You are looking for space to pile up books and magazines that doesn’t look cluttered or junky. You’d like to tuck in a desk for your computer that doesn’t need to be cleared off when you decide to eat. A comfy chair would be lovely to curl up in and read in a quiet corner. But where?
Finding a precious few feet of livable or storable space is a constant challenge, but it is there for you if you do a bit of investigating, and yes, sorting through what you have.
If you’ve lived in a home for a few years, it’s a given that there is stuff in boxes, cupboards and under the beds that won’t be missed. Tidy up and declutter, and empty spaces will emerge. Clean out the attic, paint the walls, throw down a carpet, and there’s a quiet retreat for work, relaxing, playing an instrument or crafting.
Design along with the particular shape and dimensions of the area. Dormers cut off head room, but a bed or desk or row of storage cabinets fits perfectly in the nooks.
Maximize bedroom closet space with organizers, rods on two levels, built-in shelves and shoe racks. Separate out-of-season clothing, pack into clothing bags and store under the bed. (Do this twice a year and edit while you are at it for more space next season.)
Sometimes more space simply means more accessible space. In the kitchen, pare down to essentials and look for kitchen cabinet organizers such as spinning shelves for awkward corner cabinets, sliding shelves and built-in spice racks.
Furniture, too, can be recycled and replaced with pieces that are more versatile. Switch up the lumpy sofa bed for a modern sectional that has built-in storage.
Opt for a nest of tables that offers you three usable surfaces when needed yet takes up minimum space. Stretch bookshelves to the ceiling so that your collections are visible and close at hand with no wasted space.
Special purpose appliances bring practical versatility to kitchens and bar areas. Electrolux offers a tantalizing variety of design options and models (www.electroluxicon.com). Warmer drawers, refrigerators and fridge drawers that fit under-counter are great space-saving solutions.
We happened upon a fabulous Electrolux under-counter wine cooler, an appliance that I was more than happy to welcome to our home. While envisioning with delight the selection of wines that we could now store in an environment suitable to the type and vintage, I searched my kitchen for available under-counter space.
And then I spotted the stairs or, more precisely, the area under the stairs that was just off the kitchen.
In the before shot, you can see that we had an old fridge with odds and ends resting on top, and a stack of cartons. Shoes, boots and other paraphernalia got shoved in there, too.
This was it! Time to put this area to better use. Custom-built cabinetry and shelves were designed around the dimensions of the wine cooler. The new wood was trimmed and painted to match the existing decor. This spot is no longer an eyesore; in fact, it’s one of my favorite places to visit.