Keep It Together
Condo-living storage solutions
Condo living is a great option, especially if you’re always on the go. It’s convenient for homeowners who want a turnkey, hassle-free lifestyle. If you have the travel bug, there’s nothing like turning the key and not having to worry about outside maintenance, and the like, while you’re away. However, condo life can have its draw-backs when you are at home, and living with the baggage of everyday life. And when I say baggage, I don’t just mean the traveling kind.
A condo-sized home often correlates with living with less. Whether you’ve downsized from a large household to a smaller space, or like me, you just prefer the maintenance-free condo lifestyle, it can take some creative solutions to make room for all of your stuff.
I’m a big fan of built-in cabinets, as these pieces offer the most versatility. I know a couple who looked at the plans for their condo unit during construction and realized that there just wasn’t enough storage. Their solution was to line an entire wall, floor-to-ceiling, with custom-made cabinetry. They chose flat panels with no visible hardware so that it resembled a regular panelled wall.
Drawers are an easy way to access stored objects, because you can see everything at once when opened. Remember that the inside of each door offers more valuable surface space where you can incorporate hooks for long jewelry storage, keys, bulletin boards or a mirror. In fact, hooks are a great addition throughout your home. You’ll gain more towel storage in the bathroom, and extend your closet space for coats, clothing, keys, a dog leash, etc.
Many buildings are touting architectural details like high ceilings, so be sure to take cabinets as high as possible to provide compartments for infrequently used items like wrapping paper, seasonal decorations, linen, dishware, etc. For higher cabinets, install flip-up doors, rather than those with side hinges, for easier accessibility.
NEW & IMPROVED
Not to take away from the always handy step stool, but new ideas are always being introduced, like pull-down clothing racks. Japanese appliance and home goods manufacturer, Panasonic, offers an entire line of unique space-saving products. They’ve introduced a soft pull-down shelf system that brings everyday items to you. With a simple pull, the entire shelf lowers. They’ve also created a mechanized rotating system for hanging clothes – similar to what you would see at the dry cleaners. You can store, view and remove clothes with little effort, and it’s designed for narrow, deep, often wasted spaces. Adding a pullout or pull-down shelving to deep cabinets, as well as turntables to upper cabinets, and pull-down, ceiling-mounted laundry drying racks that tuck away when not in use, all help to simplify life’s storage dilemmas.
“When we clear the
physical clutter from
our lives, we make
room for inspiration
to enter. ”
– JANE LOCKHART
A Murphy-style bed can be custom designed to fit with your decorating style, and to include added storage space built around it. Built-in storage drawers, or rolling boxes that fit snugly underneath, are included on select bed designs. The bottom cushions of some sofas lift to hold storage within the base frame.
Convert the den in the classic ‘one-bedroom plus den floor plan’ into a walk-in closet or an office, and add more floor-to-ceiling storage. However, I do need to add a caveat – make sure that it’s attractive, as well as functional. You don’t want to look like you live in a warehouse.
I love my condo and all the benefits that go along with it. Having multiple storage solutions helps me to feel organized, which helps me to enjoy my time at home.
Jane Lockhart, B.A.A.I.D., Founder & Principal Designer Jane Lockhart Interior Design. Jane is a multi-award winning designer, spokesperson, author and television personality, including six successful seasons as creative director and host of W Networks’ top ranked Colour Confidential, currently in reruns and airing on HGTV U.S. JaneLockhart.com