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LA Garage Mahal: Much More Than A Place To Park

Every inch of precious real estate counts in the Southland, so it's not uncommon to see a garage do double duty beyond simply acting as your automobile's resting place. In fact, many City of Angels residents either share the space with their resting vehicles or park elsewhere, so that this spacious home venue can be used for other, more pressing matters. Consider the following five concepts for creating alternative uses for the family garage.

1. Fisher's Lure
Joy Fishing Tackle
4918 Santa Monica Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90004
(323) 466-0808

Hours: Mon. to Sat—9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Storage is an obvious use for garage spaces. These often-unfinished areas allow adventurous Angelenos to collect and store more than a person living in an urban setting typically could. L.A.'s many nearby streams, lakes and short drive to the Pacific means that fishing gear galore can be found in many Tinseltown residents' personal indoor parking places. To turn your garage into the ultimate fisherman's haven, stop by Joy's Fishing Tackle in Hollywood for the best tackle finds.

2. Woodworker's Haven
Eagle Tools
3027 Treadwell St.
Los Angeles, CA 90065
(323) 999-2902

Hours: Mon to Fri—9 a.m. to 5 p.m., 1st and 3rd Sat—9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Southland garages are often used to house not only a car or two, but also tools. While the garage space is usually thought of as a "man cave," Los Angeles women can also enjoy fiddling around with woodworking and home improvement projects. This space can be used to create just about anything crafty or utilitarian that comes to mind. All that's needed is a bit of talent, some simple instruction and the right tools. To unearth the best of these very necessary items, try Eagle Tools, a local favorite.

3. Worker's Office
Alan Desk
8575 Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232
(323) 655-6655

Hours: Mon to Fri—8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sat—10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Due to a lack of space within the actual home, many Los Angeles garages get delegated as home offices. In order to ensure this small space is an inviting room in which to focus and get work done, you'll want to make hard, concrete surfaces cozy and create a tidy space free of distraction and clutter. Invest in shelving to hold printers and books, a desk to house the computer and utensils, and filing cabinets to store important papers. Perhaps the most relevant item that must also be the most comfortable is a sturdy, ergonomically correct chair. Consider Alan's as a great place to come up with the best storage and office furniture options and even better advice.

4. Gardener's Sanctuary
3158 Los Feliz Blvd.
Los Angeles
(323) 665-3801

Hours: Sun—10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mon to Sat—10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

For many, out in the hot, blazing sun is not the desired place to store gardening equipment or get to work on potting plants. Instead, many Southland residents will retreat to the shade of their garages to complete this fruitful chore. Garages provide the perfect designated area for keeping all the right materials in line for gardening and lawn upkeep. The set-up won't be complete until you've selected a range of pots in all shapes, sizes and colors. These portals will encourage particular indigenous plants to grow in the best conditions, while looking great in the process. To unearth the best pots, try Potted in Los Feliz, a planting boutique where it's fun to buy gardening pottery including coveted Bauer ceramic pots made in California that are collectible as well as utilitarian.

5. Artist's Retreat
537 North Glendale Ave.
(818) 243-3129

Hours: Mon to Fri—9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sat—9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Sun—10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Not many Los Angeles homes contain the type of proper attic a serious artist will be able to translate into a working space. However, Southland garages can do the job, especially for those creators who like to work with both natural light and light that is created just for that purpose. A quick flip of the garage door switch does that trick. With that in mind, drafting tables and other artistic supplies are needed to get this creative endeavor started. Go to Swain's in Glendale for everything you need to be creative in your new garage studio, including some very ingenious organizational items not found elsewhere in the City of Angels.

Related: Best Handmade, Green And Sustainable Design In Los Angeles

Los Angeles freelance travel writer Jane Lasky, contributes to publications such as Travel + Leisure, Vogue and Esquire. Her weekly sojourning column ran in 40 newspapers for 20 years. Jane is anything but an accidental tourist. Check out her articles on

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