I’m just going to go ahead and call this new house project a success. Why? 1. It may be the least expensive house project to date. 2. It extends our outdoor space and utilizes what is pretty much wasted space. 3. It’s named after me!
So what is this project? We turned a third of our garage into a hangout space and called it Boss Bar. The idea came from the fact that there is a wooden workbench (with working vise!) against the wall, which looked like a good place to put a few bar stools. So once we recognized that opportunity, we figured out how else we could use what was already there to make the space work.
We cleared out that section of the garage and kept the plywood that already was forming a back wall of the workbench and obviously kept the workbench. The plan was to finish that back wall with another square of plywood, set it up to make it look intentionally like a hangout area and get storage to hide what we don’t want seen in that section of the garage. We have a love for Coney Island and beach life so that was our decorating cue: bright happy colors, chill and laid back vibe, games and beers.
We lucked out when we had a stroke of (mild) genius. We were removing and taking apart cabinetry from the mud room and the last piece to demolish was a lower cabinet. The lower cabinet has a piece that you can pull and out rolls a tabletop that I think was used to fold laundry. Daniel said he felt bad taking it apart since it was cool and I said, “Duh! Bar cart!”
From there, the project pretty much went as follows:
- Clear out area.
- Remove nails from plywood, add additional piece of plywood, spray paint entire plywood back wall with chalkboard paint (to write menus on it, draw, etc.).
- Spray paint exterior of cabinet-turned-bar cart and ruin it by terrible spray painting job but decide to keep it as a reminder that I’m not allowed to spray paint anymore.
- Buy either in-person or online all of the decor.
- Paint the lettering.
- Staple gun all the fake greenery and hang everything.
- Put together storage cabinet and hide everything.
I mentioned that this may be the most budget-friendly home project we’ve done. When it comes to saving money on decor and home projects, here are a few tips that I employed in the making of Boss Bar:
- Sometimes you don’t have to have the nicest stuff. For example, we needed picture frames and I priced out different kinds online. But on a trip to Target I saw several super discounted ones that, when I took out the matting, would fit the pictures I had printed. They are cheaply made and very simple in design and saved me tens of dollars.
- Rugs are expensive. The larger the rug, the exponentially more expensive it is. I have been pricing indoor and outdoor rugs for a year and a half and know just how many hundreds you can throw down on a simple rug. To cover this section of the garage, we needed a 10×14 rug. Gulp. After researching online, I found a fun rug from Ikea and ran there to get it before it sold out. The rug was on sale for $25 and is about 6×7 so I got two and placed them lengthwise side by side, making a 6×14 rug and effectively covering the area on the cheap.
- Become friends with your local dollar store, especially if you can get creative with what you find.
- Reuse, recycle, repurpose. With just a little bit of imagination and some time, you can find new life for old objects for little to no money.
Here is a list of products, sources and costs:
- Dartboard = $12, Amazon
- Storage cabinet = $80, Home Depot
- Greenery, vases, rocks in vase = $25, Dollar Tree and Target
- Shells in vases = $10, Target
- Photos (taken by us on previous trips to Coney Island) = $20, developed by Mpix
- Picture frames = 15, Target
- Star marquee light = $25, Lights.com
- Wood letters = $28, Target
- Neon pink acrylic paint = $6, Target
- Chalkboard spray paint = $4, Home Depot
- Plywood = $10, Home Depot
- Mint green spray paint = $8, Sherwin Williams
- Chrome spray paint, Coney Island bottle opener, vintage stools = previously owned (free)
- Cabinet/bar, wood workbench = came with the house (free)
- Mini fridge = gift (free)
- Rugs = $50, Ikea
- Contact paper for the interior of the bar cart = $4, Target
- Lantern = $6, Amazon
- Total = $303
What’s left to do: get a ping pong table and figure out an inexpensive way to cover up the rest of the garage and separate it from the hangout space.
Boss Bar is open for business!