Sat 09 Apr 2016
According to reports, average British homes have shrunk by two square meters in just a DECADE. Bearing this in mind we would like to share some of Houzz’s simple, innovative ways to add storage to a small home.
When you’re short on floor space, sometimes the only place to go is up
In an ideal world, there would be no out-of-reach cabinetry. But there’s an awful lot of wasted space up there, so don’t dismiss it. Many of our items go untouched during the course of a week or even month, so keep these seldom-used items up top. When needed, a stepladder or basketball player will come in handy. Store the rest at human height.
Get your hooks in
The hook is the saviour of the spatially challenged – didn’t someone once say, ‘You can’t be too thin or have too many hooks’? Embrace the hook all over the house – hallway, kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, playroom, bedroom and living areas – to add heaps of handy storage.
This entrance forgoes a space-hogging cupboard or shelving unit in favour of hooks, a big basket and a couple of chairs for taking off shoes.
Tip: When using multiple levels of hooks, stagger them to keep items clear of one another.
Don’t forget about the underside of shelves for a bit of hook action. This tiny kitchen makes use of both the top and bottom of a shelf across the window to hang pots and pans and to keep items off the worktops. Also note the very practical lid rack.
Having a small kitchen is a good reason to bring back the cup hooks popular in earlier times. They’re often attached under cabinets, but your pretty cups and mugs can be displayed anywhere.
Stay on the straight and narrow
These merest slivers of a wall are fitted with narrow, built-in shelves and cavities for books and wine. In-wall storage like this provides some insulation for your precious vintages, makes an interesting entrance to the room and creates a spot to pause while browsing recipe books or choosing a bottle to open with dinner.
Narrow shelves on either side of a doorway can also hold flat items such as trays, breadboards and platters, and they make a tidy frame if continued across the top.
Tip: Store up high those items you use only occasionally and decorative treasures you love to display.
Get behind the doors
The back of a door is underused property. In a child’s bedroom, toys can be tucked away in bags or baskets, ready to be unhooked at playtime. It’s also a good place to keep a ready-packed child’s travel bag to grab and go when you’re in a hurry.
It’s a nifty idea for craft supplies, and in the bathroom, a spacious bag or basket can hold towels, cleaning gear and larger bath items.
Tip: Make sure there’s enough clearance behind the door – a rubber stopper may be needed.
Hit the high spots with shelves
Open shelves that start just below the ceiling double as storage and as a visual trick to give the illusion of a larger room. If you want to minimise the shelves, paint them the same colour as the wall or use tempered glass. For more impact, use a contrasting colour or wood that matches other wood in the room.
Wall boxes are a great idea for renters. They can be attached with minimal damage and are easily removed and transported when you relocate. Choose a lightweight wood and don’t overload them.
Tip: Check out ways to hang wall boxes that don’t damage walls too much. Ask your landlord if it’s OK, and offer to repair the walls when you leave.
No need for a wardrobe
If you’ve managed to carve out space for a small guest room, chances are the bed and bedside table have first claim on floor space, leaving not much room for storage. Short-term guests don’t need much, so a rack of wall hooks can take the place of a wardrobe and reduce that squeezed feeling.
Use wall hangers to free up surfaces
A small, cheap and often overlooked means of freeing up floor space is the wall-hung basket. Not only does it gain you more room for bigger items, but you can keep surfaces clear of fruit bowls, herb pots, cloths and utensils. Worktop ends are a perfect spot for these catch-all containers.
Tip: Use wall-hung baskets for potatoes and onions, which don’t need refrigeration and benefit from the circulating air.
Hang several wall-hung baskets in pint-sized bathrooms – on towel and shower rails, baths and wall hooks. They’re easy to move to where you want to use the products, and you might get by with just a tiny medicine cabinet or none at all.
Tip: Renting or sharing a house with just one bathroom? Keep your personal toiletries in a basket in your bedroom and carry it to the bathroom when it’s your turn.
Grow a high garden
Vertical gardens are a growing trend. Even a postage-stamp-sized outdoor space offers a chance to try your green fingers. Use fences, hangers or wooden frames to get your garden off the ground and double your growing area. Herbs, vegetables and flowers will enjoy the rarified atmosphere above the crawling insects and are at a perfect height for picking.
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