Under and inside
There are plenty of places in a living space that are criminally underused. The area under stairs is one such place. A bookcase, a work-from-home desk or a dog house are just a few clever ways to maximise the space underneath a staircase. If you’re building from scratch, you can even incorporate a bookcase or shelving unit into the stairs themselves.
In the kitchen, install a Northern European-style dish-drying cabinet above the sink and incorporate space-saving add-ons into cupboards to maximise the amount of cans and pans you can store.
Similarly, every inch of space inside wardrobes and closets should be utilised with partitions and shelving.
Bed risers add a few inches to the height of your bed and are one of the simplest space-saving storage ideas. Boosting the available space under your bed provides opportunities for custom or off-the-shelf storage solutions to slot in underneath.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can always take a power saw to some furniture. Chop a second hand table in half and fasten it securely to a wall. Bit OTT? Try a folding table.
Do you make your bed every morning? What about every night before going to sleep? Foldaway beds restore the much-needed square footage an ordinary bed takes up. Although we spend roughly a third of our lives asleep, for most of our existence a traditional bed takes up space that could be used more effectively.
Seeing is believing
Before you start knocking down walls and employing innovative storage ideas, there are a few space-maximising solutions that merely involve tricking the eye.
For example, paint and decorate the space with a unified colour scheme to avoid it looking ‘busy’. Keep it light and airy, so avoid blacks and dark greens or blues.
Light is your friend: mirrors and windows will give the illusion of space, while straight lines will help lengthen and expand a room.
A single large, eye-catching visual piece can act as the focal point of a room, tie the decor together and, despite what you might expect, actually make the room look bigger.
We can’t all live a minimalist existence, but a great way to maximise space is to get rid of your junk. Go through everything you own and ditch what you don’t need or love.
Things are looking up
So, you’ve painted the walls and hung up a Warhol print. But your living space is still in need of some effective storage ideas.
There’s prime real estate in the 12 or so inches just under your ceiling. You can utilise this often-overlooked area with a shelf that runs the perimeter of the space. At the very least, a shelf above the door will provide an unusual and out-of-the-way place to store books, souvenirs or keepsakes.
If you have the money and the wherewithal, a mezzanine will add a whole new floor, and there are a number of ways to maximise the space underneath with shelving, chests and cupboards. If you’re short on cash or time, a loft or cabin bed is a good substitute.
You can also use the ceiling to maximise space below. If you’re looking for something a little unusual, you could hang a bedside table from the ceiling and save valuable floor space.
On a more practical note, a Victorian clothes airer – using a pulley system – will remove the need for clothes racks, decluttering valuable floor space.
In the kitchen, racks of items hung from the ceiling keep surface areas clear and in the hallway, wall-mounted racks can store bikes, shoes and umbrellas.
Throughout the home, hanging fruit baskets can store toys, clothes and magazines, helping to keep floors and surfaces clutter-free.
The ceiling’s the limit. When it comes to shelving, build from floor to ceiling and into corners to make use of every available inch. Utilising corners not only maximises all available space, it also helps make a room look bigger.
Walls aren’t just for pictures and shelving. You can affix all sorts of boards and attachments that allow you to hang up your stuff when it’s not in use.
Pegboards, like those seen in workshops or tool sheds, are a great way to organise various items on a wall space. The best part is there are hundreds of baskets and hooks purpose-built for them.
Out of sight, out of mind
Whereas utilising walls for storage space means your stuff will be on display, there are places that can help to conceal your possessions and declutter your home.
An area often forgotten is the the wall space behind doors. Here you can fix hooks for scarves and hats. And on the back of the doors themselves you can store items such as clothes and shoes.
If you’re looking for a DIY project, add hinges to a mirror and install hooks on the wall behind for jewellery. Similarly, pictures on hinges hung in your hallway can conceal keys, removing the need for a hallway table.
Maximise your space with these clever storage ideas
We hope our rundown of storage ideas has given you inspiration. While some are creative and ingenious and others more practical, we think there’s something here for everyone.
If you haven’t already found your dream home with just the right amount of space for you, why not get in touch?