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By Design - Custom Storage Solutions

By design – custom storage solutions

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By design – custom storage solutions

As an interior designer I ask lots of questions, and I always look at how to best use a space from a functional perspective. How much stuff needs to be stored? Does it have to be readily accessible? Does the space have any barriers? Storage, almost always, factors into a design. After all, everyone has stuff. The secret to a really great space, is finding where to put it all.


Cabinets are great option if you’ve got particular storage needs, and unique room configurations or restrictions. A custom built-in allows you to maximize the storage system to fit the room – meaning no wasted space. Compact suites, large family homes and busy lives will all benefit from a well-planned custom storage area. It’s little wonder that custom cabinetry is one of the more popular requests.


Step one is knowing that not all storage systems are created equal, and not every room has the same functional requirements. Closets and pantries are often overflowing. So, in these areas I prioritize function and organization. In kitchens and family rooms, storage must be balanced with style.

What are the storage objectives? Should the cabinetry blend in or stand out? Is the aim to conceal items or to display them? Knowing the expectations will help to narrow down the vast array of choices.


A range of standard colours and finishes, as well as custom options, are available from every brand or cabinet maker. The choices can be overwhelming, but we remind our clients that cabinets are a big-ticket item. Often we advise them against following trends, but to look for an overall, timeless look that will offer longevity, as well as visual appeal. Current trends can be added with moveable back panels and unique hardware, if so desired.


The best storage system must make the most of every inch. Wall space is often overlooked and under-used. Think extra-high, floor-to-ceiling cabinets, and custom corner cabinets that are tucked out of the way. Versatility is the beauty of custom cabinetry. The benefits often out-way the costs for the clients. Make use of valuable storage real estate. Items can be discreetly hidden, or a room can be enhanced with built-ins and lighting accents.


Technology has worked its way into every aspect of our lives, including storage areas. Custom shelving is being outfitted with lights, as well as a docking stations that help to eliminate unsightly cord clutter. Don’t forget to add in hidden charging stations for all life’s wireless items.

The secret to a successful design is providing clients with what they want – and need. By asking the right questions and getting to know the homeowner’s requirements, you’ll be able to create a tailored space that looks as good as it works. With the right custom storage system in place, they’ll wonder how they ever got along without it.

ANDREA COLMAN is Principal of Fine Finishes Design Inc..

With almost two decades of reno & design experience her full service firm, service clientele throughout GTA, Ontario. The growing boutique design firm is known for creating stylish, harmonious, livable environments.


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Storage planning is the key to a successful home renovation project

Storage planning is the key to a successful home renovation project

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Storage planning is the key to a successful home renovation project

by Jason Siebenga

Spring has arrived and it’s time to tackle the home renovation project you’ve been planning all winter long.

You also may have noticed a lot of friends and family are taking on home renovations, and that’s for one reason: as house prices continue to rise in several Canadian real estate markets, many homeowners are choosing to upgrade instead of buying new.

As a result, we’re not only seeing an increase in dollars being spent on home renovation projects, but we’re also seeing a rising number of people needing an on-site storage solution while a renovation takes place.

At BigSteelBox, we’ve seen it all when it comes to home improvement. Some homeowners prefer to do everything themselves. From knocking down walls, to putting up drywall, and completing DIY projects, many take pride in taking on a big project. On the opposite end of the spectrum are the homeowners who put all the control into the hands of designers and contractors. Aside from choosing tiles and paint colours, they aren’t interested in the getting their hands dirty and prefer to leave it to the professionals. What we’ve found is that the majority of homeowners are somewhere in the middle.

Regardless whether you are a DIYer or not, every renovation project poses one question: “What should I do with my belongings while the renovation is taking place?”

At BigSteelBox we provide homeowners with a convenient, flexible way to store their belongings any length of time. A steel storage container is delivered to you, which you can either keep on your property, or have stored at one of our secure locations.

We’ve been helping Canadians execute their home renovation projects for almost 20 years. After everything we’ve seen, we’re always happy to offer a few tips on how to make a renovation go as smoothly as possible.

Plan ahead to reduce stress during and after your home renovation

First and foremost, do your homework. Assess what sort of condition your home is in before the renovation begins. Since you’ll be emptying out room(s) in your house, you’ll need to figure out how long you’re going to be displaced.

Be aware that even if you empty out rooms thinking it’s only going to be a couple of weeks, those weeks can turn into months, and you could be storing your belongings longer than anticipated. This means that items you thought you could go without for a few weeks, you’ll now need to access.

The option of storing your items right outside of your front door means you’ll always have easy access to them, resulting in less stress over the long term. In addition, knowing your belongings are secure and protected from the elements means they will be clean and ready to move when it’s time to put them back into your home.

Determine your storage needs and declutter

Before your renovation begins, take stock of everything you’ll need out of your home during construction and determine how many items you’ll need to store. Most homeowners don’t realize how much stuff they have accumulated over the years. When it comes to clearing out a room, many are overwhelmed by how many possessions they actually have.

When your storage container arrives on site, a good rule of thumb is to only store what you plan on keeping. That way you’re maximizing your storage space and increasing efficiency. In addition, taking inventory is a great way to declutter your home and ensure every item you have is one you truly want.

If certain decorative items or furniture won’t fit in your new design, look at selling or donating them. When the renovation is complete, you’ll be amazed by how much more space you have.

Maximize the space in your storage container

A storage container can serve a number of purposes during a home renovation. Firstly, it’s a great place to keep household items safe and clean during construction. Additionally, if you’re doing the renovation yourself, the storage container can also be used to store tools and equipment. These items are often expensive and having a secure place to store and protect them is important.

Once you’ve moved all of your belongings into storage, it’s important to keep them organized. This way you can access them quickly and easily during and after the renovation. When it comes to making sure your space is organized, we can provide tips on keeping it in order and even provide brackets for shelving inside your container.

Now your tool belt is loaded with tips and storage solutions, so you’re ready to get to work. Whether you have the power drill in hand or plan on kicking your feet up and watching someone else do the work, the question of what to do with your belongings while the renovation takes place has been solved. Happy renovating!

Jason Siebenga is the president of BigSteelBox. The company has been offering Canadians a better way to move and store their belongings since 1999. By bringing the storage to the customer, BigSteelBox has eliminated some of the most stressful aspects of moving and storage.



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