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I mentioned in our last post that we wouldn’t be insulating the garage, as it simply didn’t seem necessary for our personal needs. For one, it’s detached, and we’re looking at the garage as a space for super messy projects (read: anything on a table saw!), outdoor-type storage and a proper home for our car. We don’t plan on staying in the garage for extended periods of time in the winter, and now that we have the indoor workshop, we won’t be stashing temperature sensitive products out there (think: paints and glues). To be honest, we actually like the exposed studs and pitched ceiling, and we’ve already taken advantage of such when we installed our racking system for spare lumber.

That said, we did want one feature wall (why not?), and it made sense to do so on the main wall of cabinetry. You might remember that the cabinets came from the second floor apartment of our house (HELLO, blast from the past!), and we knew they’d eventually come in handy out here. After shuffling them out of the way, we were ready to install the star – pegboard!


We chose pegboard for its intended practical purpose, but it’s also very, very affordable! We needed just five 4’x8′ sheets for our 20′ wide wall, and the total cost came in at $50. The first sheet was the trickiest to hang, but once we were sure that it was perfectly level, Scott and I followed along the studs (so easy to spot, ha!), and we used 2.5″ wood screws to secure them in place.

pegboard-03 pegboard-04 pegboard-05

We had a couple of boards where we needed to make special cuts, with the most obvious being the window. Luckily, the window fell at a seam, so we only needed to notch it out of one side – that’s luck, I tell you! We used our Dremel tool to get that done, and we needed the circular saw to trim a couple inches off the width of our last board.

pegboard-06 pegboard-07

Using scrap 1x2s, we finished up by trimming the window and outlet. It might be just a garage, but it’s still totally worthy of love, too.


The wall took us a little more than half a day, and what a big change! You’ll notice that it was installed about 4″ off the floor, but once the cabinets are brought back in, we’ll add a makeshift baseboard to keep everything clean and tidy.

pegboard-09 pegboard-10

List time!

Fix the leaky roof
Lumber storage
Bike Storage – ordered!
Open metal shelving for bins + occasional use items – ordered!
Wall treatment for cabinet wall (close up exposed studs)
Paint everything – no more bare plywood!
Reconfigure and paint cabinets
Install a countertop
Epoxy/paint the unlevel/cracked garage floor – not this year, womp.
Wall of hooks/hanging storage
New side door
Paint exterior trim
Re-caulk exterior siding
Repair/new garage door
NEW – replace lighting with LEDs

We won’t be bringing in the cabinets until the entire interior of the garage has been painted the same color, but once we do, we’re looking forward to implementing a few other storage systems. We’ll have hooks for things and racks for bikes and, and! I keep telling Scott that the garage is going to look so cute, and I’m sure he just loves that.

PS! Chicago friends, we could really, really use a professional hand with a small wallpaper project (one wall with a window) at the One Tail at a Time Adoption Center. If you or someone you know would be able to donate your time, please send me an email, and I can fill you in! We promise you a thousand puppy kisses and gratitude forever.

  • Josh | The Kentucky Gent - June 18, 2015 - 9:14 AM

    LOVE this idea! I saw something similar to this in one of Em Henderon’s latest post and loved it. BUT it was in an all pink room, which isn’t my vibe, so I like y’all’s better.

    Josh | The Kentucky Gent

    • Kim - June 18, 2015 - 9:39 AM

      Oh, yeah, I saw that in the Bando office! But I DO love pink, so… haha.ReplyCancel

  • Michelle - June 18, 2015 - 10:44 AM

    Fantastic! This would be great in our garage! I can’t wait to see it all decked out with tools and supplies.ReplyCancel

  • eabee - June 18, 2015 - 2:51 PM

    Here’s my question – how did you get the 4′ x 8′ pegboard to your home? I need a 4′ x 8′ pegboard, but I don’t own a vehicle large enough to carry it, and the local shops (Lowes, Crafty Beaver) charge $50-70 to deliver. I can’t stomach paying 3x the price of the item for delivery! Your advice would be awesome! :)ReplyCancel

    • Kim - June 18, 2015 - 3:15 PM

      The roof of our car! We have a little Subaru Forester, which is basically our DIY vehicle! We even carried our 9′ long couch home on that roof:

      Otherwise, do you have a friend you could bribe with a 6-pack?ReplyCancel

      • eabee - June 18, 2015 - 7:56 PM

        Ok, I feel pretty dumb for not thinking of that. Thank you!!! Also, I can’t believe you transported an entire couch on top of your Outback. That takes both guts and upper body strength!ReplyCancel

        • eabee - June 18, 2015 - 7:58 PM

          Oops, I meant to say Forester, not Outback. ;)ReplyCancel

          • Kim - June 18, 2015 - 10:28 PM

            The Forester is a WORK HORSE!ReplyCancel

        • Ryan - July 8, 2015 - 3:10 PM

          I transported a full size mattress and box spring on the top of my outback. You just need some ratchet straps and don’t take the freeway :). I keep a spare blanket in the car to throw up there and protect the paint.ReplyCancel

  • Joy - June 18, 2015 - 10:31 PM

    Great job! Looks really tidy and professional (probably better than professional, actually).ReplyCancel

  • Monika - June 19, 2015 - 1:27 PM

    Totally love the idea of a whole wall in pegboard! Great job (as usual) guys. It’s given me some ideas for my own garage which needs some serious storage organization. Thanks!ReplyCancel



Before we could really dive into our garage overhaul, we had to start from the top before working our way down. For as long as we’ve lived in this home, we’ve never parked a car in here. Not only has the space been overloaded with scrap wood and miscellaneous boxes for the last two years (which we finally purged and organized a couple weeks ago!), but anytime there was rain, the roof would leak. It would leak from the vents in the ceiling, and rainwater would spit through holes in the rotten exterior fascia, too. With so much going on inside our home home, we’d been putting this eyesore on the back burner for far too long, and it’s going to feel so great to whip this guy into shape. Yeah!

It’s a detached garage, and our intentions are not to turn it into a warm and cozy room (i.e., we won’t be insulating it), rather, we just want it to function well (uh, a car in here would be nice!), and we’d like to do so on a budget. We won’t be spending all our time out here in the winter – that’s what the workshop is for – but we do need a place to get messy with the table saw and a home for gardening and car washing supplies. All that to say, our budget dreams were slightly crushed when we realized just how much work was needed to seal everything properly and keep our soon-to-be hard work safe from weather.

We called around for several quotes, and the verdict was the same with everyone – we’d need a new layer of shingles, gutters to handle the rain, and of course, we’d need to replace the rotted wood from a poor construction job previously. See those black spots in our ceiling? The plywood had completely crumbled away, leaving the black paper exposed:


After weighing the financial options and checking in with our guts, we went with a roofing contractor, Andrew, recommended by another company that was unable to fit in our job. He blew our minds. Every bad experience we’ve had with a contractor was redeemed by how awesome Andrew was! He was on time, speedy, professional and incredibly kind. (Kindness goes a long way, really.) They also knocked out the whole job in two days, starting just one day after we confirmed. Side note: If you’re in the Chicagoland area, I would be thrilled to give you his information! Just shoot me an email.

On the first day, a roofing team took care of the leaking vents and added a layer of shingles, course correcting some issues that were done improperly the first time. I texted photos to Scott throughout the day, remarking at how efficient and quickly they were moving! They were also mindful not to walk through our front yard, and they used the alley to load and unload their tools – a courteous move that we’ve found to be rare among our past experiences.

garage-roof-04 garage-roof-03

On day two, the rotten fascia was replaced, and gutters were installed. One downspout leads to the alley, and the other one flows into our yard (where we will one day have a garden, hopefully!). You guys, our garage was in such bad shape, but it’s already so much better!


We have had the most ridiculous amount of rain in the last week since the job was completed, and with the exception of an area along the floor we need to re-caulk (unrelated to the roofing issue), the garage is bone dry! If you just look past that rotten door frame (it’s on the chopping block), the visual improvement of the gutters alone made our day. Before and after; see?

garage-roof-07 garage-roof-08

Before and after from the side:

garage-roof-11 garage-roof-12

One more before and after, because, so satisfying. This is actually the view from our kitchen – that is, once we get that sliding door installed (that’s a whole different story; you know).

garage-roof-13 garage-roof-14

Once we paint the entire interior of the garage, you won’t be able to tell where the ceiling was patched, and everything is going to look so clean. Oh, my happy heart! In the meantime, the biggest budget buster has been knocked out, but we’ve realized that repairing the cracked garage floor may need to wait until next year as a result. And we may look into repairing our garage door, rather than moving forward with a full blown replacement. Let’s get scrappy.

Fix the leaky roof
Lumber storage
Bike Storage
Open metal shelving for bins + occasional use items
Wall treatment for cabinet wall (close up exposed studs)
Paint everything – no more bare plywood!
Reconfigure and paint cabinets
Install a countertop
Epoxy/paint the unlevel/cracked garage floor – not this year, womp.
Wall of hooks/hanging storage
New side door
Paint exterior trim
Re-caulk exterior siding
Repair/new garage door

We’ve just wrapped up the treatment for the cabinet wall, so more on that this week!

PS – Again, if you’re in Chicago and looking for a roofer, we would feel confident enough to shout Andrew’s name from the rooftops (oh, punny!). We only have a phone number for him, so email us if you’re in need of a recommendation.

  • Laura @ - June 17, 2015 - 8:51 AM

    Nice job! I know it must be a relief to have the garage’s structure squared away so you can get on to the fun stuff like painting and actually using it for stuff. :) Our garage is the opposite – the roof is the newest thing about it, but the old cement floor is cracked and heaving and retaining water. Our plan (not this summer, but maybe next year) is to have the whole structure lifted off its foundation, remove the old floor and have a new floor poured, then set the existing structure back down. It’s a lot less expensive than a whole new garage, and our roof/walls are sound, so this should do the trick for us.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - June 17, 2015 - 9:27 AM

      Nice! That sounds like a great plan. Our floor is cracked too, but not TOO terrible… Hoping that waiting a few years on that won’t be a big deal!ReplyCancel

  • Amanda - June 17, 2015 - 9:58 AM

    That’s great you’ll be finally able to utilize the space!

    And I almost hate to ask – any updates on the kitchen?ReplyCancel

    • Kim - June 17, 2015 - 10:07 AM

      Oh, girl. I WISH we had updates for you. We’ve started working on an alternate option because that whole back-door-thing turned into a nightmare! We’re on a better path, and one we’re much happier with, and I hope to share the details on it soon!

      We are itching to roll out that vintage rug and hang some art! You know, once the demo is actually completed. Eeks!ReplyCancel

      • Amanda - June 17, 2015 - 12:12 PM

        Oh that’s frustrating! It’s funny how these situations evolve into something better. I’m glad you’ve figured out a solution that you’re happy with :)ReplyCancel

  • Kathy - June 17, 2015 - 12:11 PM

    I know something like a new garage roof is not a fun way to spend money, but it sure does look a whole lot better! Plus I’m sure it puts your mind at ease knowing that your storage stuff is dry and safe.

    I’m not sure if I’m the only one, but I get a huge amount of satisfaction of seeing things crossed off your to-do lists. I’m a list girl too and I live for crossing things off!ReplyCancel

  • Josh | The Kentucky Gent - June 17, 2015 - 9:32 PM

    Woof, all the rain in Chicago this weekend! SO crazy.

    Just one of the things I have to look forward to as I consider buying a house and doing a flip for some content ;)

    Josh | The Kentucky Gent

  • Becky @ Flipping the Flip - June 17, 2015 - 11:16 PM

    Robert’s Garage Door Professionals is hands down the best garage door repair folk in the city, FYI. We used them a few years ago and they were The definition of fantastic. And reasonable too!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - June 18, 2015 - 8:10 AM

      Thank you for the recommendation, Becky!ReplyCancel

  • Christin - - June 18, 2015 - 11:03 AM

    This looks so much better! Our garage too is in a very bad need of a fix. The previous owners didn’t like the neighbors next to them so when they painted the garage a forest green, they painted the section above the fence that the neighbors see, a bright pink! I really want to repaint it so they don’t have to keep seeing the pink, but in reality, it needs much more than a paint job and that’s not in our budget at this point.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - June 18, 2015 - 11:13 AM

      Is it bad that looking at a neighbor’s bright pink garage would make me happy?ReplyCancel

      • Christin - - June 23, 2015 - 3:57 PM

        If only it was a pretty pink. It is not pretty. One of these days I need to get a picture of it so people can see how horrible it is. Plus the combo of Pink and forest green is not appealing to me.ReplyCancel

  • Heather - June 19, 2015 - 11:43 AM

    I’ve had a CRAZY few weeks, so I’m in catch up mode.

    This looks so awesome!! What a difference a roof and the right trim makes, right? Also, three cheers for GOOD contractors!!!ReplyCancel

  • Anna - June 19, 2015 - 5:39 PM

    You guys are so impressive with your renovations and are going ahead with such gusto!
    It reminds me that just because something is utilitarian, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be pretty…

    I was just wondering why you decided to install the new shingles on top of the existing ones? I figure it definitely costs less to not have any demolition, but was wondering if it wouldn’t be better to start with a clean slate..!
    (even though you can see the state of the plywood on the inside…)


    • Kim - June 19, 2015 - 7:53 PM

      Thanks, Anna! So our existing shingles were starting to deteriorate, PLUS we learned they were installed improperly to begin with. (Who’s surprised?!) Anyway, it was more cost effective and still safe to add an additional layer of shingles, as opposed to ripping them off and starting over.ReplyCancel



The One Tail at a Time Adoption Center is located in Bucktown, not too far from our own front door. The photo above was taken by Heather (the director of the nonprofit and all around pet-saving-badass), and in the couple of months since they’ve moved in, it already looks drastically different! There’s a fence and a yard, with more landscaping to come. The billboard above belongs to the property, too, and we’re polling for a big photo of Junebug. Because, Junebug! (I promise that clicking over will make your whole entire day.)

It’s a pretty dreamy space with great light, an easy flowing floor plan, and a huge yard. HUGE. The photos below were taken during our first brainstorm meeting as the previous business was moving out (which, appropriately enough was also a pet-based business), and some of the things you’ll see in the photos are still in place so that OTAT can still function as we wait for our picks to arrive. Regardless, it’s a blank slate, and it’s so cute.

THE MEET-N-GREET ROOM. The front door leads you into one big main room. This is a multi-purpose space that needs to feel fun, quirky and invigorating! Adoptable pets will meet their forever families here, so you can only imagine the excitable snarfing and tail thumping the One Tail team will hear on the daily. (Can we just live here, maybe?)



  1. The entryway will pull double duty as a merchandise area – where you can buy the world’s best T-shirt (and kibble, doggie treats, leashes and supplements, among other things). This’ll get a really funky treatment and set the tone for the whole Adoption Center.
  2. We’ll need to install a sturdy gate to keep the adoptables safely away from the front door.
  3. This is where the Garbage Sofa will live! We’ll create a conversational area where families can play with fosters and, ultimately, take their first family portrait together. Below is the view looking back at the front door, if you were sitting on the sofa.


Once you’ve come through the soon-to-be gate, you’re in the main space! The light! That loft!



  1. The back half of this room will get a dining table that will be used for signing adoption papers, plus all the administrative tasks that keep a nonprofit running. The door on the left leads to the yard.
  2. Behind this main room is a spacious office.
  3. The loft is empty for now, but it will serve as additional space if any noodles need extra care away from noise and activity.
  4. Bathroom, aka puppy bath central.


A perk of having an actual adorable house is that it’s laid out as if it could be someone’s house, lending a comforting and inviting vibe all around. In addition to two bathrooms and that tucked away office, there’s a great kitchen:

OTAT-inside-06 OTAT-inside-07

THE KENNEL ROOM. There’s an entire level downstairs, which One Tail will be using as a kennel to bring in as many dogs as possible. The room, while large, does have obstacles (awkwardly placed windows, doors and concrete columns), but it’s incredible to have this space at all for more pups! The walls will get a lively color in a darker, scrubbable finish, and there will be access to open storage for towels, treats and toys.

OTAT-inside-08 OTAT-inside-09


  1. This wall and the wall opposite will be lined with kennels.
  2. Volunteers will spend a good deal of time down here interacting with dogs, so to keep everyone in the loop, this will be a dry erase wall where they can leave notes and updates for each other.
  3. The area beyond the columns will get a small table and a few chairs (all wipeable!) for volunteers to relax.
  4. Behind the kennel is a big storage room we’ve begun organizing for dog food, leashes, collars, and all those things you need to maintain a house.

THE YARD! Heather had RugZoom come in and install artificial grass for the biggest, baddest doggie play yard of all! Can you even handle? Our Chunk came along one evening to give it a test run, and good girl that she is, she christened it, too.

OTAT-inside-10 OTAT-inside-11

The best part of working on this project with the One Tail team is allowing ourselves to design a space where we scribble outside the lines! (I think Scott throws out the words gold and hot pink more often than I’d like to admit; love him.) We can take risks and make bolder choices than we would if it was, you know, a residence. With every wacky idea we present, Heather is in. Big stone dog statue? Of course! Bright blue door? Was there ever any other option? And how about this wallpaperYes, please, and thank you.

The main room already received its fresh coat of paint on the walls and trim (game changer), and the wallpaper is happening soon! We have less than two months until they officially open their doors, so it’s full steam ahead.

PS… If you’d like to learn more about the Adoption Center, be sure to visit One Tail, and if you’d love nothing more than to inundate your Facebook feed with the world’s cutest puppies, you can follow them here!

  • Claire - June 10, 2015 - 8:29 AM

    Kim, I love reading your blog and especially this new project! In college I worked for a large boarding kennel that was kept spotless with the help of a well thought out mop/cleaning station. It was in the same room as the kennels and had hooks for mops and scrub brushes, shelves for puppy-safe cleaning products, and a low faucet and drain for filling the buckets. It was a life saver and something similar may be a good fit for your project. Their website is Can’t wait to see how you lay out the space!

    • Kim - June 10, 2015 - 9:58 AM

      Thanks, Claire, that’s awesome! Now you have me re-thinking everything, ha. We will definitely have to put some systems in place, while also being verrrry mindful of our limited budget. Anything for the pups though!ReplyCancel

  • Brandy Wiggins - June 10, 2015 - 8:46 AM

    Junebug is beyond adorable!!ReplyCancel

  • Steph M - June 10, 2015 - 8:54 AM

    I can’t wait to see how you transform this space. What an amazing project to be a part of! That Junebug is the sweetest! Her photo should definitely be on the billboard :)ReplyCancel

  • Ursula Ellis - June 10, 2015 - 9:57 AM

    So wonderful that you guys are doing this! Also, I can’t get Junebug’s face out of my mind.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - June 10, 2015 - 9:58 AM

      I told you all it would make your day! I could just munch on her muzzle.ReplyCancel

  • jenn aka the picky girl - June 10, 2015 - 10:41 AM

    Oh my goodness…I am SO excited to see this space along the way. What a wonderful project. And what a fantastic space!ReplyCancel

  • Gretchen Kelly - June 10, 2015 - 11:55 AM

    What a great space! That wallpaper is a great find. Can’t wait to see everything.ReplyCancel

  • Charlotte - June 10, 2015 - 12:25 PM

    This looks amazing! Like Claire, I also worked at a kennel (in high school) that was spotless. I second everything she suggested in terms of ease of cleaning. Where I worked, the floors (especially where the kennels were) could be squeegeeed with trench drains lining one side of the kennels for an easy poop-cleaning sitch. We also had vacuuming installed in the walls so we just had to carry the big vacuum pipe around and plug it into the walls. Realiz that might be unrealistic, but def want to keep ease of cleaning in mind! Maybe check out another excellently rated kennel in your area to see how they do it?

    Good on you and Scott for taking this on! And OMG JUNEBUG :))))ReplyCancel

    • Kim - June 10, 2015 - 1:05 PM

      You guys are so helpful, thank you! I will definitely look into it. The home/adoption center is a rental, so there are limitations on how much we can do (vs. what makes sense), but you guys are awesome for all the suggestions!ReplyCancel

  • Josh | The Kentucky Gent - June 10, 2015 - 2:37 PM

    All the pups look so happy! This post is golden.

    Josh | The Kentucky Gent

  • Melissa Arnold - June 10, 2015 - 8:51 PM

    How incredible is that perpetually green yard?! It so speaks to her commitment to the pups that she was willing to put that down for them…! it makes my heart go pitter patter. But then again, so does that wallpaper!ReplyCancel

  • Julia@Cukoo4Design - June 11, 2015 - 5:59 AM

    You guys are simply the best! Seriously! And Junebug’s adorable and lovable face brought me to tears! I hope she finds the best home ever.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - June 11, 2015 - 11:12 AM

      No, no, One Tail is the best! They are doing some really great things to strive for a no-kill Chicago!

      UGH, JUNEBUG. So much love for her.ReplyCancel

  • Heather - June 11, 2015 - 1:18 PM

    I love watching this project unfold! It’s such a great cause and I know you guys will make it so quirky and fun!

    Also, Junebug totally made my day :)ReplyCancel

  • Ten - June 11, 2015 - 1:56 PM

    Oh my gosh, this is so exciting! You guys will do some awesome things for them. My two dogs are rescues and I’ve always wanted to get involved with animal rescue, but I live in an apartment so am unable to foster (fostering is something I’ve wanted to do the most). However, I recently was approved for a volunteer opportunity to help a local pet rescue with their website…I’m hoping it all works out.

    Good luck — can’t wait to read more about this. :)ReplyCancel

    • Kim - June 11, 2015 - 2:00 PM

      Awesome, congrats! That should be a lot of fun!ReplyCancel

  • Kate - June 12, 2015 - 10:19 PM

    I mean really… Junebug. No one should look so cute in a cast.ReplyCancel