Even for the most meticulous of homemakers, the garage—that nary visited, afterthought of a home appendage—can often function as a full-sized junk drawer. You know what I’m talking about. Although garages are technically meant to house cars (and perhaps the occasional lawn mower, rake, or bicycle), they usually run the risk of becoming contenders for episodes of Hoarders—their walls filled with everything from aging canned goods to rusty gym equipment that you have every intention of using…someday. This is why, whenever anybody has the brilliance and audacity to convert one of these overlooked spaces into a functional room, I feel like it needs applause.
When blogger and crafter extraordinaire Rachel Mae Smith moved to Portland from San Francisco, the apartment that she ended up renting came along with a dingy, broken-down garage. Without a car—or anything really—to fill the space, Rachel decided to put it to an even better use: as an office and studio where she could work on her crafts and woodworking without mucking up her home. Ever the DIY-minded gal, Rachel tackled the project with vigor and aplomb, only running into a few (okay, a lot) of spiders along the way. With colorful touches like a simple, homemade inspiration board and a bright yarn installation, the space is lightyears away from its dreary beginnings—the perfect home away from home…at home. Check out all of the photos, plus Rachel’s design notes, after the jump! —Max