It’s always my formula to ensure that each room in a home has good storage. Of course this will vary in terms of size and function depending on what is being stored. It’s become very popular over the past 5-10 years to create quite large built in entertainment units/storage cabinetry in our lounge rooms. Varying from floor to ceiling wall to wall cabinetry with a practical mixture of open and closed storage through to modular units that once installed create an asymmetrical design that is more about form over function.
Today I wanted to talk about how to make more practical storage look great. We don’t all have large rooms where we have the luxury of being able to use modular storage that Bo Concept are very good at making, but that doesn’t mean to say that storage needs to be ugly or boring, or god forbid like a kitchen is plonked in the middle of your Living room (I’ve seen this a few times with badly designed cabinetry!) These tips are probably most appealing when designing for smaller spaces, however the principles can be applied anywhere.
Less is more in a small space
I’m often in a position where my clients want to add storage everywhere, especially if they are feeling overwhelmed with clutter. This is not the right approach, in fact it will have the opposite effect and will make the room feel smaller and closed in. Contain the storage to one area, one wall for instance and make the most of that wall. If you choose custom-made then you will make the most of the space available.
Floor to ceiling cabinetry without it looking like a kitchen
This is the best way to ensure you maximise space, however how do you avoid it looking like a kitchen? Ensure you use a good balance of open and closed storage, and perhaps pull out the features of say open shelves with a different finish to the rest of the cabinetry for instance a mix of timber grain veneer and white.
What about the cabinetry design style?
Well it depends a little on the other pieces in your room. If you like traditional details then a shaker style door with door pulls is the way to go. However, if you want a more modern streamlined look then smooth doors with no profiling, either push-to-open or finger-grip and keep the finishes simple. One thing I can say in both scenarios is hide your wiring, there’s nothing worse than seeing all of this at the back of the TV.
Under stairs storage and uses
Don’t be afraid to use this space to create either fully enclosed storage such as these great solutions pictured below, or to create a study area if you have the height to make this comfortable. You can accommodate a built in desk with plenty of storage in and around the design space by using the angles created by the stairs.
Window seats that can double up
I’m working on a project at the moment where we’re building a long window seat that also doubles as an entertainment unit and side table at either end, much like the image below, and this is going in a small living room! There will be plenty of storage underneath by utilising push to open drawers, and we will create a very comfortable seating area that will seat 3-4 people when entertaining.
It’s a big investment to make when installing custom made storage, you want to get it right and you want it to look great so don’t be afraid to call a designer to assist you through the process. Some great cabinetry companies have good designers that will nut out what is practical for you and your budget as part of their service, so seek out these companies when doing your research.