Interior Design Storage Solutions
Everything has its place.
Being a designer does make you a little obsessive about things, it kind of comes with the territory, if I wasn’t I guess I should think about a career change. In my world everything has its right and proper place, my family however might not see things quite the same way, but hey they are in training. To me the key to a calm and happy home is great storage. You really need a good balance of hidden built in storage and attractive loose furniture pieces.
When getting built in furniture installed it makes a real difference if you can add some decorative lighting and get the electrics installed with the cupboards. In a lot of homes the wall space isn’t really utilised. It is much easier to go out and buy a piece of furniture than it is to arrange for a carpenter, electrician and decorator to all come round measure up, give you a quote, fit you into their schedule and make a right mess of your house when they finally come to install your built in storage . But once you have gone through this painful process if it is designed properly the additional space should be worth the hassle.
Here are some top tips to consider around the house.
Hallway: try to have coats hung up in a cupboard or a room off the hall, if you have children install a double row of hooks to make maximum use of the wall and to train your children into hanging up their own coats in the right place.
Try to find some space under the stairs or next to the front door to build a cupboard with drawers inside for hats and gloves, shelves for shoes, hooks for keys and a shelf with a couple of power sockets on it to hide all your chargers is ideal.
Living room: built in storage is ideal for tv equipment so that all the cabling can be concealed, try to get the fitter to put a plastic conduit in the wall ( drain pipe works fine) so that you can run tv cables through it out of site and it is easy to alter the wiring when you replace your tv. You will also need ventilation grilles at the top and bottom of the cabinet to allow a flow of air. Doors can be a bit tricky as you have to keep them open to use the remote control. Pocket doors work well here, they slide back into the side of the cabinet when it is open or a magic eye placed onto your tv screen allows you to use the remote control without opening the cupboard doors. Allow space for cd/dvd drawers as they are not pretty to look at.
Built in shelving with lighting adds a lovely backdrop to your seating area. If you have a peculiar kink in any of your walls this is an ideal spot to add some recessed box shelves with lights and flatten out the wall.
Make sure you have one tall cupboard for the ironing board, mop and broom (unless you have a utility room elsewhere) with a shelf at the top for the bucket and hooks on the side for aprons, dustpan and brush etc.
Pull out larders are great as you can see all around so you never loose things for months on end at the back of the cupboard.
Make sure you have enough deep drawers, they are extremely useful as you can easily access everything.
Think carefully about the bins, the recycling bins generally on the market are ridiculously small, you do need at least 3: general rubbish, bottles with cans and paper and possibly a compost bin. It is great if you can fit all of these under your sink but they do take quite a bit of space.
Stack the washer and dryer if you have separates and put a shelf on top for an ironing basket, this will use the entire wall space. Hang a drying rack over the sink so that you are not using valuable floor space to hang your clothes in.
Build the sink into a unit so that you have storage all around it, put a shaver socket inside the unit so that toothbrushes can charge out of site.
Build storage into the walls with lights in for bath and shower products, it looks much more interesting than a flat wall and an add on shelf.
Make sure you have plenty of mixed storage, shelves, drawers, hanging rails and that it is changeable (adjustable shelf heights etc.)
Try to find space for an airing cupboard. Upstairs is more useful as this is where you change the bed sheets and the towels. It is easy to build removable slatted shelves around a hot water tank or at least try to find a spot with some heating pipes running through that you can squeeze in a little bit of shelving.