House Design

storage solutions to save your sanity

Written by The ReReport

LIVING without enough storage is enough to drive the average homeowner a little crazy. Rummaging through the backs of cupboards ”” or storage crates ”” to find what you”™re looking for is a waste of time and a pathway to frustration.But living large in a small space is possible if you’re willing to look at the bigger picture. Whether it is a pint-sized inner-city property, or a home with a pokey kitchen or bathroom, storage can still be king with a little forethought.Architect Nicolas Gurney has experience with compact footprints having redesigned studio apartments as small as 22sq m. He is currently working on a 12sq m granny flat.He’s a great believer in learning to live with less and being careful with what you bring into your home.“There’s something satisfying about inhabiting spaces without surplus or excess,” he says. “And when you consider we only occupy a square metre or two at a time, for me small places are no big deal,” he says.“As an architect, it means that you have to work even harder to uncover solutions and solve problems.” SPACE MAKERSAnoushka Allum, interior designer and decorator from SmartSpace Interiors, agrees that you really don’t need more room to create more “space”.“You can be smarter with how you live,” she says. “Some people are better than others at living with less.”To make a small space work well you really do need to be prepared to live little. Not in terms of size, but be committed to only buying when you need to replace it.She says that means that if something new is coming into the house, something also needs to go out.media_cameraUpward lifting cupboard doors in this design by Cantilever Interiors combine with open shelving for flexible storage. Picture: Martina Gemmola. KEEPING IT IN THE KITCHENA small, poorly planned kitchen can be a cook’s worst nightmare.Anoushka says there’s one thing even the smallest kitchen needs.“A pullout pantry in the kitchen is key,” Anoushka says. “In the kitchens that I design, I add in drawers and storage wherever possible, like in the kickboards, or a small 300mm-wide pullout pantry can be a super use of a slim floor-to-ceiling space.”If you take storage up to ceiling height, it’s the ideal place to store less used items such as a pasta maker or rice cooker.Nicolas says he is no stranger to tiny kitchens, but says that many clients have great expectations.“These days everybody wants everything concealed, and they want every luxury, but it’s often at the expense of bench space,” Nicholas says.“So, anything that can kind of flip down and pull out, or slide out, to effectively double the bench space, is the type of thing that I try to think about,” he says.And while it might be tempting in a small home to want to hide the kitchen clutter, Nicolas says the opposite is true.A mix of open shelving and drawers and cabinets is often the best solution, along with a good decluttering.“A concealed kitchen tends to look quite heavy-set and boxy, whereas something more open tends to look a little lighter,” he says. “If you can organise the chaos, it means that the kitchen doesn’t impinge on the rest of the space as much.” More: SmartSpace Interiors, smartspaceinteriors.commedia_cameraThe kitchen (above), designed by Nicholas Gurney, is divided into “wet”‌ and “dry”‌ sections, with the dry preparation area closer to the living area and the wet area hidden from public view. FAB FIVE RULES FOR FINDING SPACEArchitect Nicholas Gurney has quickly made a name for himself as a small space design specialist. He remodelled this 24sq m apartment for a newly married couple in Sydney based on a Japanese style of organisation called 5S.Named for five words, Seiri, Seiton, Seiso, Seiketsu and Shitsuke, it roughly translates to Sort, Set in order, Shine, Standardise and Sustain.The first stage was to ask the couple to sort through their possessions, which then informed the storage design solutions Nicholas came up with.Living with less and mindful shopping is key to this approach.The result is an apartment packed with custom-made joinery so seamless you would hardly know it is there.The kitchen (above) is divided into “wet” and “dry” sections, with the dry preparation area closer to the living area and the wet area hidden from public view. Being able to entertain was a key part of the owners’ brief.Even the walls in this apartment do double duty, with a perforated sliding door between the bedroom and living area allowing light to move through without breaching privacy.That wall also has a TV screen fitted toit that can turn 180 degrees so that it can be viewed from either room. When every square metre counts, there’s not a centimetre that goes unused. More: Nicholas Gurney, Nicolas Gurney says storage space can be found almost anywhere from over doorways to under beds. WAGING STORAGE WARS“People come to me because they feel like they have a lack of space,” says architect Nicholas Gurney, whose design work is pictured above.“They blame that on the fact that they have a lack of storage. I think they feel that if they had more storage, they’d be able to hide stuff and, as a result, feel like they have more space. But the challenge is fitting a lot of storage in without removing that sense of space that people are looking for.“It’s about making the best use of the architecture,” he says, adding that we should look for storage everywhere.“It’s a waste not to be able to use the space under the bed, for instance, and does a place to sit really need to be a sofa, or could it be a built-in bench seat that has storage?”Anoushka Allum from SmartSpace Interiors says functionality wins in small spaces.“Each room should have storage elements such as built-in robes, a linen cupboard and, if possible, a cupboard in the bathroom, a small pantry,” she says.media_cameraModular designs, such as the Delaktig lounge by Tom Dixon for Ikea, is another way making furniture work for you. MINDFUL MEASURES FOR THE PERFECT FURNITURE FITAnoushka Allum says people can be guilty of making assumptions around what can and can’t fit in a small space.“People think they can’t buy that 2.5 seater sofa, or a queen-sized bed,” she says.“But I find that less is more. So maybe the sofa has storage or is a pullout bed for guests. Maybe your queen bed has storage drawers.“It’s about making your furniture work for you.”Anoushka is a big fan of slimline floor-to-ceiling cabinetry in bathrooms that can flow on from the vanity or in an awkward nook.“These are so useful for towels, linens and cosmetics,” she says.“If you can find space near the front door that’s always useful for shoes and coats to be taken on and off as soon as you come in. It also keeps the clutter out of the rest of the rooms.” Picture: Delaktig sofa from Ikea,

Source link