When you live in a small space, you're always looking for new hidey holes within which to store things in and there are some pieces of furniture and parts of buildings that could work so much harder if someone put their mind to it.
Architects have been designing building with lofts for centuries and yet the method for accessing them has not got beyond a disappearing awkward to access ladder. Consequently, these storage areas are under used, but without going as a far as a loft conversion there are ways you can make this space more attractive, useful and accessible.
I took down the ceiling in part of our home to reveal the loft above and this space has become a book shelf and perch for storage baskets and attractive looking toys, such as a wooden sledge and a football table.
Meanwhile, I've been searching for years for a kitchen table with at least one drawer under the table top, that doesn't look cheap and nasty. They were pretty much standard in the 'olden' days and they crop up occasionally on Ebay, but they are often trading on their vintage looks and are expensive.
A stylish sofa that opens up to reveal a wide chest for storing games would be useful too. It would basically be a sofa bed design with out the bed in it.
Any suggestions to add to the list?
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Whilst you can't over clutter a small home, there are some beautiful statement objects that are worth making room for. These are on my Christmas list:
Wooden Studio Shelf, £88.95, www.prettydandy.co.uk
Used alongside the bed instead of a bedside table, this cute wall shelf is perfect for helping you to stick to our optical illusion rule, where you maximise visible floor space to make a room appear larger. It's available in a variety of sizes from Pretty Dandy
£50 each at www.bainesandfricker.net
Shop fitters are often ahead of the trend when it comes to interior design, so it's always a good idea to pay attention to how they store and display their wares. It may well work really well in your own home. Baines and Fricker's
contemporary take on the fruit crate are currently being used in the Paul Smith shop in Borough Market and if it's good enough for Paul, it's good enough for me!
Crafted from birch ply, they are all individually number stamped and are perfect for kids toy storage, magazines or even a vinyl collection.
Havanah Campaign Dressing Table, £1,900, www.blackorchidinteriors.co.uk
It's pricey, but in its defence, the Havanah Campaign Dressing Table from Black Orchid Interiors
folds up smaller, can also be used as a desk and it's the sort of furniture that's likely to become a family heirloom. Just think of all the things you could put in all those drawers.Subscribe to my RSS feed for instant email updates every time I post!
We accumulate pieces over the years that are redundant for most of the time. But before you go out and buy a new container to hold the kids' crayons, kitchen utensils or toothbrushes, think about whether you already have something that could do the job, and in a much more visually interesting way too.
Here a giant wine glass has been turned into a funky container for kitchen serving spoons etc.
And when the last occupant swam off to new shores from this fish bowl, paint and brushes moved in.
Whilst this funky light bulb vase from IotaBristol
looks great filled with colourful buttons and knitting needles. Things that would normally take up space in a cupboard, become almost a piece of artwork in their own right.
Lit Lit bed www.frenchbedroomcompany.co.uk
There are lots of clever optical illusions you can employ to make a small room appear much larger and more spacious than it actually is.
Opt for furniture with legs so that you can see the floor under it. The more floor you can see the larger the room will feel. You can also get some extra storage space under raised furniture, just tuck those baskets and under bed boxes right into the middle so that they can't be seen at eye level.
It sounds obvious but strategically placed mirrors are fantastic for adding depth to a room. Places to target with mirrors are walls opposite windows and doors at the top of stairs.
Colour can also be used to play tricks with your eyes. Light and airy colours tend to move the walls out whilst darker hues will pull the walls inwards.
Pale Sienna wall paint from susiewatsondesigns.co.uk
Do you have any more spacial optical illusion suggestions?