Storage Solutions: Declutter Your Space by Olivia Brocklehurst

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Discovering smart, stylish and nifty ways for creating storage in your home can be really tricky. Once you’ve had a good spring clean and filtered down to the belongings that you would like to keep - namely our prized possessions, occasional accessories and ornaments - it’s important to store them away safely. In fact, it’s important that we store them away in a place so we can find them again! If we had well-designed storage solutions that have practicality and functionality in mind, great storage can declutter our lives for the better! Here are five different ways in which you can quickly transform your space.

1) Snug in the Alcoves

This is the perfect spot to fit purpose-built storage into the alcoves on either side of a focal point. Not every home has a fireplace, however fitted furniture can create a focal point in your home. When it comes to design, this is where you can have a lot of fun! Why not go for a shaker-style storage solution by having the top half open with shelving, to display books and style ornaments, and cabinet storage at the bottom. Alternatively, you could opt for sliding panel doors that reveal the television when it’s movie night and softly slides back to show a bookcase when the TV is hidden. The alcoves can be down-lit with LED strips to wash over the front of the fitted furniture to enhance the aesthetic look too. You could also introduce uplighting behind the top pelmets to provide indirect light, washing the ceiling with a warm ambience. It’s worth getting an interior designer to help you walk through the options and to see what’s achievable in your space, since different materials and final finishes will affect the overall look.

2) Under The Stairs Cupboard

This is often overlooked but clever storage ideas for under the stairs is a fantastic way to store smelly shoes, cleaning appliances, and outdoor gear. A multitude of household items that you don’t necessarily use every day but need to be neatly stored away that can be accessed quickly when the right time of year comes round again. For example, sliding cupboards and draws, which can be pulled out with an elegant handle or grooved grip. This storage solution looks smart and stylish, which is wonderful when the stairs are often located in a high-traffic, busy area of the house. The style and finish of this type of storage unit is up for debate too. If your staircase is modern, perhaps going for a seamless look will complement the overall design of the space. If your home is more traditional, maybe a shaker-styled door with ironmongery is better suited? An interior designer can help you choose the right style for your home, and pick out the best finishes. In high traffic areas where grubby finger marks, scuffs and grazes are inevitable, certain finishes are more suitable than others.

3) Sliding Doors

It’s extremely important to switch off from a hard working day and enter a relaxation zone. Many people work for themselves or as freelancers from home, so it’s worth thinking about multi-purpose storage solutions for your work station. Have you considered hiding your desk space behind bi-folding or sliding doors? This storage facility is a physical representation of work-life balance. When the doors are open, you can reveal all your paperwork, computer and materials. But when the doors are closed you transform your space, decluttering your interior in an instant. This system can give you peace of mind. The storage solution is particularly nifty for small spaces like studios but also perfect for large open plan living rooms and landings. The storage unit can be built along one stretch of wall, with shelving, organised draws and lighting design with your needs in mind. You can either make it seamlessly blend in with the background wall, keeping it minimalist and simple, or go big and bold, making a statement with a sultry colour, adding depth and interest. My advice would be to ensure it’s from floor to ceiling to maximise storage capability. This can also enhance the sense of height in a space, especially if you have low ceilings. Be careful in older buildings however, the ceilings aren’t always so level!

4) A Solid Trunk

When I was growing up, my mother had a very large wooden trunk that had a chunky lid and pointy corners. I always caught my legs on the corners when chasing my sisters around the living room. I could never understand why she bought it! I now know why. It’s a timeless piece of furniture. Finding a trunk that can be positioned almost anywhere in the home is a brilliant way to declutter your space. When the trunk was in the living room, my mum doubled it up as a coffee table and to store our toys and video cassettes when we were little. Then it moved to the utility room to keep winter gear dry during our school years. Now, the trunk is used in the hallway to store away muddy wellies and dog leads and toys. The trunk is also at seating height - perfect for putting your shoes on! The trunk is an amazing investment and suitable for almost any room.

5) A Corner Pantry

Even if you don’t have much space, squeezing in a pantry is the ideal storage solution to manage your food supplies. When re-designing your kitchen or utility room, think about the number of times you go to grab the herbs, the garlic, the tinned tomatoes or olive oil. These essential items are part of our every-day routines and used frequently so it’s handy to have them stored away neatly and tidily so we can find them quickly! A spice rack on the inside of the pantry door is a great way to declutter the internals of kitchen cupboards. I’m always sifting through my herbs and spices every time I go searching for the basil! You touch nearly every single item before finding it tucked away, somehow pushed to the very back by it’s rivals. You can also build in movable shelving to accommodate almost anything of any size. Seriously, those large 3kg pasta bags need a sturdy shelf!

So there you have it, five great ideas to declutter your space and provide wonderful storage solutions for your home with a styled approach.

Head to www.livmaggie.com to learn more about my interior design tips!

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