Families always seem to be running out of space, something the city dwellers among us in particular can identify with. But regardless of whether we live in an urban jungle or the serene countryside, sufficient space at home is something most of us grapple with at some point. We asked eight professionals from the Houzz community, including architects, interior designers and contractors, to reveal their top space-saving tricks.
1. Construct storage wherever you can. Rebecca Leivars of Leivars advises us to create storage on any wall surface available:
“If something has a thickness to it, make it storage. If you’re constructing a stud (non-load-bearing) wall, think about whether it can house storage. Can a section pull out to house shoes, perhaps? Can anything you design lift up?”
2. Utilize spaces you generally overlook. Andrew Dunning of APD Interiors explains the value of transforming unused spaces into storage solutions:
“Open your eyes and look at all the space you have in your home, not just the space you currently use. Could your kitchen [cabinets] go higher? This would allow you to store infrequently used items out of the main kitchen area. Also, what about the space under the stairs? This is often badly utilized but can be a great way to improve storage space. Custom-built storage is often the best solution here.”
3. Trim down your kitchen. Andrew Petherick of Artichoke reveals his tip for those considering a kitchen redesign, although cleaning out the kitchen (and home) on a regular basis is a good tip for anyone to follow:
“Before designing your new kitchen, look at what you have in your existing one. Take anything you haven’t used for six months and store it somewhere else. You’ll be surprised how much space you save.”
4. Add a loft. Stuart Duncan of Build Different values the space-saving (and stylish) properties a loft, or mezzanine, can bring to a space.
“Put a bed on a mezzanine level, freeing up valuable space below,” he advises.And if you manage to squeeze in a small home office as well, as in this space, even better.
5. Be clever with your garage. Michael Parinchy from Pro Build 360 advises maximizing the space in your garage, if you have one, by adding a second level to it:
“One very popular space saver that we’ve done a few of recently is to have a garage with a loft level. You can store all the things you don’t use every day up there. It’s easily accessible but out of the main house.”
6. Consider multi-functional furniture. Designer Camilla Pringle of Camilla Pringle Interiors recognizes the ingenious space-saving potential of multi-functional furniture.
“There are a lot of new, innovative options on the market now,” she says. A design can be as simple as a kitchen island with integrated wine storage, as shown here, or a more elaborate piece, such as a retractable desk or dining table.
7. Put your items on display. Egon Walesch of Egon Walesch Interiors & Flowers reveals the space-saving properties of a carefully curated cabinet display:
“I have a bit of a thing for display cabinets. I love handsome old wooden ones from department stores. … They can be an unusual but very practical feature, offering lots of storage while displaying some of your treasures and favorite items.
“I also think having items on display encourages good practice. You end up keeping them much tidier than if everything was hidden within drawers or cupboards. For the same reason, I love open shelving in kitchens, which also makes your crockery, pans and so on more accessible.”
8. Go open plan. Andrew Brown of Brown + Brown Architects praises the space-enhancing and money-saving powers of an open-plan scheme:
“Open plan, if it suits a client, will also save space. Hallways and corridors cost the same as other, more important areas to build or renovate, and often seem like a waste.”