The Storage-Smart House
Thoughtful planning and clever fixes transform an ordinary split-level house into a storage-rich home -- without adding a single inch to its footprint.
Everything In This Slideshow
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Every Inch Counts
A hardworking family needs a hardworking living area, one that uses every inch of space available. Built-in cabinets stash books and media and provide a bonus display surface. Find or design and build furniture that serves more than one purpose: This coffee table/ottoman has a rotating top with an upholstered side for feet and a hardwood side for snacks.
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Savvy Cabinet Strategies
No room in the house needs more storage space than the kitchen. Strategic cabinet placement makes the most of the small space in this kitchen. Glass-front upper cabinets installed over windows create display-like storage without sacrificing natural light.
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Thick passageways between rooms include built-in bookshelves and display space.
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Bridge the Gap
A partial wall and bookcase unit bridges the kitchen and sitting room and holds cookbooks, magazines, and essential toys for kids (in color-coded bins, of course).
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The kitchen communication center features a computer and a flat-panel television on an articulated arm that can be concealed behind bifold doors.
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Out in the Open
Fresh paint and new glass shelves transform the dining room's traditional, basic built-ins into a sassy mod-style wall unit.
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A homework lounge in a dead-end hallway packs function into a once-forgotten space. Book storage wraps under and above a curvy built-in couch that comfortably accommodates two young readers or one catnapping adult.
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Flexible Work Area
The computer nook occupies a sliver of space between bedroom doors. An interior window pulls natural light from one bedroom. Sized for a "pilot and copilot" while surfing the Internet, the space can be reconfigured as needs change.
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Twelve-inch-deep bookcases in the master bedroom are perfect for passionate readers. Cubbies in different sizes lend flexibility for storing collectibles, photos, and larger books.