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Maximising space at home

Last updated: 25 August, 2011

INTERIOR IDEAS

Storage space in apartments is precious. Sudha Jain offers tips to maximise space by using multipurpose furniture, shelves mounted on walls or storage-friendly furniture.

In most apartments and condos, storage space appears to be at a premium. No storage space is ever enough. There never seems to be adequate space to tuck away our belongings and keep our homes orderly and neat. Fortunately, with a little creativity, there are ways to make the most of a small space.

The first step towards saving spaces for storage is to rid our homes of items that we never use. Just about every household has items crammed in closets that are being saved because they will come in handy someday. If you have not used the item in the last five years, chances are you will never need them. Clear the house from all unwanted clutter. Once you have discarded all the unused items, you can begin to think about creating room for more storage.

Storage-friendly furniture

Look for furniture that is storage friendly. Under the bed is a gold mine. Beds with drawers underneath are a boon. Now with pulleys being used in beds, storage under the beds has become easily accessible. Just one pull and the mattress comes up, giving you full reign to the storage within. A trunk used for storage can be converted into a coffee table by using a bright, colourful fabric as camouflage. Similarly, end tables with drawers and shelves, TV consoles with storage for DVDs and magazines will not only provide the right place for various items but also keep the home clutter-free. A medium-sized bed with a drawer bed on wheels is best to save space.

Multipurpose furniture

Furniture that is multifunctional is ideal for small apartments. A futon works best as both sofa and bed. It saves space and looks good too. A bed that has drawers below and a bookshelf at the headboard has combined three pieces of furniture in one. If you decide to use a large piece of furniture, ensure it can house the majority of your storage needs, without having to use other pieces of furniture to block valuable space. For the children’s room, a bunk bed with fit-in wardrobes and study table is most efficient way to save space yet not compromise on quality. The market is full of colourful options and you can choose what suits your purpose.

The wooden slab used to shield the book-shelf attached on the wall can be unfolded to become a study table.

Furniture can also be used as partitions between the living and the dining. An entertainment unit can have a TV and book-shelf on one side and crockery on the other side, thus doubling up as crockery unit for dining area and TV unit for the living room.

A niche near the windows can be used as sitting area with soft bright cushions thrown in.
This not only adds colour but also gives that extra space for you to sit and relax.

In a duplex flat, the niche under the staircase leading to the upper floor can have closets, a bookshelf or even a small room for storage.

Storage on the walls

Often overlooked, wall space makes for the best storage space. You can mount shelves to the wall to store books or family photos. If you haven’t got room for a kitchen table, how about one that folds down from the wall? When you need it, just pull it up, prop it and you are set to dine. When it’s not in use, you have that much more space to move.

An iron board can be used in a similar way. In the kitchen, spice racks can be mounted on the wall. Bathrooms can have optimum storage too this way. A steel rack for toiletries can be hung on the shower rods for easy access and roomy space.

Lofts

Lofts are ideal places to store items that are not immediately required. Spaces above the wardrobes can be used as lofts. In apartments, small space on the ceiling where the rooms meet can be converted into lofts, best for storing extra belongings.

Closet spaces

With a little thought, a closet space can be utilised to its potential. Storage closets should be organised to utilise all space efficiently. The more you can store in your closets, the less there is to store in the bedroom area. This can be accomplished by adding another shelf or clothing rod to each of your closets. The extra rod doubles your hanging space for clothes. Another shelf positioned above the current shelf will create a little more space for shoe boxes, making what is often unusable home storage space into fully functional storage.

Another innovation with closet organisation is the easy-to-assemble organisation inserts that are available at many home stores. These organising resources allow you to maximise the use of closet space based on your needs. You can have small divisions made in your drawers for ties, jewellery or watches and have hooks attached to your closet doors for belts and ties. You can also customise storage units that are made to go in small spaces. You can buy narrow shelves that are meant to go in tight spaces in kitchens or bedrooms, like behind the bedroom door. Colourful wicker baskets and boxes can be stacked to optimise space and hide items that clutter your apartment.

Storage in the kitchen

Modular furniture in kitchens are ideal for maximum storage. Corners are never wasted and walls are made good use of. Adjustable shelves inside the cabinets are best for storing different kitchen items. You can also adjust the shelving so that taller items can be placed upright, making it possible to use the shelf space to better advantage.
We can make the best use of our space with a little thought and creativity.
Designating proper space to each item not only saves space but also makes it easier to locate them when needed. Proper storage space ensures a clutter-free, organised and beautiful home.

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