For men, having a place to call your own and escape from the demands of life is an important thing. It’s a place for them to relax, to think and to simply enjoy the things they have earned in their lives. For Stuart Gourley, a resident in Mono, his garage is that place.
The ‘Camaro Shrine’ as he likes to call it is simple. It’s unfinished, but is currently drywalled and heated with furniture, a clean floor, and an organized work-desk in the back corner.
“It’s a little bit like home, but a little bit like the garage,” Mr. Gourley explained. “It’s comfortable, but you can still do work in it. I’ve spent a lot of time in my garage doing a lot of different things. The garage for me is to have that central work area so that when I have projects, I can come in here and do them without making a mess in the house in the basement.”
Prior to this summer, his garage was just like any other garage. Loaded with tools, discarded and unfinished projects, and many other things. But then, he decided it was time to clean it up and make it someplace where he could enjoy his Camaro and work on projects without all the clutter.
“There’s this two year or three year rule that a lot of guys talk about, where if you haven’t touched something or used it in two or three years, throw it out,” he said. “I put a nice, big shed out in the backyard so that all the things I would normally keep in the garage, I keep out in the shed. In a strange way, it helps make your life a little bit more functional, because the things that you don’t need are put in the back and the things that you do need are up front where you need them.”
Ultimate Garages Aim to make a space for comfort instead of just work
According to Mr. Gourley, most people don’t realize that the state you keep your garage can either have a positive or negative impact in your life. By feeding into the hoarding of things you are no longer using, you create an environment that keeps you weighed down by all the ‘stuff’.
“It can become overwhelming when you start to use your garage in a negative way and it almost makes for trappings in your life, that you have all these things that really have no purpose,” Mr. Gourley explained. “It’s incredibly refreshing to rid yourself of all that. If you can rid yourself of all that clutter and make the garage a special place instead of just a storage area, the garage can be a fun place instead of being this place that people want to avoid.”
While for some, the dream garage is a place for them to work on their dream cars, for Mr. Gourley, it’s a place for him to admire the car he doesn’t have to work on.
“I’ve had a lot of cars that I actually rebuilt here, but it was because I couldn’t really afford to have the newer ones, I had to work on them,” he explained. “I chose not to work on a ’69 Camaro, I chose to buy a brand new one so that I don’t have to do anything other than enjoy it.”
He added that he hopes through his experience with his ‘Ultimate Garage’ that he can help people to realize that the garage is more than just a place where guys shove their old fridge and couch that they don’t want to take to the dump.
“The garage doesn’t ask a lot of you – the house does – but the garage simply asks that you are here,” said Mr. Gourley. “I have a real kinship with the garage because of what it has helped me do in the past, so it’s an evolution. As I’ve gotten older, a lot of my challenges have been put behind me, things that I would have used the garage for before. Now, the garage can become this place, my Camaro shrine.”
Written by Tabitha Venasse