Tuesday, 12 June 2012

How to maximise space in your home

This is our first blog entry in a while.  Previously, the blog has focussed on our projects under construction.  We will be returning to these projects to see where they are at and how they have turned out, but next on the agenda is some great information on improving the way our homes work for us, including some inspirational pics and useful information on how to achieve miracles without spending a lot of money.

So, if you want to be inspired ….. stay tuned !

This week’s blog topic -

How to maximise space in your home

You’ve probably lamented a million times about how you could do with more space in your home, but let’s face it, popping an extension onto your house to give you more space isn’t a short term solution.  So we have come up with some great tips for maximising the space you do have in the meantime.
1.       Have a clean out

OK, so this might seem like an obvious one, but in no time at all, clutter builds up around us.  Most of us are pretty time poor and the piles of things not put away when we last used them, or things that just don’t have a home build up pretty quickly.

Don’t try to de-clutter the whole house in one go, but take it room by room.  Walk into each room and try to imagine you are walking into someone else’s house.  With a pair of fresh eyes, what are the things in the room that are taking up major space and making it look cluttered ? 
Go through your existing storage areas like wardrobes, cupboards, bookshelves. 

Are they stuffed with things you never use ? 

If so, they are probably stopping you putting away the things you do use.  Why not make up some bags for charity, sell some things on ebay or do a big run to the tip ?  You will find that once you make space in these areas, it is easier to regularly put things away, ready for next time.  We have a two year rule in our family, that is, if you haven’t seen it or used it in two years, you don’t need it.  Two years is pretty strict, but maybe you could start with five years and see how much you can get rid of that you don’t need.

Try to keep flat surfaces like tables and benches free from items not put away.  It really goes a long way to making a house look less cluttered.

And lastly, try to train your kids from an early age to put their things away.  When everyone in the house is motivated to keep things tidy, it makes it much easier to keep the place looking great.

2.       Storage

You probably already know the areas in your home that you can utilise for storage, but can you be more creative with the types and locations for storage that you have available to you?  Well thought out storage can become a feature in a room rather than an eyesore.
Think about what it is that you need to store and what kind of storage solution is best suited to that item.  For example, baskets are great for storing lots of little kids’ toys in.  They are easily tipped out when you want to find something, and quick to pack back up when you’re done.

Are your drawers full of junk ? 

How about some drawer dividers to help keep everything in it’s place ?

Don’t forget to utilise your walls too.  Wall mounting a TV frees up the space around it, particularly the floor.

3.       Built in Storage

Do you have spaces in your home that are underutilised, like underneath a set of stairs or beneath a window ?  Built in storage can help to make the most out of places in the house that are small or difficult to get to.

Wall space also tends to be a bit of a premium, but built in cupboards along a wall – perhaps in a dining room or even in a lounge room, with space for the tv, and dvd collection can make a huge difference.

How about a study nook in a cupboard ?

4.       Furniture

Is the way your furniture is arranged creating spatial issues ?  Do you have too much furniture ?  Or do you have furniture that is too big for the room it is in ?  Try moving your furniture around - you might be surprised to learn that sometimes having it arranged differently either gives you more space, ar at least the illusion of more space !

A friend of mine had a very small lounge room and the sofas that were in the space had large rolled arms.  The actual seating area of the sofas wasn’t large, but the amount of space they took up, compared to the size of the room was amazing.  These sofas also sat on legs, about 10cm off the floor.  This made them look even bigger ! The worst kind - not only were they too big for the space, they even looked too big for the space (and yes there is a difference).  Years later, they bought new, squarer more compact sofas …. and the difference was unbelievable !

What about space saving furniture ?  The sofa bed is a good example of this – but even considering changing your dining table to one with extendable leaves  or even a coffee table with a storage shelf below could make a big difference to your space.
Just a few ideas to start with anyway ….

We’d love to hear some of your space saving ideas – feel free to comment and let us know what things you have done in your home to maximise space !