We can never have enough space – fact. Whether it’s extra room for an ever-expanding library, a postage stamp-sized bathroom or a kitchen that’s barely bigger than a cupboard, today’s space is precious and we are all battling to get more. If you just haven’t got the budget to go somewhere bigger, don’t despair, as interior designers and creative whizz kids are helping us fight back in our war against square footage, by dreaming up brilliant, space saving furniture and fixtures.
If the kitchen is the heart of the home – somewhere to cook, eat and entertain – then for some of us, this central hub is not even big enough to feed your pet pooch let alone throw a dinner party for 10. Enter the new breed of micro kitchens which are still packed with bags of style and all the latest gadgets, but squeezed into a space that isn’t much bigger than a king size bed.
Great for studio flats and small apartments but equally as effective in compact homes that simply want that open-plan feel, these teeny-tiny innovations are generally plonked along one wall of the main living space. Thanks to clever sliding doors, fold-down lids or ‘pocket doors’ that fold back into a skinny recess, all your gadgets and storage can be shut away from sight leaving just a row of sleek, unfussy doors. For a great example of a ‘kitchen-in-a-box’ try Vision by Rational (www.rational.de), a stand-alone, multi-tasking kitchen module packed with storage, appliances and even a pull-out breakfast bar.
We don’t tend to have palatial sized bathrooms in the UK but with all this talk of spa-at-home well-being, we do want our bathing spaces to offer more sanctuary than stress. Thankfully, big brands know this and have brought out compact, space-saving basins and loos to make the most of our square inches. Try Ideal Standard’s Concept Space which includes slim basins and short-projection wcs that won’t eat into valuable floor space. Clever, wall-hung vanity basins with storage underneath are a great idea too and, if possible, go for back-to-wall sanitaryware where all the pipework is hidden neatly behind cabinets or a stud wall. And if you desperately want a freestanding, roll-top bath, you might just be in luck as the Tubby Torre from The Albion Bath Company (albionbathco.com) is a cute, mini version where you can soak even if space is scarce.
Not just a means to access the top floors of your home, the humble staircase has transformed into the newest multifunctional storage star of the house. Think stair treads with pull-out drawers for stashing shoes, books and magazines or a complete understairs storage unit with full-size, pull-out racks for storing all your linen and towels. If wide enough, you can even even utilise the walls of your stairwell with long rows of built-in shelving to create your very own library at home.
These are big architectural, life hacks for sure, but it’s incredible how much extra storage space you can fit in with some clever design strategies.
Last but not least, if you aren’t looking to give your home a major ‘space rethink’ then invest in a few of today’s really clued-up, multifunctional furniture. We’re all up to speed on sofa beds and hideaway butcher’s blocks on wheels, but how about a sofa bunkbed, a table and chair set that fits into a shelf (you have to see Orla Reynolds’ ‘As if from nowhere’ creation) or even a flush-fit wall panel that folds down to create a fully-functioning office-at-home. Now that’s what we call clever…
Is your home short on space but big on style? We’d love to see your clever, space-saving innovations and inspiration. share this article on Facebook, Twitter and Google+