INTERIOR DESIGNER, MWELL STUDIO
With a little ingenuity, storage units can be made invisible. Necessity is often the mother of invention, even when you're short on space. So, open your mind, follow these tips, and enjoy all the space you’ll save…
Take a close look around you – could shelves or cupboards be fitted to any of these walls? You could also put a bookcase in the stairwell. Making use of these unused areas is a smart way of freeing up space elsewhere.
If you're lacking a porch, you can build your own prefabricated one like a box, with a dividing wall that can be fitted on both sides with storage units or an inbuilt seat. That way, you can create a space that is both functional and inviting!
Moreover, a wall separating two rooms could be used to house a large sliding drawer. In some cases, it may make sense to build a false wall to accommodate the drawer. It will slide outwards on small wheels. This type of storage unit can be very spacious, especially if the room is large and there is plenty of space behind the wall.
In children's bedrooms, you can take the liberty of turning everyday objects such as small vintage chairs or skateboards into shelves. Once fitted to the walls, they're both practical and provide a nice decorative touch.
Photo credit : Sven Mieke – when optimising space, consider working to a plan
Guess what interior designers’ favourite spaces are… the stairs of course! It's true that space underneath the stairs is often underused. Just think of all the sliding drawers you could conceal in the risers. When closed, no one will notice them. They're ideal in small halls for storing shoes, handbags, and other accessories. Of course, various cupboards could also be fitted in this alcove providing extended kitchen storage, or a small desk could be placed here.
Space under beds can also easily be put to good use. These nooks can be used to store such items as household linen. The bed base or bedstead can be replaced by a sort of platform on which you rest your mattress. This new type of furniture, which opens like a large drawer, can be used to store various bulky items. Books, duvets and other knick-knacks can be slipped in here out of sight and out of mind. This type of storage solution can be used to de-clutter your room. There's no need for cupboards as you can use the space under the platform instead. Please note that this tip will help you save much more space than a drawer or a standard shelving unit.
People often forget to use connecting areas such as landings and corridors, which they wrongly dismiss as merely a means of getting around the house. Let's try and give them a more practical use!
You could stack plenty of books on a few old cinema seats on a landing, and at the same time introduce a highly theatrical look. Don't shy away from pushing the envelope in these areas in terms of the colours and fixtures used. Although we generally don't spend much time in them, they still affect our mood when moving between rooms.
Such efforts will moreover end your storage room’s role as scruffy dumping grounds and transform them into cosy, functional spaces. These confined spaces will become lighter and less cluttered as a result. Fitted units will give these areas a new look, optimising their new design with storage units aimed specifically at meeting your requirements and not just shelves stacked with junk…
Are you faced with the common problem of not having enough storage space in your kitchen? You could fit units up to the ceiling to create extra storage or as a place to put utensils you don't use every day. This will increase the ceiling height and create an immediate impact in terms of the way your kitchen looks.
Every last square metre can be used to make even small kitchens highly functional. For example, if you have a spacious work surface, you could place a box at the back of it, which would blend in seamlessly if it were the same material and colour as the kitchen frontages. A concealed handle could be used to open this precious box!
And if you have sufficient space, why not create a little dining room with box seats in which you could store a few saucepans or bottles.
Let's end with the bathroom, where the panelling of your bathtub will become your new promised land. Fit it with a few storage units or just a recess with a trapdoor system in which to slip all those horrible cleaning products… The hunt for space is on!
Photo credit : Jana Sabeth – Build items to measure if required
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