April 1, 2020
Over a year ago, my husband decided that he was going to create a home gym in our garage. I was a little concerned about how it would all work out because at the time I was still parking in the garage. Eventually, all of his home exercise equipment came in the mail and he set everything up but I was never really a fan of the location or the set up.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I definitely wanted him to have a gym at home. With our schedules, it is just not feasible to go to a gym daily and still spend the type of time we want as a family. It just took me a minute to get over the whole not parking in the garage situation. We do have a two car garage but with the number of DIY projects we were doing increasing the other side soon became consumed with building materials and supplies. Our garage was quickly becoming a pigsty with no end in sight.
One day, I decided that it would make more sense to move the gym to the other side of the garage and to start finally purchasing supplies to organize the space a bit more. I am all about functionality above everything else when it comes to home decor. At the time, this space was barely functional, even worse it was cluttered and a hazard not only for my husband and I, but also for our boys. He was not even able to utilize his garage gym because the clutter was spilling over. Something had to change, and it had to change quickly.
I came across a tutorial for a DIY vertical slat wall over at Simply Aligned Home and I fell in love! I knew it would create the perfect accent wall for our home gym design. My goal was to create a space for him (and the rest of our family and friends) to workout in that was of course super functional, but that had a clean and simple design. The vertical slat wall did just that and we are super pleased with how it turned out!
To start we painted the wall a matte black color. We then went and purchased two plywood boards from our local hardware store. Our boards were each 4 feet by 8 feet and we got them cut in half so that they would easily it in the car. We chose a board that costs a little more than some of the other options out there because it was smoother and required less sanding. If you want this project to be even cheaper you can definitely select a cheaper plywood and sand and stain it to get the look you want. We elected not to stain it (after purchasing the stain) because we realized it would clash with the other wood currently in the garage, specifically the top of my husband’s workbench. Keeping the plywood its natural color worked best for the look we were trying to achieve.
We ripped the wood down to 1 inch using the table saw. It was definitely a two-person job due to the length of the boards. It was also a pretty tedious task to get the number of pieces we needed to complete the job.
Once we had the boards cut down the process to install them began. It was fairly simple and straightforward. We just attached the slats to the wall using a nail gun in several places. Hubby really wanted to be sure that the nails lined up as much as possible since it was his desire to leave them unfilled. To ensure equal spacing we used created a spacer out of an extra piece of plywood. We chose to keep the spaces between the slats at 1 inch apart.
Everything was going great and the wall was looking beautiful… and then… we ran out of plywood strips! In normal circumstances, we would have just run to the store to get more. However, we undertook this project during the coronavirus pandemic so that was not an option. This was not apart of my home gym set-up plan! Instead, we were forced to be creative and think outside of the box. I was determined to finish the space including this DIY wood slat wall before the pandemic was over!
Looking back now, I am grateful that we ran out of plywood, because it became the perfect spot for storage. The first thing I did was order a storage rack for balls. We have all boys and their balls frequently roll around the garage and drive me crazy! This became an excellent and fairly simple solution to remedying that problem. I love how this space shifted from being solely a workout room to a space with intentional storage for gym equipment.
Next, we built two shelves for other exercise equipment. All of this was created with the scrap plywood we had collecting dust around the garage from previous projects.
I also had these wire baskets that formerly stored the boys’ toys laying around. We just had to line them up to make sure they would fit on the shelf. My other request was that the bottom shelf had a “lip” on it to prevent the exercise mat from rolling off.
I absolutely love how our DIY home gym turned out! It is functional and beautiful! I believe it is perfect for our family full of active men and a mom that needs to get more active! It effectively fits his weight training equipment, like the power rack and dumbbells and the cardio workout equipment (the rowing machine) without compromising on design and function! I am hoping that a beautiful space to workout in will be just the motivation I need to get some full body workouts in!