The final frontier.
And something we could all do with more of. Here are my top tips to make the most of your home without knocking through to your neighbours and hoping they don’t notice…
A clever bit of under-stair carpentry can provide you with a huge amount of storage. As with any storage set-up, you need to properly think about exactly what it is you want to use it for – a cloakroom for coats and boots? A laundry cupboard to hide your washing machine and tumble dryer? A display space for all of the Transformers your child/husband has been collecting? Plan it carefully to make every mm count.
You can also utilise stairwells with high ceilings and wide landings with either built-in or open, shelf storage. Just be aware of the space you have and don’t make them too deep, you don’t want to feel like something is hovering over you as you walk up and down the stairs!
Kitchen banquette seating
Really easy to do and offers SO much storage space. Great for hiding away the food processor, blender, nutri-bullet, pasta machine, ice-cream maker, bread maker…
Another under-utilised area, especially in period properties. If you really plan the space, it can be a total godsend. Getting things like the necessary cabling wired-in properly (and hidden) will really help. Fabric-fronted doors for remote controls to work through allow smart boxes to be used without opening the whole thing up every time you want to change the channel.
Think about perhaps designing a set-up with bi-folding doors to hide the TV (please refrain from putting it above the fire place, a mirror or picture will look so much better).
To make the space look less cluttered, use glass shelves and clever recessed lighting which will help to make it a lovely feature too.
This is a really underused area. Especially if the windows are rarely opened (bathroom and perhaps kitchen). Wooden or glass shelves can be a beautiful way of displaying stemware or a collection. Really great if your view is more car park than Hyde Park as you keep the natural light but re-address the focus from outside to in.
Make the most of ceiling heights
A standard ceiling height is somewhere in the region of 240cm, higher if you are in a Victorian, Edwardian or Georgian property. Most kitchen units will be hung so the top sits about 210cm from the floor leaving a palatial 30cm above them. USE IT! Either request higher-than-standard units if you are ordering a new kitchen – 90cm instead of the usual 72cm – or have some hidden push-button storage built for the less used things.
Oh, and buy a step ladder…!