Pit crew: The rise of the high-end garage

Once a place for dumping clutter, garages are being turned into shrines to classic cars and snazzy games rooms

Often neglected or stuffed floor to ceiling with clutter, garages are now being transformed into designer showpieces for enthusiasts keen to show off their cherished car.

Rusty old bikes and boxes of bric-a-brac are being replaced with sleek steel cabinets and designer wall units.

Some are as minimalist and pristine as a Formula One pit-lane garage, others are a shrine to a particular car marque with cabinets painted to match the classic automobile on show.

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The high-end garage is a relatively new concept. It has been pioneered by industrial designer Dominic Wishlade who saw the sense in fitted kitchens and wondered why no one had applied the same principles to domestic garages.

His Eureka moment led to the establishment of his company, Dura, which has been creating designer garages for collectors, celebrities, and design obsessives ever since.

Those who like to tinker with their cars opt for drawers with cushioned inserts to hold their tools, while others dedicate the design of their garage interior to their favourite Harley, Aston Martin or even Cervelo.

Dura has also seen an increase in demand for hybrid garages with space for a car at one end and a private gym or games room at the other.

This means some garages have big-screen TVs, jukeboxes, drinks coolers, display cabinets for sporting trophies, and even leather Chesterfields and green-shaded lamps for a gentleman's club look.

"We have customers, male and female, who want us to paint the cabinet doors to match the colour of a treasured classic car or bike," says Wishlade.

"It's satisfying to think that garages are being brought back into use and even given a new purpose," he adds. "And it's always exciting to hear what the next customer wants us to do to their garage."


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