by Kimberly Blaker
Regardless of the style of your home, space is often a scarce commodity. The way you arrange and the style of furniture you choose can mean the difference between living comfortably and living like a pack of sardines. Try the following ideas to make the most of all your nooks and crannies!
If your bathroom has unused space, add an armoire to store towels, sheets, toiletries, bath toys and other items. In small bathrooms, install a bath valet over the toilet. If adding cabinet space isn’t an option, put a decorative basket on the floor for storing towels and washcloths.
Off-season clothing takes up closet and drawer space. Purchase shallow cardboard or plastic storage containers to slide under the bed. This storage area can also be used for holiday decorations, gift-wrapping, keepsakes and more.
When shopping for living room furniture, take heed — the size furniture appears in showrooms is deceiving. Measure both width and depth of sofas and chairs, and opt for smaller styles. In small living rooms, sectionals offer the most seating while taking up the least amount of space. Choose end tables and a coffee table with drawers and cabinets for additional storage.
If an ottoman is a must, place a decorative tray on top to double as an end table when not in use. Entertainment centers may seem practical but are space-wasters if not fully utilized. Instead, choose a television you can safely mount to a wall.
The Mess Hall
Underutilized gadgets and gizmos take up precious kitchen space! Take inventory and eliminate non-essentials. You can better utilize your cabinet space by purchasing additional shelving or small stackable organizers.
If you’re replacing your cabinets, purchase ones that are ceiling height; the top shelves offer extra storage for seldom used essentials.
Add corner shelving to the ends of your cabinets for knick-knacks, a fruit basket and other odds-and-ends.
For tight eating areas, purchase a rectangular corner table with “L” shaped bench seating. This works especially well for large families, eliminating the need for multiple chairs.
Tame these little disaster zones and create extra space by purchasing a loft bed with a built-in desk, drawers and a bookcase. Another alternative is a captain’s bed with incorporated drawers underneath, eliminating the need for a dresser.
Decorate your kiddo’s room by installing display shelving along the wall approximately 3 feet below the ceiling. Adorn the shelves with trophies, souvenirs and other memorabilia to eradicate decorative clutter.
Closet organizers maximize storage space. Add strategically placed drawers, cabinets, shelving and rods. One option is to lower the closet’s existing rod a couple of feet, leaving enough height for your child’s clothing to grow. Then install additional shelves above for storing games, toys and seasonal items.
Use plastic containers for storing toys and label each container with its contents. Purchase containers in only two or three sizes to make stacking easy and do away with cluttered shelves and toppling trinkets.
Odds and Ends
If your foyer or mudroom has space, a wardrobe is essential. Tuck away books, backpacks, hats, gloves, sports equipment and more in this multipurpose cabinet.
Make the most of every room in your home by installing display shelving just a foot or two below the ceiling to showcase photographs and knick-knacks.
Place a wall mounted light fixture above a reading chair or the headboard of your bed and voila! No need for a table or nightstand.
When choosing window coverings, forego drapes and curtains; Venetian, wood blinds or decorative shades with a valance on top create the illusion of more space.
Kimberly Blaker, of Michigan, is an author and freelance writer. Her articles have appeared in more than 200 newspapers, parenting and women’s magazines, and other publications throughout the U.S.