This Contemporary Home Renovation Optimizes Storage in Every Nook and Cranny
Inspired by stacks of photos and magazine articles, Jen Hochschild made storage a major priority in the redesign of her family's home. "We have accumulated a lot of things over the years," she says. "I like to display the items I either use every day or just enjoy looking at. The not-so-pretty stuff goes behind closed doors."
The Hochschild's kept the outside of their house simple and modern to match the inside's organized and contemporary look. A wide walkway, low plantings, and absence of railings connect the porch with the fenced-in yard. French doors allow easy access to the three-seasons porch.
This small space next to the side of the house was the perfect size for a bocce ball court. Situated right outside the side door, it is a close-at-hand area for outside family fun.
Jen and her husband, Lenny, worked with designer Jennifer Tidwell to optimize storage in every nook and cranny. Tidwell outfitted the mudroom with practical hooks, drawers, and baskets to organize the family's gear the moment they come home.
Easy-to-reach hooks in the cheery mudroom organize coats and bags. Baskets below the bench corral shoes and balls and woodbins on upper shelves hold infrequently used items. The Dutch door is painted with Yellow Hibiscus 357 by Benjamin Moore.
Knowing that her client loves to cook and bake, Tidwell created custom drawers and cabinets in the kitchen. Lower cabinet doors hide pull-out shelves. Shallow drawers are designed for linens; handy slots for baking trays and cutting boards fill one cabinet. A two-tier island eliminates the need to seam pieces of marble for one large countertop.
Open shelves keep glassware organized and on display while visually increasing space in the kitchen. The white shelves stand out against the inky black glazed subway tile.
The designer also took advantage of often-overlooked places to incorporate storage, such as the built-in benches in the breakfast nook and a pull-down Murphy bed in the playroom/guest room. The seats on built-in benches in the dining area flip up to reveal storage for bulky roasting pans, vases, seasonal decor, and kids art supplies.
Floating shelves that stretch from wall to wall provide gallery space for an artful display. Jen likes the vintage flavor her flea market finds give the breakfast area
Tidwell designed big open shelves in the living room to display decor. The bold painted shelves showcase books and decorative items. "Painting the trim, wall, and shelves all one color has a clean, cohesive look and allows the accessories to pop," Tidwell says. Pillows in orange and pink carry out the visual strength of the vintage leather club chairs.
Shallow shelves in the master bedroom put an otherwise blank wall to good use. The new storage spot provides a pint-size place to hold plants, books, and artwork. "It makes the room feel cozy," Jen says.
"Open shelves are often overpopulated and unappealing," professional organizer Ellen Delap says. "Display only your prized items rather than every item in a collection." Stand books vertically in order based on height, and group items by color for a clean look. Consider moving family photos to a gallery wall instead of letting them take over shelf space.
A Murphy bed takes just seconds to pull down from the wall when guests arrive, turning the playroom into comfy guest quarters when needed. Neutral decor helps the room easily transition between sleep and fun. Cabinets above the bed keep pillows and linens nearby but out of sight.
The playroom comes to life when the guest bed folds up into the wall. The bedside table becomes a perch for a dollhouse, and the underside of the bed features chalkboard paint so the kids can draw right on the wall.
Recessed drawers keep the playroom uncluttered when playtime is over. Every single toy and arts and crafts tool has a home, making cleanup fast and straightforward. A reading bench next to the bookshelves makes it an easy place for the kids to curl up with a book of choice.
Thanks to the focus on storage, the family even discovered spots for a few extra shelves—making room for future growth.