Apart from obvious places such as kitchen units (cabinets) and bedroom wardrobes (closets), there are many places in the house in which you can store items without spoiling the look of the room. Properly planned storage space can be not only practical and capacious, but positively elegant.
In the kitchen, storage is a serious business, and what you need and how you provide it will depend on what kind of kitchen it is and how you use it. The fully fitted kitchen is popular because it packs the lutist storage into the least space, whereas the farmhouse-style kitchen, with free-standing furniture, reduces the amount of storage space. There is, however, one big advantage with free-standing furniture: you can take it along when you move house.
In deciding what you want, analyse your storage needs thoroughly. Think about food, cooking utensils and small appliances for a start; all need a place close to the cooking and food-preparation areas. Move on to items such as china, cutlery and glassware; do they need room in the kitchen at all, or would the dining room be a better place to keep them? Then consider non-culinary items — cleaning materials, table linen and so on — and make sure that there is enough space for them.
Always make the best possible use of cupboard (closet) space. Fit extra shelves where necessary, use wire baskets for ventilated storage, hang small racks on the hacks of doors and use swing-out carousels to gain access to corner cupboards.
In the living room, storage needs are likely to be leisure-oriented. There has to be enough room for hooks, cassettes, compact discs and videotapes, not to mention display space for ornaments. The choice is again between free-standing and built-in furniture, and is much freer than in the kitchen because in this room looks are just as important as performance.
Built-in furniture can make optimum use of alcoves and other recesses. A more radical option is a complete wall of storage units, which could include space for home-entertainment equipment as well as features such as a drinks cupboard (cabinet). While planning living-room storage, pay particular attention to working requirements for power points (receptacles), especially if you have a lot of hi-fi (stereo) equipment, and for any concealed lighting in the unit.
Storage needs in the dining room relate mainly to providing places for china, glassware and cutlery (flatware), especially any that is kept for special occasions. Think too about storage for tablemats, cloths and other table accessories. Once again, the choice is between built-in storage units and free-standing furniture.
Now take a look at your storage requirements upstairs, starting with the bedrooms. Here the main need is for space to store clothes, and this is one area in which built -in (and ideally, walk-in) storage is the perfect solution.S pace can often he ‘poached’ between
USING THE ROOF SPACE
Except in older houses, the roof space is usually cluttered with all the woodwork that makes up a modern trussed-rafter roof and is or little use for storage. However, it is still worth boarding over the area immediately around the access hatch so that you can put luggage, boxes and the like there. If the root-construction permits, however, there is a chance to create an almost unlimited storage capacity. Fit a proper fixed ladder to allow both safe and easy access.
Extend bedrooms by forming a deep partition wall, accessible from one or both rooms; tilts can actually save money, as there will be no furniture to buy. An alternative if overall space permits is to create a separate dressing room, at least for the master bedroom.
Bedrooms built under the roof slope offer an unparalleled opportunity to make use of the space behind the room walls by creating fully lined eaves cupboards (closets). These are ideal for long-term storage of items such as luggage which may be needed only occasionally, as well as providing a home for toys in children’s rooms.
Finally, look at the bathroom. I Jere requirements are likely to be relatively low-key — somewhere to keep toiletries and cleaning materials, for example.
The choice is likely to be between a floor-standing vanity unit and some wall-hung cupboards (cabinets), although if space permits you might give some thought to the growing number of fully fitted bathroom furniture ranges. Where space is very limited, make use of the ‘hidden’ space behind a removable bath panel to store small items such as children’s bath toys.
STORAGE IN THE HALLWAY
Simple hooks and an umbrella stand are the haren initial, but consider having an enclosed cupboard (closet) that is built-in rather than free-standing. It is simple to ‘borrow’ some porch –or hall – floor space to create a suitable enclosure. If you fit the cupboard with a door to match others leading rim the rest of the house , it will blend in perfectly. Make sure that the cupboard is ventilated so that any damp clothes will be able to dry.
An alcove is the perfect site for built-in shelving for books, or for display and storage cupboards (cabinets) for music cassettes and discs, videos, hi-fi (stereo) equipment, and so on.
A beautifully tiled bathroom is further enhanced with an attractive vanity unit, which can offer valuable storage space for toiletries.