Get smart with your storage

Best in class: storage ideas that will make every room in the house sing

Best in class 1

Clever design can make a space sing, as this music wall does. It is part of a project designed by Alloy Homes in conjunction with Calgary-based Studio North that the latter has christened Guitar House. The Alberta-based firm designed and built the units, which includes open storage for the owner’s collection of string instruments and closed door storage for amps and some of the other less interesting to look at paraphernalia.

A large flat screen TV is also hidden behind closed doors. The firm also designed the benches and dining table pictured. McNally Joinery in Lusk, Co Dublin, can do something similar for a supply-only cost of €21,293. Fitting, within the greater Dublin area, will cost from €4,500, subject to site survey.;

Best in class 2

The real secret to living a streamlined life is to invest in clever storage that makes use of every single centimetre of space that you have within your home. You hide the stuff you don’t want to see and can use it to house clothing and other collections, while showing off the objects, art and ephemera that you have collected and that give some sense of your personality. Italian-based Sistemi RasoParete sells a really smart storage concept that is designed to give you concealed storage that appears almost invisible.


This image shows just how much storage you can carve out of a home and should be shown to any interior designer, architect or builder at early consultation stages to give them some idea of where you might be able to install something similar in your home.

Best in class 3

When you’ve optimised every cubic centimetre of space in the home by extending out the back and converting the attic into habitable space, the next place to look at is below deck at potential basement options. On a large-scale level this requires serious investment and specialised engineering but a less intrusive option is to install a wine cellar, as London-based construction project consultancy CLPM Ltd has done here on a project for interior designers Lucy Heathcoat Amory and Hannah Brown of Amory Brown.

The basement hatch has been set into the kitchen floor. Spiral Cellars sells a kit that you can give to your builder to install into a below-ground space. Its uses go way beyond wine. You could use it as a pantry, as extra kitchen storage or even as a shoe wardrobe. It costs €16,735-€25,657, ex VAT and delivery from the London-based company.;

Best in class 4

Leicht Kitchens offer a slew of units that can hide away workstations. This one features pocket doors that disappear into the cabinetry, an idea that works especially well in smaller spaces. It comes in about six different sizes and includes three adjustable shelves, two inner drawers and includes ambient LED lighting and three lighting sockets.

While sold as a unit for a kitchen or pantry, it would also work as part of a wardrobe or walk-in dressing room solution. The unit costs from €6,041 to €8,281, from McNally Living, depending on the size specified.

Best in class 5

Bedrooms in period homes often benefit from having high ceilings that give you the headroom to install a platform bed where you can use the space below as storage. It is an option that also works really well in a contemporary setting as this room, by London-based Kia Designs, shows.

The floating bed is accessed via a set of steps and the sleeping quarters has a glass roof and large floor-to-ceiling glazing, screened off by striped blinds. The cubic volume of the under-bed storage on offer is sizeable and is most easily accessed if you use custom-built deep drawers. Tallaght-based Emyvale Joinery can do something similar in MDF, in any RAL colour with push button drawer openings, from about €2,550, excluding the bed. Adding storage drawers into the steps will cost an additional €300.;

Best in class 6

Some of the best pieces of furniture offer storage as well as performing a function. This Wall Street desk, which launched earlier this year, was designed by Alessio Bassan for Cattelan Italia and offers plenty of ceramic desktop space in eight marbleised options as well as stylish front-of-house shelving to allow its owner to personalise his or her office with art, books and objects, in a part of the desk’s form that is under-utilised.

The embossed structure, which comes in two colours, is sizeable, measures 235cm long and can be ordered through Dublin 12-based Bushell Interiors. It costs from about €5,565.;

Best in class 7

Behind the country cute looks of this pantry unit by Maughan Design and Remodel in Portland, Oregon, lies an innovatively engineered set of hinged shelving that doubles the amount of shelving you can install within a standard unit. The firm calls it its buffet with a surprise and it is a very smart way to make use of the empty volume within many wall-hung kitchen units, especially the dry goods and spice presses.

You should be able to commission something similar from any of the traditional kitchen companies. Rathnew-based Talisman Woodworks can make something similar. Expect to pay from about €850 for each unit pictured and from €1,000 to fit, subject to survey.

For a contemporary version, check out Siematic’s Multimac designs available at Arena Kitchens where an above counter-size unit will cost from about €1,000.;;