Five Smart Storage Solutions for Stylish Homes
Whether your house is large or small, it’s always worthwhile considering how to incorporate smart storage solutions: because even with the most immaculate planning, life happens, and clutter spreads easily. The good news is that extra storage doesn’t need to be bulky or unsightly. Our blog has some simple suggestions that will transform your home with minimal effort.
Seek out unusual storage spaces
Our Wapping home makes the most of wall and under-window storage
Even in the most compact of homes, there are always areas that aren’t being utilised – probably because it’s not obvious how to use them. Tiny alcoves and open walls are perfect examples: if you build bespoke cupboards or floor-to-ceiling shelving, you can exploit every last bit of space. Open shelving is a great way to introduce a pop of colour to the room, too – a fantastic showcase for record collections, books, and even plants.
If your walls are quite full, what about those areas under windows? Or above doorways, even? Go around your house and try to look at everything with fresh eyes – potential storage areas are probably hiding in plain sight! And, if you’re considering letting your home out for short periods of time, creating new cupboards in otherwise unusable areas (like under the stairs or above a wardrobe) could be really useful for storing belongings in and locking up when you are away.
Colourful stackable storage used at our tranquil Brixton home
If space is tight within the kitchen, it’s important to think creatively – and ensure that you’re not wasting an inch of usable wall, ceiling or counter space. Often that means thinking ‘vertically’ rather than ‘horizontally’. If cupboard space is tight, why not invest in some gorgeous stackable cups and saucers (like those pictured above) to save a few precious inches? Similarly, purchasing rails or baskets to hang between cupboards or over counters is a great idea: there you can find a new home for all kinds of ‘kitchenalia’ – from pots and pans to favourite utensils.
We’re also big fans of butcher’s block trolleys. These handy items typically contain baskets or drawers, creating an additional storage unit, and are topped with a thick chopping board that is perfect for food preparation if counter space is limited. Such trolleys are often supplied on wheels, meaning that, when the trolley isn’t in use, you can simply roll it away and store in a cupboard.
A compact but well-designed bedroom in our Chelsea studio
A bed can be so much more than a place to lay your head – particularly when space is at a premium. Beds can now be purchased with clever under-bed storage built in, meaning that the mattress can be lifted completely to reveal a huge extra storage space, or with drawers that can be pulled out from inside the base. Even if you have no desire to change your current bed, but have a frame with a gap underneath, you can purchase storage boxes to slide in and out and make the most of that previously unused area. Pro tip: if you are planning on doing so, purchase square boxes that can fit snugly together (you will always lose vital inches if you purchase curved containers) and opt for boxes on castors so you can slide them in and out with ease.
Alternatively, if you’re not thinking of changing your bed, what about swapping your headboard? This can be a great way to shoehorn in a few valuable inches of usable space – many headboards now come with built-in ledges and pegs, allowing you to hang or store items within the alcoves behind and to the side of your bed.
With a bit of thought, functional areas can become a feature in their own right, as beautifully illustrated by our Barnes home (pictured above). Here, alcoves multitask as presentation areas for characterful knick-knacks (such as the globe), pictures, and books, as well as a well-placed under-shelf cupboard. The shelves extend to the ceiling, meaning that even the more unusually-shaped areas add something extra to the room.
If you’re looking for ways to make storage solutions a design feature, you could also consider introducing a vintage trunk or chest which can double as a coffee table, or purchasing decorative pegs for your hall and other wall areas from which to hang items.
A storage cabinet made into a charming feature in our classic Westminster home.
If one of your rooms is particularly snug, why not think outside of the box? There’s no reason that you can’t store items in another (still convenient) area. If you make a feature out of delicate kitchen items, for example (like in the attractive home pictured above), you can put a decorative cabinet full of glass or dishware almost anywhere.
Another valuable - yet often underused area - is the hallway. Hallways can be narrow or snug, so whilst you might not be able to cram them full of furniture, there tend to be unique storage opportunities. Storage benches are a wonderful addition: not only do these offer an additional space to stash coats, bags, and seasonal items (like wellies!) but they can provide a handy seating area. If you have a long, thin hallway – upstairs or down – you could also consider purchasing a slim wardrobe with sliding doors: super handy for coats and jackets, and also any extra clothing that you don’t have space for in the bedroom (particularly if you’re clearing out part of a bedroom wardrobe for homestay guests).