Living in a small space is a necessity for millions of families across the UK. However, without careful planning, smaller homes can quickly fill up with clutter – making them feel cramped and dingy. Ample storage is the best way to make your house feel more spacious. Whether you live in a studio, apartment, flat, or maisonette, here are some storage solutions to help you make the most of your home.
Dual Purpose Furniture
Small homes rarely have room for traditional types of storage furniture, such as drawers and wardrobes. The trick is to repurpose the bare essentials – beds, sofas, and tables – as storage spaces. The sofa below, for example, has a series of spacious compartments hidden beneath the seat cushions. Storage places like this are more difficult to reach than others, making them ideal for seldom-used possessions.
Most people use their under-bed space for storage. However, this often appears untidy – particularly if the bed is placed in the middle of the room. Some bed frames also incorporate storage space, like this beautiful cream piece:
Rifling through under-sofa storage on a daily basis is impractical. Everyday items must be readily accessible, even if they’re kept stored away. A hollow ottoman at the end of the bed is both stylish and practical. Although traditionally used to store bedding, modern versions can be adapted to hold almost any item – like this ingenious television stand:
Coffee tables can also be repurposed for storage – there are plenty of made-for-purpose varieties available with drawers, baskets, or hinged lids. Alternatively, you could adapt another piece, like this fantastic vintage steamer trunk:
Some rental properties come complete with the landlord’s own furniture, making the solutions above impossible. However, it is still possible to increase your storage space without buying large pieces of purpose-made furniture. Wardrobes are storage goldmines, but people don’t always make full use of the available space. Hanging up clothing is just one function – fill the bottom of the piece with drawers, boxes, and racks, like the example below:
Flat and apartment dwellers often don’t have access to a garden, making indoor clothing airers a necessity. However, they often take up a lot of room. Some varieties are designed to fit into a bath or shower, and can be folded flat when not in use.
When choosing furniture, remember to keep your storage options in mind. Keeping clutter to a minimum is particularly important in smaller houses, as it can help make your home feel airy and spacious.
Of course, no amount of storage space can increase the actual size of your home. However, even the smallest room can be enhanced with one simple trick. Hang a mirror on the wall – the larger the better – to give an illusion of space.
This post was written by Anne Haimes of AH Interiors, an interior designer with over 20 years’ experience, based in Henley-on-Thames, England.