STOR­AGE IDEAS TO SAVE YOUR SAN­ITY

Sort­ing out your stor­age prob­lems starts with re­assess­ing what you re­ally need, writes Kirsten Craze

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - Home - - STYLE - More SmartS­pace In­te­ri­ors, smartspacein­te­ri­ors.com

Liv­ing with­out enough stor­age is enough to drive the av­er­age home­owner a lit­tle crazy. Rum­mag­ing through the backs of cup­boards — or stor­age crates — to find what you’re look­ing for is a waste of time and a path­way to frus­tra­tion.

But liv­ing large in a small space is pos­si­ble if you’re will­ing to look at the big­ger pic­ture. Whether it is a pint-sized in­ner-city prop­erty, or a home with a pokey kitchen or bath­room, stor­age can still be king with a lit­tle fore­thought.

Ar­chi­tect Ni­co­las Gur­ney has ex­pe­ri­ence with com­pact foot­prints hav­ing redesigned stu­dio apart­ments as small as 22sq m. He is cur­rently work­ing on a 12sq m granny flat.

He’s a great be­liever in learn­ing to live with less and be­ing care­ful with what you bring into your home.

“There’s some­thing sat­is­fy­ing about in­hab­it­ing spaces with­out sur­plus or ex­cess,” he says. “And when you con­sider we only oc­cupy a square me­tre or two at a time, for me small places are no big deal,” he says.

“As an ar­chi­tect, it means that you have to work even harder to un­cover so­lu­tions and solve prob­lems.”

Space mak­ers

Anoushka Al­lum, in­te­rior de­signer and decorator from SmartS­pace In­te­ri­ors, agrees that you re­ally don’t need more room to cre­ate more “space”.

“You can be smarter with how you live,” she says. “Some peo­ple are bet­ter than oth­ers at liv­ing with less.”

To make a small space work well you re­ally do need to be pre­pared to live lit­tle. Not in terms of size, but be com­mit­ted to only buy­ing when you need to re­place it.

She says that means that if some­thing new is com­ing into the house, some­thing also needs to go out.

Keep­ing it in the kitchen

A small, poorly planned kitchen can be a cook’s worst night­mare.

Anoushka says there’s one thing even the small­est kitchen needs.

“A pull­out pantry in the kitchen is key,” Anoushka says. “In the kitchens that I de­sign, I add in draw­ers and stor­age wher­ever pos­si­ble, like in the kick­boards, or a small 300mm-wide pull­out pantry can be a su­per use of a slim floor-to-ceil­ing space.”

If you take stor­age up to ceil­ing height, it’s the ideal place to store less used items such as a pasta maker or rice cooker.

Ni­co­las says he is no stranger to tiny kitchens, but says that many clients have great ex­pec­ta­tions.

“These days ev­ery­body wants ev­ery­thing con­cealed, and they want every lux­ury, but it’s of­ten at the ex­pense of bench space,” Ni­cholas says.

“So, any­thing that can kind of flip down and pull out, or slide out, to ef­fec­tively dou­ble the bench space, is the type of thing that I try to think about,” he says.

And while it might be tempt­ing in a small home to want to hide the kitchen clut­ter, Ni­co­las says the op­po­site is true.

A mix of open shelv­ing and draw­ers and cab­i­nets is of­ten the best so­lu­tion, along with a good de­clut­ter­ing.

“A con­cealed kitchen tends to look quite heavy-set and boxy, whereas some­thing more open tends to look a lit­tle lighter,” he says. “If you can or­gan­ise the chaos, it means that the kitchen doesn’t im­pinge on the rest of the space as much.”

This bed­room by ar­chi­tect Ni­cholas Gur­ney fea­tures above and be­low bed stor­age and slid­ing door to keep clut­ter to a min­i­mum.

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