Some great ways to solve stor­age prob­lems

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - HOMES - By Leanne Brownoff

ED­MON­TON — Re­gard­less of how much liv­ing space you have, it never seems to be enough. Most home­own­ers would agree the chal­lenge is not nec­es­sar­ily the lack of to­tal space avail­able, but the way the space is used.

How we live is chang­ing, says Sharen Thomp­son, store man­ager at one of Ed­mon­ton’s JYSK stores, and our homes are re­flect­ing this.

New homes and con­dos with out­stand­ing fea­tures such as large en­trances and gen­er­ous mas­ter bed­room suites ap­peal to buy­ers, but too of­ten that’s where the big spa­ces end.

Other rooms are of­ten de­signed to be smaller and that poses a big prob­lem for fur­ni­ture se­lec­tion and ul­ti­mately stor­age, says Thomp­son.

To use the liv­ing space you have to its fullest po­ten­tial, you need to find fur­nish­ings that can multi-task by of­fer­ing unique stor­age. And for spa­ces that come in chal­leng­ing shapes and sizes, you’ll need to take on some DIY cus­tom projects to cre­ate that per­fect fit.

The friendly staff as JYSK — an in­ter­na­tional home fur­nish­ing and decor store whose name is man­gled by most shop­pers — can of­fer some stor­age so­lu­tions. (With its Dan­ish roots, the ‘J’ in JYSK is sup­posed to be pro­nounced as ‘Y’.)

We have no­ticed an in­creased in­ter­est in multi-func­tional items, Thomp­son says. Peo­ple are look­ing for clean, mod­ern de­sign, but they are also look­ing for in­creased func­tion­al­ity.

The Jasleen, a three-piece din­ing set, seems to fit the bill. A mod­ern, pub­style ta­ble of­fers hand­some de­sign with a brown wood top and con­trast­ing black base. When the side leaves are dropped down, the ta­ble di­men­sion is 46 by 24 inches and it can fit flush against the wall, pro­vid­ing a more ef­fi­cient use of the avail­able floor space.

Thomp­son likes the clever de­sign of the ta­ble’s two drop-leaf side as well as the base, which of­fers stor­age space.

Pub ta­bles are de­signed to sit higher than the tra­di­tional ta­ble, so the space be­tween the ta­ble top and the floor is per­fect for a shelf or two. This ta­ble of­fers vary­ing sized com­part­ments that can be ac­cessed from all sides.

You can store dishes, place­mats, glasses and even wine bot­tles, Thomp­son says.

The de­sign works from both an es­thetic as well as a func­tional per­spec­tive.

The base of this ta­ble is re­ally gain­ing at­ten­tion from our clients, Thomp­son says. When space is limited, you have to be cre­ative with what you have, and this base is a cre­ative stor­age so­lu­tion.

In the same vein, a food trol­ley cart is pop­u­lar, with some styles hav­ing a gran­ite top and a wood or stain­less steel base. Also with vary­ing stor­age com­part­ments, the trol­ley of­fers func­tion­al­ity as well as style.

Not ev­ery kitchen has space for an is­land and trol­leys pro­vide a us­able work area when space is limited, says Thomp­son.

She points to the Steiner Kitchen Cart, which is to­tally por­ta­ble. It can be set in the kitchen and then moved to the din­ing area as a bar or ad­di­tional serv­ing sur­face.

When space is truly a con­cern, there is no bet­ter so­lu­tion than to have a cus­tom­ized plan. JYSK: • Jasleen three-piece (1 ta­ble and 2 chairs) — $449 (Note: ad­di­tional chairs $79.99 each)

• Steinar Kitchen Cart — $199 RONA (rona.ca): • Fold-away iron­ing board (est.) — $135

• Wall-mounted towel stor­age (est.) — $120

And who bet­ter to turn to than RONA, whose pithy slo­gans of the howto peo­ple and do­ing it right have made the chain ver­i­ta­ble vir­tu­osos of home ren­o­va­tion.

With a plethora of de­sign ideas up their sleeves, the team at RONA pro­vides step-by-step so­lu­tions to even the most chal­leng­ing stor­age con­cerns. What to do with awk­ward nooks? What if all the floor space is used up? What do you do when ready-made fur­nish­ings are just too big?

Ca­role Pare, se­nior mar­ket­ing di­rec­tor for in­no­va­tion and pro­grams, says her com­pany has stor­age so­lu­tions that can be achieved in a week­end’s ef­fort. They’re mar­keted as RONA-by-de­sign projects.

RONA’s on­line mag­a­zine (rona.ca) pro­vides step-by-step prac­ti­cal projects. An ex­am­ple is an iron­ing board that tucks into a com­pact closet.

With this do-it-your­self re­tractable iron­ing board, de­ploy­ment is made easy and space is saved, Pare ex­plains. When the door is closed, the over­all look of the room is tidy and at­trac­tive.

This project is ap­pro­pri­ate for all homes sim­ply be­cause of its cre­ative de­sign. The iron­ing board opens to be fully func­tional, yet does not take up floor space. If you do not have the tools to cut the wood, RONA will cut it for you, and all you have to do is mea­sure and as­sem­ble.

When space is at a pre­mium, odd­shaped nooks can be a chal­lenge. Builtin units and can­tilever shelves of­fer stor­age, mak­ing these spa­ces func­tional and at­trac­tive.

Pare points to a cus­tom project RONA of­fers for a bath­room-towel shelf unit. In­struc­tions are step-by-step.

The bath­room, even more than the bed­room, is the place where you can re­lax, says Pare. Con­sumers want to give their bath­room a spa-like feel.

Pare notes the ben­e­fit of these cus­tom­ized projects: Of course, it can be adapted to all spa­ces and con­sumers can choose hooks or hard­ware to match their style and decor.

— Canwest News Ser­vice

JYSK store man­ager Sharen Thomp­son with the Jasleen 3P din­ing set (closeup

be­low).

Fold-away iron­ing board is an in­ex­pen

sive stor­age so­lu­tion.

The Steinar Kitchen Cart on wheels at

JYSK.

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