Plan­ning opens doors to use of tight spa­ces

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - HOMES - DEB­BIE TRAVIS

WHETHER you are look­ing for a bit of of­fice space for your­self, a study area for the kids, or a place to sew or do other crafts, uti­liz­ing hid­den or un­der­used nooks and cran­nies makes good de­sign sense. When quar­ters are tight, ev­ery inch counts, and you will be sur­prised at how much you can ac­com­mo­date when you have a plan and shop for the right ac­ces­sories.

First, find a space that you can sec­ond into ser­vice. Can you empty that closet and find an­other area to store the con­tents? Per­haps in neat stor­age boxes slipped un­der the bed? There’s your per­fect home of­fice wait­ing to be stocked. Your near­est hard­ware or build­ing cen­tre will have all you need to com­plete the job. Float­ing shelves will of­fer plenty of room for books, files and your lap­top. The desk chair rolls back into the room when you are fin­ished work and bi-fold or lou­vred doors slide shut to con­ceal the space.

Doors take up space too, and I dis­cov­ered an al­ter­na­tive that is a great so­lu­tion for open­ing fold­ing doors flat against the wall. Full Ac­cess Fold­ing Door Hard­ware by John­son Hard­ware is sim­ple to in­stall. Each kit con­tains con­trol arm assem­bly, hinges and all the nec­es­sary mount­ing hard­ware. The kit can also be used with stan­dard mor­tise-type butt hinges to match other in­te­rior doors. All you need are a screw driver and mea­sur­ing tape to com­plete the in­stal­la­tion. Ap­ply some fresh paint to your new of­fice and you’re set to go.

An­other op­tion for cap­tur­ing more space is to ex­am­ine the area un­der your stairs. Con­sult with a qual­i­fied con­trac­tor to see if this is fea­si­ble, and if so, you should have enough space to tuck in a small desk and fil­ing cabi­net. There will be some wiring needs so that you can plug in a light and other elec­tronic equip­ment. It’s worth the time and small cost to gain more liv­ing space. If it’s more stor­age space you need, and don’t we al­ways, then you could build in racks to line up shoes, boots or sports equip­ment.

Think about cor­ners, too. Fur­ni­ture is gen­er­ally ar­ranged to­ward the cen­tre of the room, and you can set up a corner of­fice in no time in your bed­room, liv­ing or din­ing room. I rec­om­mend de­vis­ing a way to cam­ou­flage or hide your new work or play sta­tion when not in use. In­vest in a dec­o­ra­tive screen, or you can build one your­self with two or three hol­low-core or bi-fold doors. Talk to qual­i­fied sales staff and do some re­search on the in­ter­net to find out what’s avail­able in the DIY mar­ket. Hard­ware that is well- de­signed and man­u­fac­tured with care is al­ways your best buy. No mat­ter how large or small your project is, good qual­ity prod­ucts and tools, and in­ge­nu­ity will give you a fin­ished prod­uct that you will al­ways be proud of, and it will last for years.

Open the door to new al­ter­na­tives for cre­at­ing a work or

play sta­tion that fits your room and life­style per­fectly.

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