Creating decorative storage
As modern homes seem to shrink, and extended families share houses to keep costs down, storage space is at a premium. Yet with clever planning, there are simple ways to incorporate storage into existing spaces.
In kitchens, do as the Americans do and hang pots, pans and utensils from either the ceiling or mounted on the walls. This will free up cupboard space for food and cooking equipment, such as toasters of coffee makers, which don’t get used on a daily basis. If there’s a pantry, try to keep a wall clear for standing up the ironing board, vacuum cleaner, broom etc.
In the dining room, it might be harder to create storage. Instead, choose folding furniture where possible: drop leaf tables hint at a retro themed house. Beech suits a 1970s theme room, and if it’s a family dining room a folding wooden highchair will suit the décor whilst also taking the minimum amount of floor space. A complementary original sideboard provides excellent storage for plates, bowls and glasses, as well as the table linen and place settings.
In the living room choose sofas with under seat storage, eradicating the need for separate storage for toys, books and anything else that requires its own home. This means fewer bookcases lining the walls, creating more space and cleaner lines in terms of décor. Mounting the TV onto the wall removes the need for an enormous TV stand. Clever integrated speakers create the cinema sound effect without the need for bulky speakers placed round the room.
Another top tip to make a house seem more spacious is to ensure each room keeps its own identity, so if there are pets present an ottoman style extra seat doubles up as a place for toys and bedding. Dogs can often mistakenly (or not) assume that they rule the roost, so install dog gates between rooms to stop Rover dragging his toys around the house.
And don’t forget the garden! A sorry little garden shed can be given a makeover both inside and out. Install shelves and make sure everything is accessible – there’s no point packing stuff neatly away and then realising it’s impossible to get anything from the back of the shelves. Paint the outside either bright and bold to make a feature, or camouflaged to blend into the garden.
And, of course, never forget the power of the cupboard under the stairs. Install a permanent shoe rack and coat hooks and turn it into a cupboard to be used daily, rather than a dumping ground for last year’s Christmas decorations. Because the key to good storage is to only store what you need, not hoard unnecessary junk.