Decorating & Design

December 22, 2008

Smart Storage Solutions

When embarking upon a mission to organize, start with your closets. Once everything has its place there, you’ll be inspired to create interesting, stylish and practical storage spaces in other parts of your home. Instead of haphazardly stuffing the top shelves in your closets, for instance, create order by neatly folding piles of clothes or use plastic, woven, wooden or attractive cardboard bins to help organize items.

Look to empty wall space, nooks and corners and even unused space under the stairs and over doorways as potential areas for creating practical and stylish storage.

In the living room, an ottoman with inside storage can keep magazines, remote controls or children’s toys neatly tucked away. Use it as extra seating when needed or top it with a wooden, woven or lacquered tray for a coffee table alternative.

Woven baskets make excellent storage containers. Use them in open kitchen cabinets, in an ensuite for towels or toilet paper, or line up a few on bookshelves for a clean, stylish look.

Stack up your storage possibilities with bins. Available in a wide variety of materials and colours, sturdy wood, leather, plastic or cardboard bins can be integrated into almost any décor.

Built-ins, whether under a window seat, staircase or flanking a fireplace, are more costly but offer an elegant, finished look.

Bathrooms are often victims of storage deprivation. When planning a renovation or bathroom design, consider adding built-in niches in between wall studs just deep enough to house folded washcloths, pretty soaps, lotions or candles. Consider building mini cupboards or drawers into bathtub surrounds for storing toiletries and cosmetics.

Add storage to a finished bathroom with a stylish medicine cabinet, which can replace an existing mirror. An over-the-toilet tiered shelf is another way to add storage to a compact bath or powder room. Taking up little floor space, this type of shelving works great for shampoo bottles, soaps and lotions.

Hang up towels, robes and cosmetic bags by installing extra wall hooks if wall space permits. Hooks installed at a lower height in kids’ bathrooms allow them to hang up their own robes and towels with ease and keep the floor clutter-free.

Paring down to essentials, giving everything its own place and eliminating those growing piles of clutter may seem like daunting tasks, but once the organization battle has begun, you’ll quickly realize that a little order is a wonderful thing.