Space, they say it’s the final frontier. Except if you live in London. When it’s not a frontier at all, because for most of us, at home, there simply isn’t very much. Which all means that we need to get inventive with voids, clever with corners and generally innovative all round in maximising the use of space in our homes.
We’ve blogged before about really clever apartments that change shape, but you might need a second mortgage to invest in converting your pad into one of those, so this time round we thought what can be more helpful than a a top five tips to make space in your home…
1. Look Up
Next time you walk in the font door or up the stairs, turn around and look up. Is there a great big wasted void above your head? Many older London properties might have been carved up into flats, but they still tend to have high ceilings. High ceilings mean opportunity. The space above doorways and stairwells could be ideal for fitting shelving or cupboard space that is up, out of the way and making use of the above-the-head-room.
2. Be More Boat
If you’ve ever been on a yacht, you’ll know that the interior designers get pretty handy at ensuring there are lots of lockers, hidey-holes and clever compartments. Sail loft under the forward berth (that’s a bed to the less nautically minded), dining table that slides up the mast to stow on the ceiling. That phrase Ship-shape and Bristol Fashion is a sea-dog term – which can be simply translated as ‘everything is tidy’.
There are many styles of furniture derived from our maritime heritage none more so than the cabin bed, which has stowage space beneath. If your kids’ bedroom is in need of a desk for them to work at, and a cupboard for them to hang their clothes, then a cabin bed is a great solution in their room. You can even get adult bunk beds these days.
You can take a similar approach in your kitchen cupboards. No – not keep your children in there – stacking rings up. Simple stackable shelving or small nests of tables are available from most flat-pack furniture stores. Stack them in your kitchen cupboards will allow you to use the whole height of your shelves, rather than the usual 50% of the space.
3. Think Clever Custom Furniture
If ready-made furniture is a bit too conventional – and you find yourself in need of something more bespoke – you can take a punt and DIY it yourself relatively cheaply, with little to lose. Immerse yourself in the subculture of ikea hacking – it’s the perfect way to find inspiration and get creative with all sorts of ace places to keep stuff out of sight. From a dazzling DJ deck to a cunning remote storing coffee table there are plenty of ways to make furniture that keeps your stuff tidy and out of site.
4. More Rooms
At the other end of the expense spectrum (though not quite as steep as completely converting your flat into that multi-room convertible masterpiece) is making an extra room. Loft conversions are a popular choice in London as are basements or cellars. Whatever spare area you happen to have, converting it into something more useable can create some really useful storage or even living space. If loft conversions sound up your street, you might find our January 2 parter particularly useful.
5. Declutter, Store Off Site.
Of course, there’s one final way to make more space in your home and that’s to declutter – sort and throw out the things that you don’t really need. Then, for all the things you want to keep, but aren’t in use on a day-to day basis, a modest self storage unit can provide off-site storage. A storage locker with us is exactly the kind of place. You can use it for your CD collection that you’ve got stored digitally, paperwork, paintings and sculptures – in fact, just about anything that you don’t have room for on display in your home, but don’t want to let go of either.