Clever storage will make your home seem bigger.
If the walls are closing in, it’s time to streamline your space and let your home breathe again
Without doubt, storage – or lack of it – is one of the biggest issues for homes of all sizes. And while it seems we can never get enough, the solution surely lies in making the most of every inch.
When rethinking any storage problem, a great place to start is with a good sort out. Marie Kondo has been topping the non-fiction charts in recent months with her book, The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up. Her philosophy is simple: group together belongings by type – so all books, kitchen utensils, smart clothes etc – keep only the things that are either useful or that spark joy, and establish a dedicated place where each group will live.
Once you’ve have a good tidy up, there are plenty of other options to consider for creating a bit more space in your home…
Tailor-made furniture is often the most effective storage solution, using every inch of space and giving a neat, streamlined finish that will make the whole room look bigger. In small homes, you can fit cupboards right up to the ceiling as well as into awkward corners, using clever internal fittings or drawers to reach the contents with ease.
Fitted kitchens and wardrobes are the obvious choices but think also about using fitted furniture to boost storage space in the bathroom, perhaps to add an office area in the hallway, or simply to create shelves for books around a doorway. In your living room, custom joinery can house your television and DVD collection, providing a clean, minimal look.
The joy of bespoke furniture is that it makes such efficient use of space. In small homes you can find valuable space in every nook and cranny, including up in the loft where there is valuable space to be found in the eaves – practically every room has over-looked opportunities. And what’s inside counts too. Modern-day fittings are super-efficient at accessing even the most remote corners and, for the outside, you can specify any design and finish to suit your style.
A good design professional will also be able assess your overall space and suggest some fine-tuning. Switching rooms around is not as daunting as it sounds – especially in larger properties – and relatively small tweaks such as taking out a chimney breast, moving the boiler or rethinking the end of a hallway can have a massive impact, perhaps providing space for a much-longed-for en-suite bathroom, utility area, walk-in wardrobe or home office.
Fake it ‘til you make it
And if you are after a quick and simple fix, this popular mantra of the day can be applied to your home too. Try these streamlining tips that will fool the eye into seeing more space and a bit less clutter:
1. Let in the light – brighter really does look bigger so pare back window treatments to let in maximum daylight and use lamps to create pools of light in dark corners
2. Seeing double – shiny surfaces reflect light to brighten a scheme but, for the ultimate illusion, use large expanses of mirror to ‘double’ the space. Mirrored alcoves and doors on fitted furniture are especially effective – try using antiqued mirror or a warmer, more golden tone for a softer finish.
3. Keep it simple – large expanses of colour are easy on the eye so continue your chosen shade over architectural details such as skirting boards and picture rails and onto fitted furniture and painted fireplaces. Pale shades and restful blues and greens are the most space-enhancing.
4. Clear the floor – exposing as much floor area as possible will work in even the smallest of rooms including the bathroom, so choose wall-hung fittings and furniture – they will make the room easier to clean too. Elsewhere, choose tall furniture on legs so you can see a hint of floor under that sofa, armchair or bed.
Looking for more ideas to maximise the potential in your home? Granit’s experienced interior design team offers tailor-made solutions for rooms of all sizes.