The end of the year is a natural watershed for change. We write resolutions and we think about where we want to be in a year’s time, and reflect on the past twelve months and the changes it’s brought. For some of us, an upsize or downsize might be on the cards in 2014; for others it’s a case of improving the space we have, or adapting it to fit our changing lives and needs. Clawing back extra space needn’t be costly or time-consuming – have a read through our top five space saving ideas for the home.
1. Shelves and bookcases
The most versatile of storage options, a clever shelving configuration will create both real space and the illusion of further space – a great space saving idea. Line a room with a high shelf that runs the whole perimeter – this is great for displaying photographs in frames as well as for keeping breakables at bay. Shelves can even be placed above doorways and installed along the length and height of your hallway to create the sense of height and length, while providing ample storage for books and knick knacks. A low bookcase positioned under a window is another savvy use of dead space, as is a corner book case. Check your local flea market for vintage finds, or speak to us about creating something custom made. This needn’t cost the earth.
2. Keep flooring the same
Create an illusion of unbroken space by keeping your flooring uniform where rooms run into one another. So if you have floorboards in your hallway, keep floorboards exposed in the rooms that the hallway runs into. Painted floorboards will be lighter than a heavy wooded tone, creating a deeper sense of space and an uninterrupted line.
3. Carve out space
Speak to your builder about creating a nook in your hallway, landing or living room wall between the studs. This will make for a handy cupboard for DVDs and games, or can be left open for displaying silverware, ceramics or photo frames. Paint white inside and install down lighters for added wow-factor. Another great space saving idea is window seats with lids for storing cushions and blankets underneath.
A free quick fix for a cluttered home: clear the decks. Clutter interrupts the sight line and not only zaps space but makes a room feel more cramped than it is. So clear the coffee table and find one that lets you store your magazines, remotes and DVDs underneath. You need to be able to see through a room clearly to get a real sense of space, so try to reposition your furniture to avoid obstructing a clear path across the room, and keep sofas and tables away from natural sources of light. Choose monochrome, textured upholstery over busy, bright prints.
5. Lighten Up
Invest in good lamps for dark corners, attractive fixtures for your ceilings, and make sure you use low energy bulbs for better efficiency. You might be lighting your rooms with too low a wattage, so aim for something a bit more than a flattering glow to make sure space-zapping shadows are banished from your rooms. Look into fitting dimmers for dining rooms and living rooms for optional mood lighting.