Lifestyle and Living
May 2022 | By Jo-Ann Capelaci
An organized space can reduce stress, fatigue and improve mental clarity. An important concern for more and more people, especially since the pandemic is clutter and how to create more storage. Creating additional storage to reduce clutter and organize can dramatically improve the look and feel of many homes. And it can enhance your overall well-being.
How can you create more storage by using what you have, by making a few new purchases, or with a renovation project? We have compiled ideas for added storage options in every room in the home. Some examples are quick and easy, some are with items you may have around your home or purchase new, and some are built-in options. We hope you are inspired to create a clutter-free environment with options that work best for you.
First impressions are key. Our client Margo repurposed a dresser from her previous home in the foyer. Adding a dresser in an unexpected location is a great way to add more storage and interest. In the entry you can use a dresser for scarves, gloves, slippers and hats for example. Put your keys in the top drawer. You can even add a phone charging station if there is an outlet behind the area. (just drill a hole in the back of the cabinet for the cord). If you like DIY consider painting an old dresser and locate it where you need storage.
A simple solution are baskets. Baskets can act as accents to a room while providing an easy and affordable way to store items within easy reach. Baskets and interesting storage containers improve a room asthetically and functionally. They work well for quick clean up of toys too.
Maximizing the cabinet space you do have with space saving solutions can really increase the amount of cabinet space. You can google things like kitchen pull out drawers, under sink space saving, blind corner cabinets, lazy Susan and recycling center for ideas. A good go to resource for space saving add-ins to cabinets is www.rev-a-shelf.com
Another way to increase your storage space is to revamp an existing area. Below see the before and after we designed for a client with small children. Not only is the look more aesthetically pleasing it provides extra organized storage. Much of this storage is easily accessible with children. The combination of doors and drawers adds additional storage and the bench has touch latch cabinets for other items such as toys or crafts. Or if your kitchen now doubles as your office a similar combination can assist with files and supplies.
Not all of us have room for a large walk-in pantry pictured here. However, when you label containers in your cabinets or on the counter it will help you find items faster and be more efficient. Grouping like items together is visually more appealing and affords more organization.
When designing new kitchens consider adding lots of drawer space as this will assist in organization.
Built-in cabinetry can similarly be used in dining areas too. Especially given the number of people that are now using their dining room as a temporary home office. Some options include the use of floating shelves, using shelving as a wall partition, open-shelving or storage furniture such as a credenza to add charm and for use while dining to serve food.
Often one of the most used rooms in a home, a laundry or mud room, will benefit from built-in solutions. This custom built-in checks off all the boxes with a combination of closed and open storage, hooks for back packs and coats often used, drawers to see things at-a-glance, a bench to put on footwear with open storage below to store it and open cubbies to add baskets for some visual appeal.
A window seat with drawers below and shelving can provide lots of extra storage options in a bedroom. This bedroom real estate may have had little use without the incorporation of a built-in. Lovely to look at and functional with storage and seating all in one!
Sometimes there is room to add additional closet/storage space in an unused area of a bedroom. This custom built-in provides additional storage to the client’s closet space. There are drawers for clothes, jewelry and belts and short hang options above.
Don’t want to add built-ins? Choosing furniture pieces with storage options can be a big help. We often specify large night tables with lots of drawer space for clients who need added storage. And a storage bench at the end of the bed can be helpful for extra blankets etc.
If you have some existing open storage, stack and display what you have neatly and in groups. This will make it easy to find and good-looking at the same time.
Some clients have a small nook at the top or below stair areas for example. This could be the perfect location for a reading corner, homework center or home office. This affordable desk with storage is from Ikea with basket from EQ3.
If you are looking to improve the overall look of your home, increase your general well-being and be better organized consider storage as your priority. Make a list of every room in your home and think of ways to increase storage and organize spaces. If you are feeling overwhelmed, consider hiring a professional organizer to help.
Jo-Ann Capelaci is president and principal interior designer of Colours & Concepts Inc. The award-winning company specializes in model homes and colour and upgrade selections for builders. They have been helping new home buyers choose finishes for their homes for over 25 years. Jo-Ann is dedicated to helping new home buyers create a model home feeling in their new home. Look for future articles on other topics to assist in decorating and designing your new home.