This afternoon let’s talk about the small stuff. I love small and cosy, but small and cramped/cluttered/no room for anything is another matter altogether! The solution is that in small spaces storage is key.
I moved into this house not realising how important storage was. Don’t get me wrong, our pad isn’t especially small but Victorian townhouses aren’t known for their clever built-in storage and not being the most practical of designers I didn’t want rooms full of cupboards (boring to the eye). So the long and short of it is I’ve had to create storage after the fact. I’ve learned quite a lot along the way though! The pic above is a super bijou bedroom that I designed, and it squeezes every inch of use out of the space. Here’s how:
Become super organised
So as I said my pad isn’t small, but apart from the open plan lower ground floor none of the rooms are particularly large. It also has to double duty as a studio for an ever expanding workforce, so these rooms work hard! Organisation is key. From sideboards and consoles filled with paperwork and press clippings, spare paper, paint/fabric samples and stationery to dinky metal cabinets to hide the ugly printer. There’s a place for everything and everything in it’s place.
The problem with putting stuff in hidden areas is to remember where you put them in the first place. I know someone who actually has an inventory or a map if you like of where they’ve stashed everything! Not sure I will ever actually get to this, but I do like the idea what with me being Ms. List person.
Take it up to the ceiling
Extend cupboards and shelving higher. There’s no point having a useless foot of space at the top just gathering dust, so take all your storage right up to the ceiling. The floor-to-ceiling cupboards you can see in this bedroom are a trick that I’ve used all over the place in my pad. I get asked about the handles all the time. They make a fab statement feature but they’re just a simple DIY job, the how-to is in my Girl’s Guide to Decorating.
In the floor-to-ceillings, store the stuff that you don’t need to get to that often right up at the top. I keep spare bedding, duvets, towels, lightbulbs etc, right up on high. Have a little folding stool or steps stashed in the same cupboard so it’s always handy.
Major confession time: there are two rooms on the top floor of this house that you can’t even walk into right now. They are full to the ceiling with stuff, mostly samples for Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter 2016. Boxes of botanicals, vases, stools, tons of stuff it’s bonkers. It drives me mad.
We’re looking to expand our (already massive) warehouse space, so I’m on a mission this holiday season to reclaim that top floor! I’m planning to purge and decorate these two rooms as spare bedrooms and I’m kind of dreaming of a laundry up there maybe (more on that in another blog post). In my next life as well as keeping bees, and pottering around in the garden and cooking, I want to fold sheets and stack clean towels. Crazy, or good therapy do you reckon?
I digress. Basically, purging is a good plan for your space and your sanity no matter if you live in the tiniest flat imaginable or a great big mansion. One of my team says she purges her small apartment top to bottom every six months – kitchen cupboards, closet, bookshelves, paperwork, bathroom toiletries, the lot. Anything that isn’t still needed or appreciated goes to charity or is chucked. Amazing plan!