Surprise Garage Makeover: From Messy To Man-Cave


Once upon a time there was an interior designer who had a handsome Harley riding husband.  Her Harley riding husband was a very patient man – putting up with his girly girl wife who had decorated every inch of the house in her girly girl ways.  So one day she had the crazy idea to surprise him and turn his ridiculously messy excuse of a garage into his very own man-cave.  A place he could call his own.  So for months and months she plotted and planned and waited until his big, manly Harley trip and then set about the daunting process of this challenging garage makeover.  She had only four days to transform it from mess to man-cave.    The minute he left the adventure began!


My good friend, Susan, met me at the house at 7:00am to clean out the mess so they could lay the floor.


And when I say mess I mean MESS.  Although, in my hurry I didn’t get good pictures of the garage before we started, this is what came out of it.


And this.


And, this.  Yes, it takes a good friend to sacrifice her morning, time and energy to come take on a project like this.  Thanks, Susan!


The garage was cleared just in time for the guys to come and lay the floor.  (Sorry, in the frenzy I didn’t get pictures of this process either.)  But, I used a floor product called VCT,  from my friend and floor guy, Geoff, at ALL Pro Floors for the surface – a very durable material that is used a lot in commercial spaces.  It comes in numerous colors in the form of square tiles and is durable enough to handle the wear and tear of cars and motorcycles.  I decided on black with white flecks for my motorcycle man.  You can sort of see what the floor looks like in this picture above.


After the floor was laid one of my installers that I use for my design business came over to help put all the cabinets together. My dad and my son took on this challenge, too.  The cabinets came in the flat boxes you see above and were a bit of an undertaking to say the least, but between the three of them they got them all put together.  I lucked out and found them on clearance at Home Depot.  I got them for less than half price.  Woo hoo!!!


Troy, my installer, carefully measured and hung the rails and brackets.


My son, Daniel, and two of his friends were home from college for the weekend and lent a much needed helping hand.  Above, his friend, John, helped me move the lower cabinets into place.  Below Daniel and Brian hoisted the upper cabinet into place.



My perfectionist dad and oldest son, Ryan, took great pains to level the cabinets.



My daughter, Alyssa, helped sort his tools and organize them for the new cabinets.


My daughter-in-law, Katie, helped hang some of the signs.


Katie and Ryan helped with the finishing touches while my mom happily watched my granddaughter, Kaisley.


When we were done, my mom cleaned the floor.  As you can see it was a total family affair.


Not only did my friend, Susan, help clear out the garage when we started – being a Harley riding chick herself – she moved his other motorcycle, a Triumph, out of the garage when we began and back in when we finished.  More thanks, Susan!


My beautiful granddaughter just hung out and enjoyed the party.  (We did this over a year ago so she’s much bigger now and toddling around all over the place.)


Knowing my man would be tired and ready for a beer when he got home from his long ride I set out a bucket of beer and a chair so he could relax and enjoy his new surroundings.



And, here’s what he got to come home to.  His brand new man-cave. (I soooo wish I had before pictures of the garage so you could see the true transformation.)

doug in chair with beer

Needless to say he was a surprised and happy man!  Doesn’t he look like a rough and rugged Harley man? (His other life….when he’s not in his conservative business attire at the office.)


Finally, a home worthy of his prize possessions.


Since it was an early Christmas present I recorded the event in his own photo album and gave it to him for Christmas.

doug and i together

So in the end the girly girl interior designer and the handsome Harley man lived happily ever-after. 

Happy Decorating!

8 comments for “Surprise Garage Makeover: From Messy To Man-Cave

  1. Mary Ann
    April 14, 2011 at 7:33 pm

    Awww – I so enjoyed seeing and hearing again about this. So cool!!!

    • April 14, 2011 at 8:10 pm

      I know…..I’ve been meaning to do a post on it forever and just now got around to it!

  2. Terry
    April 14, 2011 at 9:41 pm

    I FRIGGIN’ LOVE THIS!!! Wow, this is the stuff of my dreams. I think we need to start in our man cave and work up! What a wonderful project, an amazing gift, and what love and devotion that is obviously behind it! Doug is such a lucky man!!!

    • April 14, 2011 at 10:00 pm

      Thanks, Terry! Well, you could always do a surprise makeover for your man, too!

  3. Kathy Prior
    April 14, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    This is what I have been wanting to do forever to my garage! So glad you
    did it and know he absolutely loves it!

    • April 14, 2011 at 10:25 pm

      Well, then you go girl! Hopefully you’re motivated now. Your hubby will love you for it!

  4. susan egbert
    April 15, 2011 at 3:58 am

    it turned out so great! An inspiration.

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