Nine clever storage ideas for small spaces
Best in Class: Smart storage
Hide your clutter
If you live in a small space, you have to really think about how you use every part of your home. Curtains can hide a multitude and are flexible in a way doors are not. If you don’t have space in your hall for a cloakroom, hang all family deitrus which, in small homes usually ends up living in the hall on the wall, and steal this styling trick from Ikea which uses Majgull black-out blinds to draw a veil over the clutter. When not in use, the curtain can be drawn to shield items like bicycle helmets, wellington boots, coats, rainwear, hats and scarves. This design is heavy weight enough to remain in position and creates a softer sort of “door” that will work in any tight space. Pictured in midnight blue, they are available in the Dublin store in grey only and cost €30 a pair.
Use your walls
Keep floors clutter free. This will create the illusion of more space so wall-hang furniture. These new additions to the classic String collection, first designed in 1949 by Swedish architect Nils Strinning, include this Pocket oak shelving and white powder coated steel side panel unit, which costs about €148, and the ash and white bedroom shelving system pictured above it, about €465 each. Both pieces are available to order from Inreda, Ely Place, Dublin 2, where you can also order a rather smart hallway shelving system from the same brand.
Hang ’em high
Think about the vertical space you might have to play with in your abode, from walls to the backs of doors. The Organised Store, in Dundrum Town Centre, stocks a clever range of baskets designed to hang on the back of doors and cupboards. The frame and baskets come in two colours – platinum or white – and prices cost from €11.95 for the small and €14.95 for the large baskets. The cost of the design as pictured is €148.49.
In a small home you have to make every centimetre of space count so build shelving atop of door lintels and use that dead space for books and cupboards as this Barnet living concept by UK-based Neville Johnson illustrates. Prices for this work cost from about €3,500 but that doesn’t include installation or delivery to Ireland and it isn’t a specific price for this job but rather a starting price. A good local cabinetmaker who will do a similarly lovely job is Patrick McKenna of WabiSabi whose designs stand the test of time. For a similar-sized job he estimates it will cost about €4,000.
Scale down the physical size of your furniture. If you live on your own, do you really need a tanker of a sofa sucking all the volume out of your living room? Before you buy be sure to also factor in how you’re going to get the sofa into your home. If you live in an older apartment measure the dimensions of the lift to see if it will fit into it. Be mindful too of the return on the stairs in a small two-up, two-down terraced house so check the headroom before you buy. Modular-style pieces are far easier to transport. This Zoey chaise sofa, from Harvey Norman, comes in a two-seat size that is 204cm long. It breaks into two parts, one measures 102cm by 160cm, the longest part of the chaise; the other 102cm by 105cm. It has removable legs, costs €1,499 and is available in eight different colourways.
In a small period room where you have good ceiling heights, draw the eye upwards by building your shelving from the ceiling down rather than the more usual approach of starting from the bottom up. This strategy allows you to retain precious wall space against which to position your sofa, just as this cool set-up by the stylist of this Carpetright campaign has done. The contemporary graphic print carpet, Alcazar, is made of 100 per cent polypropylene, is bleach cleanable, comes in 12 colours and costs about €31 per sq metre from Carpetright stockists nationwide. Floor your entire space in the same material underfoot; it will also help create more of a sense of flow throughout.
If your kitchen is scullery sized but you’d still like to be able to sit at a table to eat your bowl of porridge in the morning then this Izzy wall-table will help free up some floor space. When not in use, it folds up against the wall and you pull it down when you want to sit down to the most important meal of the day. It costs about €225, ex delivery, from UK-based Made.
Attic storage is always a smart move. You can store suitcases, Christmas decorations and seasonal clothing out of sight. This scissors-stair design by Farko looks far smarter than the standard wood styles. The standard LST model ranges in price from €455 to €495 depending on the size you choose and is available from Tradecraft Building Products. Another clever idea is bespoke-built under the eaves drawers from Co Clare-based Clever Closets. Reportedly moth-proof, these are ideal for storing winter garments, blankets and winter weight duvets, and cost from about €450 to €600 for a two-drawer white insulated box that also prevents damp creeping in. This price includes supply and fit to most counties in the southern half of the country. Specific colours will cost extra. Vacuum bags can also be used to condense the physical volume of the garments and bedding. This will all help free up visual clutter in bedrooms.
Double duty furniture is another smart small home option. A wall-hung press that has a pull-down top that works as a desktop and can be closed away when not in use is one such item; a coffee table with a push release top that rises to become a workstation or screen height level is another. A classic desk shape, shown by Milan-base Dinmore Gallery, incorporates book shelving to its front, the side facing clients, making good use of dead space, while the Lugano storage bed, pictured, from Bo Concept, is an easy-to-access way to get ancillary bedding, holiday suitcases and other seasonal stuff out of sight. A double size, 160cm by 200cm, with a grey fabric headboard and a white base costs €1,163 from Beacon South Quarter-based Bo Concept.