They are deceptively simple, but shelves pack an impressive storage punch. You can fit more on a single shelf than you can in a standard kitchen cabinet. It's a matter of geometry: Since most dishware is round, you lose valuable space in the corners of boxy cabinets. But with open shelving, you can stagger the stacks of plates and bowls, tucking them to fill gaps. And since there is no door to close, the plates and platters can hang past the edges of the shelf. For the same reasons, open shelves work well in bathrooms, too.
Attaching cabinets, shelves, and cubbies to the wall lets you keep valuable inches on the floor while soaking up space all the way to the ceiling. Building in storage lets you customize it to fit your space, too, which means less wasted space. You don't to have fancy cabinets custom-made (though those are nice); you can compile stock cabinetry into a unit that meets your specific needs.
Finding extra storage space in a room can be as straightforward as switching out one piece of furniture for another. Trade a chest of drawers for a night table. Choose a bed with drawers or cubbies underneath it rather than the standard frame. In the bathroom, forgo a pedestal sink in favor of a vanity with an undercounter cabinet, and hang a medicine cabinet on the wall in place of a flat mirror.
Other times, you need the instincts of a detective to seek out extra square inches. A flat wall, for example, works deceptively well for storage: You can break through the drywall surface to nestle shelves between the studs. Under a staircase, you'll find a triangle of space which you can use to build shelves or a cabinet, or which you can leave open for storage furniture and hooks.
Small-Space Decorating Inspiration
-Do you suffer from multipersonality decorating? I know I do. Sometimes, I crave a so serene space and sometimes I just want a punch or two of color. I'm Lacey Howard, editor of Decorating Magazine and today I'm going to show you how to express all your decorating personalities with just a few easy changes. Right now, with beige walls, painted white case goods, comfortable upholstery, and just a few accessories, this living space is a neutral oasis inspired by Swedish design. -I traveled to Sweden for work and fell madly in love with their simple elegance. They only have a few pieces of furniture in each room and they deal in light grays and beiges, I just find that so soothing to your mind. -Meg likes to be able to put technology behind closed doors at the end of each day. -Technology already has such a strong grip on our lives. It shouldn't have our every moment. -To that end, Meg incorporates painted white case goods to hide her computer, television, and other electronics. Her serene design scheme allows her guests to relax, unplug, and be the focus of Meg's attention. When Meg craves a spot of color, her home offers a beautiful neutral canvas on which to paint an accent hue or two. The simple addition of a couple of pillows on the living room's upholstered pieces, a few lampshades with color, painted pottery and colored glass to catch the light in a window, and some patterned bedding gives Meg's home a whole new look. Look at this place now. At stage 3, Meg's serene oasis boasts a playful color palette and lots of personality. With a bevy of colored accessories including rugs, pillows, drapes, painted tables, dishes, bedding, and artwork, there's no need to paint the walls. The simple addition of accessories gives these rooms all the color, pattern, and energy they can handle. -Well, I really didn't wanna have to go and paint the walls so I figured I'll just run down to the art store and buy a canvas and paint it solid and I find it's the better way to go because anything else is just gonna compete with the fabric so stay solid and stay within your color scheme. -Remember where Meg's home started? Her rooms whispered with a serene palette inspired by sooting Swedish design, beautifully upholstered pieces, painted white furnishings, and textured rugs make her space a neutral oasis. A few pops of color in the form of pillows and other easy additions gave Meg's space a few visual accents from room to room. In the final stage, Meg's home reaches its saturation point. Layers of accessories bring color, pattern, and additional texture to walls, windows, floors, and furnishings. Loads of color take Meg's room from soothing to energetic, serene to empowering, all without painting walls or changing the major furnishings. Don't let multiple decorating personalities keep you from making design decisions. Just choose furniture you love and a neutral scheme that suits you. Have a few colorful accents to pop in and a closet full of bold accessories to layer on when the mood strikes. Then, you just tuck it all away and return to your neutral oasis. For Decorating Magazine, I'm Lacey Howard.