Handyman’s Sanctuary

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This multi-functional garage space is where things get done.

Story by Ann Butenas   |   Photos by Matt Kocourek

Joedy Terrill of the Mid-America Chevelle Club stopped by the photo shoot in his 1969 Chevelle SS 396. We think it’s a pretty nice addition to this garage.

For many people, a garage is simply a place to park their cars and store their lawn equipment, various tools, bicycles, toys for the kids and other miscellaneous items that don’t necessarily fit or belong inside the home. Others, still, might have a garage that could be a strong contender for an episode of “Hoarders.” For more ambitious folks, however, the garage can become an extension of the home, perhaps evolving into a multi-purpose room and highly functional space dedicated to more than just keeping the cars from enduring the outside elements and hiding all of   one’s hodge-podge of items from the neighbors.

Not a man cave, but a truly functional space layered with sleek and simplistic design elements, this southern Johnson County residential garage is the result of a diligent undertaking by the homeowners, Matt Kocourek and Scott Gibson. A decided work in progress, this is part of an ongoing overall home remodeling effort. As such, the space still has yet to find its final voice, but it sure does strongly whisper notes of purpose and confidence. Its clean, sleek and contemporary appeal are what first captivate you. The newly-installed, easy to clean epoxy garage floor almost makes you feel as if you should take your shoes off before walking into the garage.

“This garage design just sort of happened,” expressed Kocourek. “It all started when we were working on remodeling the adjacent laundry room, as in doing that room, it pulled us out into the garage. So we just basically decided to take the garage down to the studs. We then rewired it, added insulation, and updated it with storage cabinets.”

Described as a mid-century modern home with open rooms, this home, built in 1978 and purchased by the homeowners in 2013, was due for an update.

“Nothing had been done on the house since it was first built,” explained Kocourek who has already updated the façade of the residence, as well as the laundry room and is currently tackling the garage. This is a big space with lots of potential and the homeowners are eager to get it functioning to its fullest potential.

“It has taken us about two years to really learn how to use this space,” reflected the homeowner. “We tend to study and run through design ideas before we actually produce them.”

Much of the work involved has been focused on storage and lighting, both of which have enjoyed updated improvements.

“We originally had the typical big box shelving units where the new cabinets currently stand,” indicated Kocourek, who, along with Gibson, lost interest in the original shelving due to its open design, which attracted dust and dirt onto everything stored on them. The homeowners desired shelving and storage that would keep things closed and clean. They also have family members who frequently visit, so the numerous shoe shelves are perfect for organizing everyone’s footwear.

While the former design only allowed for two lights, the new design has enthusiastically invited 15 new lights in the form of LED strips, Lotus lights and other types of task lighting, perfect for when the homeowner  is out here working on various woodworking projects.

The homeowners also brought down the ceiling and installed an updated HVAC system. They opted to keep the black steel beams exposed to allow for a unique design element. The faux wood grained laminate cabinets came from Profile Cabinet and Design and were designed by Steve Nelson. They offer removable shelves and are the perfect place to store tools, towels, car cleaning items, and outdoor/camping gear. The light gray paint on the garage walls not only performs well at hiding marks, but it also reflects light. Additionally, a door leading to the backyard deck was originally where a window was located, but the homeowner realized the importance of incorporating a door for added functionality.

“We like to work in the yard and it is nice not to have to walk clear around the house to get to the garage now,” he said.

Multi-talented in use, this garage can also easily transition from functioning as a wood working space to an indoor gym of sorts.

“We use the garage frequently for various wood working projects and home construction projects,” stated Kocourek, which is why the flat screen TV is strategically placed above the rolling work bench. Avid cyclists, the homeowners can easily store their various bicycles here and there is also space to set up an indoor training bike during the winter months.

Since they live on a cul-de-sac, the homeowners like to leave the garage door up to encourage neighbors and friends to come over and enjoy a visit.

“It makes for a welcoming gathering spot,” reflected Kocourek.

Essentially a multi-purpose room, this garage has been performing to top standards for the homeowners and has intentionally been designed and organized to allow for further growth and change.

“It definitely has a lot of uses, and it also allows us to keep the dirt outside and neatly put things away when we are done,” said Kocourek.

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