Whether you’re moving into your first home, downsizing or just trying to maximise space in your house, storage solutions may well be the key to creating a clean, clutter-free living environment. Storage can be (and often is) quite uninspiring, but when done right, you can not only add space to any room, but you can also add charm and character. Room by room, we take a look at how to make your home both practical and beautiful.
It’s all about first impressions in this life, so make a good one when your guests first cross the threshold. An attractive coat/hat/shoe storage unit can provide some much needed space to a cramped entrance and stop you from breaking any bones tripping on stray footwear as you carry heavy shopping in. Shoes don’t always have to live on the floor or hidden away either, so add some colour and character with wall mounted shoe display boxes.
The space under the stairs can often be wasted, or just a dark, dank place to throw dirty coats and muddy football boots. Either make the hidden storage discreet, well-organised and practical, or make a feature of your staircase and turn something redundant into something that is both useful and easy on the eye.
Why not think about creating a whole extra room under your stairs with a peaceful reading nook or compact home office.
A popular room for hosting and one that can often define the soul and style of a home, the living room is an important part of any household. Ultimately being a room for leisure, the living room requires a calm and clutter-free vibe, so smart and striking storage is vital.
Whether it’s books, family photos or that sports trophy from years ago that you can’t bring yourself to throw away, make the most of your alcoves by combining shelving, artwork and a splash of colour to proudly display your prized possessions.
No alcoves? Even better, fill a whole wall with a stunning display to create space and add charisma. If you’ve got nothing to hide, make your display completely open, or combine it with some cupboards to keep those less desirable (but equally sentimental) items out of the way.
Even before the craze of the Great British Bake Off had us searching our cupboards for flour, baking powder and a decent sized cake tin, we were already spending a whole lot of our time in the kitchen. It seems now, more than ever, that the kitchen is the place to be when it comes to socialising and hosting, so it makes sense to try to create the perfect balance between functionality and appearance. A slim, sliding cabinet is the perfect storage for all those hundreds of different, exotic spices you’ve used once and can’t throw away because, well, you never know! They can also hide away any cumbersome utensils that can clutter your worktop.
Breakfast bars, extra storage or just a place to lean on for a catch up with friends at a dinner party, whatever the reason, kitchen islands are becoming more and more popular. Obviously, not everyone has space in their kitchen for an island, but even if you have an open-plan kitchen/dining room, a cleverly positioned island can break up the room and provide an attractive (and highly useful) centre piece.
You don’t have to have each item labelled and alphabetised to own a well organised pantry, and it doesn’t even need to be a whole room, it could just be deceptively spacious cupboard or a single display wall, but finding a clever way to store your food can provide you with all the room you need to get creative in the kitchen.
Being the most personal and private room in the house, when it comes to bedroom storage and organisation, there’s a tendency to adopt the “chuck it in and close the door, nobody will see our bedroom anyway” technique. An effective approach it may be, but there are other ways that can help to instil a sense of tranquillity and allure that will make you proud to have your room on display. For those who end up with clothes spilling out of a small wardrobe and ‘temporarily’ housed over the back of a chair, consider investing in a bespoke wardrobe that runs wall to wall, giving you the hanging or drawer space you need for your latest seasonal collection of outfits. Match the wardrobe to the colour of the walls to make a seamless, unobtrusive addition to your room.
Addicted to clothes or shoes? If you have the space, introduce a walk-in wardrobe. If you don’t have the space, make the most of every nook and cranny with cleverly concealed shoe storage. Or just show off your vast assortment with a fashion-house-style display wall.
A room often fought over, the family bathroom can be a chaotic place, especially in the early morning mania of school runs and getting ready for work. Therefore, a well thought-out design can ease the hectic atmosphere at the same time as creating a desirable living space. A bespoke bathroom cabinet, whether under the sink or cleverly disguised as mirrors, can really maximise space in what can often be a fairly tight room.
If your toiletries and products seem to inexplicably multiply and take over the room, either hide them away in your beautiful new bespoke cabinet or alternatively, make the most of your prettiest trinkets and towels by displaying them in a creative way, allowing you to add a dab of colour and texture.
This is where you can really let your childish imagination run wild when it comes to designing and decorating. Bright, vibrant colours help to establish a fun and playful environment, but that can soon just turn into a whirlwind of toys and books and chaos once your little ones are let loose. A colourful display or shelving unit can provide the perfect easy-access storage solution to keep your child’s bedroom tidy and allow them to show off their favourite toys.
Work hard, play hard. Something not all children get the hang of, so create a desk/work area that they will love to sit at. An appealing and well organised stationary system may just be enough to tempt them away from the toybox and to their desk to engage in some calm and quiet creativity.
Your loft or attic may look like the setting for a horror film, covered in cobwebs, old dusty toys and only lit by torchlight. Or it may be the place where 80% of your possessions are thrown at random and left for you to search through when they suddenly become necessary, risking life and limb balancing on splintered beams to track down last years Halloween costume.
But, if you have the means and the time, a converted loft can become a whole host of different rooms. Another bedroom for when the kids get too old to share with their annoying siblings. Your very own private dressing room. Or a peaceful home office and reading nook. Whatever your preference, it’s a fantastic way to make the very most of every inch of your home and add value when the day comes to move on.
Eaves and slanted roofs can be awkward to make the most of when it comes to storage, however, a cleverly designed bespoke wardrobe or drawer unit can help you fill those hard to reach corners and can also give the room a more conventional shape. Intricate open shelving can add a certain charm and mirrored cabinets are perfect for opening up the room and creating a sense of space in what is usually a more constricted area.