How to find hidden storage spaces, and use them to their full potential when organizing your home.
We grow accustomed to our furnishings and how they’re arranged, which can limit our perception of the architecture of a room. Imagine your room empty, or move furniture to another space for a day or two. The radically new perspective will reveal existing niches or areas where built-ins could improve the storage capacity and aesthetics of a room.
Make it made-to-order In a small space, decreasing the square footage of a room may sound like heresy, but sometimes shaving off a few feet by building a wall of closets or cabinets can solve your storage dilemmas and improve the proportions of a room. Though expensive, custom built-ins utilize space efficiently.
A designer can provide invaluable help in adding a cabinet to a bathroom or building in an entire room, like a den/home office/guest room. Common built-in solutions: closet organizers, entertainment centres, home office workstations, bookshelves, and shelf niches between wall studs in tub and shower areas.
Pick furnishings that hide Murphy beds, chairs, tables, cots — anything that folds up and can be stored away, hung on a hook or slid under a bed saves space. From a low-tech drop-leaf table to a high-end, built-in pop-up countertop that conceals small appliances in a kitchen island, your imagination and budget are the only limits to creating double-duty furnishings.
Look up Wall space is an organizer’s best friend. Go to great heights with floor-to-ceiling built-in shelves and cabinets (stash a stepladder nearby for easy access), or opt for a sleeping loft in a bedroom. In the kitchen, mount a second bank of cabinets above existing cabinets, or use the space to stash seldom-used oversize items.
Look down Open up the space under a set of stairs and install shelves for books or display items, a workspace desktop, TV cabinet or closet organizing components. (Check with a qualified designer or architect for structural advice before removing any walls.) Awkward areas under the eaves are ideal for low dressers, cabinets or wall-mounted shelves. Alternatively, turn the area into a closet by running a rod from wall to wall and hanging a curtain.
Think big Don’t underestimate a small space. A good designer can help you turn impossibly narrow alcoves into functional areas, especially when it comes to small bathrooms and kitchens.
Give a shelf life Look at all vertical surfaces to see where a shelf would fit: for instance, above a mirror, door or window; a foot or so below the ceiling around the perimeter of a room; or from floor to ceiling between zones in an open concept room.
Get hooked In closets, on doors and on almost every wall are a few inches of vertical space crying out for a hook for towels, purses, scarves, backpacks, hats, utensils, tools, keys, cups and much more.
Become a closet case Is your linen closet a luxury and a home office a necessity? If so, transfer bed linens to the rooms where they’re used and towels to bathroom shelves. Then have a desktop built to size and installed in the now-empty closet. Add a few shelves above and a drawer unit on rollers below, pull up a chair from a nearby room and you’re in business.
Taken from StyleAtHome.com By Kathleen Dore