elfa® Garage Makeover & Craft Studio



Like so many of us, Heidi and David’s garage was in need of a little TLC. Home to regular garage items, the couple’s space also housed Heidi’s craft business. Heidi clearly needed a workspace of her own. So with their elfa office and David’s garage in order, Heidi’s craft studio topped off the organising trifecta.

It all came back to that one thing – lack of storage space.

We had a great space but inadequate storage options. The garage is so huge but we needed a place or a framework really to put things in” says Heidi.

Together we came up with a solution that would form zones to maximise their garage storage space, enable a clear and easy path to high access items and provide Heidi with a separate creative craft studio to call her own.

The Garage

Garage Before

Garage After

Garage After

It’s fair to say that the garage stores fairly heavy-duty items so it makes sense you need a hardwearing, durable solution. An elfa garage system became the backbone of David’s Tool/Gardening Wall. Customised with specialised elfa garage components and hooks, we also added Tubtrugs and White Plastic Tubs to group like items together.

Why elfa? Well it’s built to last, completely customisable, comes with a 10-year guarantee, a range of different finishes and it’s so simple to install. elfa’s load bearing capacity is huge as it distributes weight across the entire wall. What’s more,

“it’s versatile and because it uses your vertical wall space it keeps everything off the floor.” says Heidi.

A durable and long standing solution, elfa can also be moved in an instant. Given it’s only the top track that’s attached to the wall, if you decide to move, you can take it with you or promote it with the house as a selling feature. And what if you change your mind about various components? Simply purchase another hook or shelf and add it to your system.

“There are a lot of great storage zones within my elfa system but I’d have to say that the system itself is the best thing about our garage overhaul,” says Heidi.

elfa will utilise an entire wall in a modular way and the garage system houses a combination of shelves and hooks to organise those awkward garage pieces like whipper snippers and brooms.

“In a practical sense we were able to keep all the dirtier items like the lawnmower towards the door of the garage whereas previously they were deep in the garage and really hard to access.”

And what about the installation?

“Having Ali from Howards design and install the whole system meant the whole thing was done in a day. It’s a big job having to pull everything out and sort through your items let alone having to do the installation as well. If it’s somebody that knows the system and that’s his or her job, well, you’re always going to get a good result from that. They’re in a position to do it quicker. Life gets busy, so get a specialist to help you out or it may never happen!”

The result has been life changing for David and Heidi. They have found elfa garage to be

so flexible, strong, customisable and easy to use. It’s amazing how everyday items like brooms and tools just click in to the elfa framework. You can move it all around, redesign it to suit what you use the most, as well as what will fit your space. It has more than accommodated David’s items.”

But what surprised our couple were the hidden treasures they found throughout this process.

“When it was all consolidated we realised David had an amazing collection of tools! And having easy access to them is so great. He can see where everything is (each spanner/tool has its own clip) and he also has the bench space to work from. It works perfectly; it’s like a modern take on the peg-board system.”

Heidi’s Top Garage Overhaul Tips are…

  1. The only way to really transform your garage is to take all of items out of the space and eyeball everything so you can make those hard decisions like ‘do I really need this?’
  2. Really think seriously about what storage systems you need in order to store items and zone correctly.
  3. As well as storage, think carefully about the practicality of where to store things – with the elfa system there’s room for storage like storage buckets but it’s important that your items are easy to see – if you can see them, you’ll use them.

The Craft Studio

Garage Nook pre makeover

Garage Nook now converted into a Craft Studio

With the main part of the garage in order, a substantial space was left for Heidi’s craft studio.  Pre-makeover, Heidi found that between making, creating and selling her items at the markets, she lost countless hours rummaging for misplaced supplies.

What’s more she wasted money on double up purchases and transporting her products between home and the markets each week had become a strain.

By developing three key zones in her new workspace filled with labeled boxes, tubs and folders we were able to create a home for all of Heidi’s work essentials, save her time (no more rummaging!), money (no purchasing double ups!) and increase accessibility to her items.

Zone 1 – The Storage Wall.

We populated an elfa® custom solution with Water Hyacinth Baskets and Easi Store Tubs which grouped together board games as well as Heidi’s craft, respectively. Come market day, Heidi simply loads the Easi Store Tubs straight into her car in one simple step.

“I just wheel them out and put them straight in the boot as they are and it’s easier because I don’t have to spend hours trying to grab everything to put in the car. It’s all already there.  Pre-makeover, I found when I did the markets I’d often be missing things because it wasn’t all in one place. I’m much more organised now.”

Zone 2 – The Design Bench

By combining two elfa drawer units with a melamine top; along with a set of metal drawers, clear acrylic Allure and ZAK organisers, Heidi now has a functional place to get creative!

“When you’re designing you often need to leave things set up. On my design bench, everything is there and accessible and right here beside me. Making the design bench from elfa was great – it’s the perfect height for making things!”

The extra table in the middle of the space now houses a sewing machine and the kid’s artwork underneath the Perspex on the tabletop.

“The kids love joining me in the space. It’s nice to be able to have them and their art around me. They have both really enjoyed doing craft but pre-makeover, haven’t always been able to do that; when they’ve wanted to paint we haven’t had the space or really known where their paints were! Now everything’s labeled and we have a table where they can create!”

One of the great things about this new space is the angst that it has alleviated from the household!

My daughter uses the space to do her school art projects. Before we had a designated studio space, it was very disruptive for the kids too because if they were mid way through a project on the dining room table, they’d have to pack away what they were doing at mealtime. It meant that straight away when you were trying to set a nice tone to a family dinner it started off with angst and agitation because everyone had to stop what they were doing. Now the kids can leave their art out and come back to it and it’s right where they left it so there’s no interruption to the flow.”

Zone 3 – The Office Wall

We combined labeled Orla Kiely organisers, Linus Drawer Organisers, a Bamboo In-tray and Pen Box in an existing bookshelf that got a fresh coat of paint.

“The thing about Howards products is they’re functional but more than that, they look great too. Like the Orla Kiely organisers; they’re beautiful which is nice because a lot of storage things in the past have just been practical and hidden away. These items are practical and they compliment a room.”

More than just a makeover, this process has taught Heidi and David how to avoid an organisational casualty in the future.

“Storage is the basis of any organisational issue. Having quality storage as a place to put things is key to being organised. This process has taught me to query what storage solutions will fulfill a particular storage need. It’s prompted me to learn how to store things better in order to be organised.”

And what about life for David and Heidi post garage and craft studio overhaul?

“We’re so happy. Just this morning David was in the garage making sure everything was in place and that it all looked really nice. Having it so organised has prompted me to make sure my area is kept tidy,” says Heidi.

© 2013 Howards Storage World Pty Ltd

Accurate as at December 2013.

The Design Bench