If you’ve ever wished you had an extra room in your house for something fun and creative, you’re in luck, because you do!

The garage is one of the biggest rooms in the house, and—besides parking the car, and storing knick-knacks—one of the most underused.

Here are some creative ways you can put your garage space to its best use this year:

  1. Movie Theater
  2. It’s one of those passing dreams we’ve all had at one time or another, “If I could, I’d put a movie theater in my house!”

    Well, dream no longer. Once you’ve set your sights on the garage, all you need is a screen, some seating, and a few other creative touches to make the space feel like a legitimate night out at the movies.

    As for the screen, with four large flat walls, the garage is the perfect place to use a projector and a white sheet or primed wall. From there, any furniture will do. From reclining leather chairs with cup holders, to a comfy old couch found at the local thrift store, or even some blankets and pillows on the floor—the more seating, the more neighborhood guests and friends you can invite!

    The best part is that the snacks will never be overpriced. You can put a mini fridge or even a popcorn maker right there in the garage to accommodate all your guests.

  3. Bowling Alley
  4. Another passing fancy which seems possible only in a 1920s mansion, could be yours.

    All it takes to make a bowling alley is a smooth, level floor, some simple construction, and some props. The tracks can be set temporarily using weighted wooden barriers.

    The bowling pins could be homemade out of nearly anything—even one liter bottles weighted with some sand. It depends on how elaborate you want to get. You could add glow in the dark effects, disco lighting, benches and refreshments at your own leisure.

  5. Room for Rent
  6. You may have heard stories of housing prices in San Francisco becoming so high, that people are living out of garages. While at first shocking, this can actually be a pretty great idea, especially if your family is hard up to make a little extra income.

    There are plenty of home-sharing websites, the most popular of which being Airbnb, that cater to travelers wanting a more homely and affordable option besides hotels for short-term stays. All you need is an extra bed to spare and some basic home comforts. Garages can be perfect for this because they are separated from the house enough to offer privacy, and often have separate doors and locks.

  7. Home Gym
  8. This one might be a no-brainer, but it’s worth the reminder. Doling out extra cash year after year for an unused gym membership can come to an end with a dedicated home space for your workout routine.

    If you’re already a health nut, this could mean more focused time for pumping iron without having to travel. For those who are thinking about getting into a healthy routine, transforming this space could be just the thing you need to get started.

    You don’t even need a ton of equipment. A punching bag, yoga mats, some weights, or an elliptical machine set aside in a dedicated space can do wonders.

    Bonus: Add your own healthy juice bar. All you need is a work surface, a blender, some glasses and a mini-fridge!

  9. Communal Art Space
  10. Many people use their garages for creative projects, but you can take it one step further. Don’t just set up your easel and sit alone. Make your garage a gathering space for family and friends to come and create as well!

    Have your family and friends bring over some creative materials, like Dremel tools, paints and canvases, musical instruments, or even sewing machines. Provide some work surfaces and seating and invite your guests and contributors over for a communal art gathering.

    You can host day or night as often as you want, and even use themes. For instance, have a musically based gathering one night, a painting workshop another. Together you can hone your skills and have creative fun doing it!

  11. Tasting Room
  12. Whatever the drink of choice—wine, beer, whiskey or gin—you can take it beyond a simple home bar.

    Have you always been interested in home brewing your own beer? Always wanted to learn about wine or whiskey? Or have a collection of drinks you’re just dying to show off? Look no further than the humble garage. The garage can make a great wine cellar or workspace for home brewers.

    Add some simple tables and chairs, break out the cheese, add family and friends, and you’re on your way not just to being a connoisseur, but also the favorite house on the block.

From Humble to Happening

Make this the year you create the space of your dreams; the only limit is your imagination!