A man’s house may be his castle, but that doesn’t mean he necessarily gets to decorate it the way he’d like. Hence, the rise in popularity of man caves; those private in-house getaways that emerged in the 1990s to let guys indulge their personal tastes, and create a space designed specifically for their hobbies and interests. As families grow, and dad’s interior space dwindles, one of the most likely candidates for a personal hideaway is his garage. Too often, garages become little more than storage space or spare junk rooms rather than being used for living space. But when designed thoughtfully, a garage can be a great space for spending leisure time. Whether that time is spent tinkering with tools or cheering on their favorite sports team, it can become the one place at home that feels like it belongs to dad. If your garage is ready to make the leap from a cluttered storage unit to the ultimate in personal space, follow these five steps to get you there. Step 1: Start with the End in Mind First, decide what you want the space to become. What do you want from your garage: a workshop? An automotive-themed hideout? A home gym? An entertainment room? There are endless options for how you can use your space; deciding what you want it to be is the first hurdle. One of the great things about converting a garage is that it doesn’t have to “fit in” with the rest of your home. This is the place to let your personal interests be on display. That means you can decide what kind of look and feel you want,and go from there. Once you decide what you want to accomplish, make a list of your “must-haves” and “nice-to-haves.” Set a budget and see what you can afford now, and what might need to go on a list of future purchases. Step 2: Mind the Flooring Your garage remodel will literally start on the ground floor. Chances are, your garage has a basic concrete floor, which is neither comfortable nor attractive. It may also have oil stains and other “souvenirs” of its past life. The right flooring will not only make it more visually appealing, but will also add warmth and personality to the space. While some people will choose to install all-weather carpeting in the garage, that could work against you if you ever decide to sell your home or want to change the way you’re using that space. (Plus, it’s harder to keep clean.) Instead of carpeting, consider adding a stone epoxy floor covering, or installing interlocking plastic garage tiles to give the floor a modern and versatile look. Both will soften the feeling underfoot, and tiles are available in a variety of colors and styles to ensure you can get the look you like. Remember, you can always add a large area rug if you want that fuzzy feeling underfoot. Step 3: Get the Right Light Even if you refer to it as a “man cave,” you don’t want it to feel like an actual cave. Garage light fixtures are typically not designed to impress, and you’re probably dealing with a less-than-attractive fluorescent light fixture. Fortunately, this has an easy and inexpensive solution. As you rethink your space, look for a light cover that complements the overall design of your reinvented garage. Today, they come in all kinds of styles, and can even add an artistic element to your ceiling. If you want the look of LED lights, an LED light tube can be used in fluorescent fixtures. If the lighting is a simple single naked bulb in a porcelain fixture, consider replacing it with a more aesthetic fixture. If that doesn’t provide enough light, you can also install wall sconces or use lamps to brighten things up. Step 4: Reimagine Your Walls Of course, the walls play a starring role in the look and feel of your garage remodel. Since garages typically have lower ceilings and less light, make sure you go for lighter colors that will keep it from feeling like a dungeon. In most cases, your walls will be made of drywall — which makes them the perfect canvas for installing faux panels from Barron Designs. Whether you want to resurface the entire area with faux panels, or add an accent wall to a painted interior, there are a variety of looks to choose from that can create just the right ambience. Installing faux brick is always a popular and versatile option, and we have a variety of colors and shades to match the overall feel of the garage. The reclaimed wood look is very popular right now, and our reclaimed barn board panels are available in two different colors. If you’re adding a bar area, stacked stone panels contribute a unique and attractive accent to the bar and backsplash, and the many different textures, colors and styles allow you to create a look that is distinctly your own. If your garage has a support beam or two in the center, don’t despair; you can also dress that up with a faux stone column wrap. There’s no limit to the ways you can use faux panels to reimagine your new garage and create a dramatic new look — even on a limited budget. Step 5: Decorate and Enjoy Now that you’ve completed remodeling your garage interior, it’s time to finish the project. Add furniture that serves a purpose, whether that means a comfy couch for watching movies, your favorite chair for watching the game, or a pool or foosball table. If you’re going to seal off the garage door so it won’t be opened, you can put a large curtain or room divider in front of it to keep it from being a focal point of the room. You can also paint the interior of the door in a complementary color to make it more attractive and make it feel like part of the space. Coolest Room on the Block There are countless ways to customize your garage and make it your favorite space in the house. With these garage man-cave ideas, you can carve out a place of your own — but don’t be surprised if all the other dads on the block want to crash your party.