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Buried Treasures the Hidden Potential of Odd-Shaped Rooms

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Buried Treasures the Hidden Potential of Odd-Shaped Rooms

Discover the hidden potential in odd-shaped rooms and unlock extra storage in your home

I remember studying the layout of my soon-to-be-built condo unit, thinking with its square footage, storage space would be at a premium. I decided a wall-to-wall storage system of built-in cabinetry for the entry hall and master bedroom would be the only way to go. It was all custom designed and installed before I moved in, and I’m still happy with it. Order in my surroundings is very important to me, so having everything organized and behind closed doors suits me perfectly. I’m still grateful I had the time to plan for it in advance.

Tucked under the stairs, the reading nook was outfitted with shelves to fit the space and drawers under the bench seat add more storage space for toys or cosy blankets.

Generally, we are living in smaller spaces with increasingly more stuff. So much so, according to a July 2017 Canadian Business article, the self-storage industry is experiencing a boom in Canada. It cites that Canadians now have an average of two square feet of storage per person. For some, it’s cheaper to pay an extra couple of hundred dollars a month for an off-site storage facility than to buy a bigger home.

But I see another solution. Finding more living or storage space in an existing home takes some ingenuity, good design choices and a willingness to put that long-term storage investment into your own home.

A simple wall separates the office area from the children’s reading nook. Undermounted lighting is a great space saver, even in the office.

UNEARTH EXTRA SPACE

I love discovering a home’s hidden potential. Sometimes a solution is straight-forward, like adding an ottoman, bench or bed with storage. Or looking up and taking advantage of an unused attic or investing below grade into the basement. It may only be a nook or even a cranny (is there a difference?), but it may hold the key to more storage or living space.

We created more space by pushing the table close to the wall and building in a bench for extra storage.

One client was moving to the city due to a sudden job transfer. The family barely had time to look at multiple residences before making a purchase. The house they bought was in good shape, but lacked their personal touch and storage space.

Because of the second-floor layout, the master bedroom would be located in the underused attic space. With lots of measuring and many discussions with the contractor, we were able to design and install built-in cabinetry. We worked with the existing roof line and gable walls to make sure the space didn’t feel closed in. In this case, investing in custom-made cabinetry spared the homeowners having to renovate and add an entire third storey.

Customization may be your only option when working with awkward angles. Here, we opted to eliminate ceiling trim, so the fixed drapery treatment would add volume to the desk nook.

“FINDING MORE LIVING OR STORAGE SPACE IN AN EXISTING HOME TAKES SOME INGENUITY, GOOD DESIGN CHOICES AND A WILLINGNESS TO PUT THAT LONG-TERM STORAGE INVESTMENT INTO YOUR OWN HOME.”

WIN-WIN SPACE SOLUTIONS

With small children, a closed off space for an office isn’t always viable. But the client needed to be able to work from home on occasion and have the children close by. We accommodated both needs by creating a cosy seating area in the basement, under the stairs for the children, right next to the new, expansive office space.

When you’re working with an existing layout, it can be difficult to figure out where the furnishings will go, and where storage can be built in or added. Putting a bed under a window or installing a headboard on a landing may be your only solution. The key is to plan in advance, lay everything out on paper first, so you know you are truly gaining more living and storage space.

There’s nothing better than a dreamy sleep under the eaves, or an addition of practical, yet beautifully designed storage to keep you feeling balanced and stress-free.

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