimer, every garage is a blank canvas. Which is why the owner of Garage Living wants to help every client optimize this often under-utilized space in their home.
Wife and business partner Jen agrees. “It’s like extra square footage. We want people to love their space because it’s part of their home.”
Since the onset of sheltering-in-place, the couple has noticed a shift in their business. While they’re still doing showpiece garages, 80 percent of their work is creating practical working areas. Projects have run the gamut, from home gyms to arts and crafts rooms.
“Being home all the time has increased people’s awareness.”
“They want to take advantage of any extra space,” says Conway. “We also hear they’re not planning to travel anytime soon. Investments they would have made on family vacations are going into their homes.”
We asked the Reimers about some of their more recent commissions.
“I’m currently designing a space for a client who has two daughters who dance. With classes not happening live, they’re doing it over Zoom. She wanted a place for them to be able to practice,” says Jen.
The first step was coating the garage floor to provide a clean surface to dance on. Organization was another concern. Plans included a combination of cabinets and slatwalls to store everything from usual garage items to towels and water bottles. And, of course, a television to watch classes remotely.
The Reimers have also transformed garages into a music room for a teen-age garage band, a game area, computer lab, and a number of DIY spaces (think woodworking, gardening, artist studio).
Garage projects can be multi-faceted
A client in Houston client had a trio of requests. The first was a hobby space; the second, a gym and fitness area with wall-suspended machines, a bike, and treadmill.
“For the third bay, we put in a car lift for his Porsche, which left room for his wife’s daily drive vehicle underneath,” says Conway.
Working directly with the homebuilding community provides additional opportunities. For one Austin builder, Garage Living created three packages, each offering a different level of finish-out.
“We provided them with designs, floor and cabinet samples, and standard pricing. Customers are able to choose the level of customization,” says Conway.
The Reimers have made some changes to their marketing strategy. They estimate 65 percent of new business is being garnered through social media.
“Seeing photos introduces them to something that wasn’t necessarily in their thought process. With people working from home, the spare bedroom is now a home office. They can’t go to the gym. What are they going to do? Our focus is on providing solutions,” says Jen.
“Our campaign is simple,” adds Conway. “Deliver good space to people.”