You are looking for space to pile up books and magazines, a space that won't look cluttered or junkie. You'd like to tuck in a desk for your computer that doesn't need to be cleared when you decide to eat. A comfy chair would be lovely to curl up in and read in a quiet corner. But where? Finding a precious few feet of livable or storable space is a constant challenge, but it is there for you if you do a bit of investigating and, yes, sorting through what you have.
If you've lived in your home for a few years, it's a given that there is stuff that won't be missed. Tidy up and declutter; empty spaces will emerge.
Maximize closets with organizers, rods on two levels, built-in shelves and shoe racks. Separate out-of-season clothing, pack it into clothing bags and store it under the bed. (Do this twice a year, and edit for more space next season.)
Sometimes more space simply means more accessible space. In the kitchen, pare down to essentials, and look for kitchen cabinet organizers such as spinning shelves for awkward corner cabinets, sliding shelves and built-in spice racks.
Furniture, too, can be replaced with pieces that are more versatile. Switch up a lumpy sofa bed for a modern sectional with built-in storage. Opt for a nest of tables that offers three surfaces when needed yet takes up minimum space. Stretch bookshelves to the ceiling so that collections are visible with no wasted space.
Special purpose appliances can bring practical versatility to kitchens and bar areas. Warmer drawers, refrigerators and under-counter fridge drawers are great space-saving solutions. We happened upon a fabulous under-counter wine cooler, an appliance that I was more than happy to welcome to our home. While envisioning with delight the selection of wines that we could now store in an environment suitable to the type and vintage, I searched my kitchen for under-counter space.
Then I spotted the area under the stairs. It had been the home for an old fridge, with odds and ends resting on top, and a stack of cartons. Shoes, boots and other stuff got shoved in there, too. It was time to put this area to better use!
Custom-built cabinetry and shelves were designed. The new wood was trimmed and painted to match the existing decor. This spot is no longer an eyesore; in fact, it's one of my favorite places.
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