Clear the decks in 2013 to start life afresh in a tidy home awash with stylish storage ideas ; INTERIORS [Derby Evening Telegraph (England)]
(Derby Evening Telegraph (England) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Make a New Year's resolution to tackle the clutter in your home. Gabrielle Fagan comes up with some smart and good-looking storage solutions.
STYLISH storage has suddenly been transformed into a stunning addition for any home. Our desire for streamlined, contemporary interiors means we're demanding attractive and imaginative ways of dealing with today's ultimate interiors sin - clut-ter. Designers are responding by creating solutions which store possessions efficiently - and make a style statement at the same time.
"Many of us have to live in homes much smaller than we might desire," says interior designer Joanna Wood (www.joannawood.co.uk). "Generally, we also underestimate the number of possessions we have by about a third, which can lead to a storage conundrum. But that doesn't mean you have to abandon your design ideals.
"With thought and careful planning you can make the most of every inch of space using beautiful solutions."
FEEL THE SPACE A calm atmosphere is essential in living areas. Open shelves and cupboard storage can allow treasured and decorative items to star while everything else is concealed but to hand.
"In contemporary interiors there's no room for jarring clutter," says Joanna.
"Storage has become an art form which enhances rooms and is at the top of the list when designing an interior. Sleek doors which open at a touch are popular, while others have handles that are a feature in themselves and made in materials such as leather or mother of pearl.
"The key to success is to recognise no space is too small to store something. Every corner, recess or landing can be utilised to provide a home for belongings. Even stair treads can be transformed into drawers." Tips: Imagine you're a visitor to your home and look at your possessions objectively. Make lists of items you could discard, storage that needs decluttering and areas which could be used for storage. Smart storage: A bespoke system which caters for every storage need is hard to beat. A contemporary Cream Lounge system starts from around Pounds 3,000, Neville Johnson. Budget buys: Banish coffee table clutter by choosing a table with roomy drawers such as the Naples pine large coffee table, Pounds 299.99. Team it with a Bretagne bookcase with drawers, Pounds 399.99, both Dunelm Mill.
MAKE STORAGE WORK It's vital a home office feels organised and conducive to work in. "This room will of-ten be multi-purpose and used by different members of the family as a den or homework area as well as an office, and ideally each person will need their own allocated storage," says Joanna, "Nowadays, these are planned down to the last inch in the same way as fitted kitchens.
Enclosing everything within fitted cupboard doors reduces distractions and makes the whole area feel organised."
If a whole room's not available, she advises making the most of an awkwardly shaped area, such as a loft or under the stairs, with built-in storage for an office.
Tip: Use wasted space behind a door or on the wall over a desk by hanging organisers with pockets.
Smart storage: Room divider with cupboards, in a white lacquer finish, Pounds 1,595, BoConcept, could define a working area in a room. Laura Ashley's oak Milton Office Chest, Pounds 1,150 (currently reduced to Pounds 724.50), can store a multitude of office essentials.
Budget buys: Make a space business-like with smart kit from John Lewis, including items such as the House lean bookcase, Pounds 99, and a sleek wood and glass Zane desk, Pounds 250.
PLAN THE BEDROOM Having problems sleeping in a bedroom that's bulging at the seams with clothes Both are sure signs that your storage is inadequate. "This is a room where you want a tranquil, atmosphere and as little clutter as possible," says Emma Sims- Hilditch, partner at furniture company Neptune. "Try to have in it only the things you need, rather than allowing it to become a parttime ironing room or office. The investment of commissioning built-in bedroom furniture is worthwhile if you plan to stay in your home for the foreseeable future. I find a mix is most practical: freestanding bedside tables and chest of drawers and, if space allows, a built-in wardrobe tailored to your needs.
Tips: Calculate your storage requirements before visiting a bedroom furniture specialist.
A divan bed with fitted drawers or under-bed storage boxes can provide valuable extra storage for clothes. Smart storage: A compact Gainsborough dressing table, Pounds 791.20, from Marks & Spencer, has six drawers and a liftup mirror.
Budget buys: Try Ikea's practical Pax wardrobe, starting from Pounds 70 for a one-door unit, its Malm mirrored chest of drawers, Pounds 200, or a Vardo bed storage box, Pounds 21.
GO FOR SMART PLAY Children's rooms seem to shrink as the inhabitants grow and gather more toys and possessions.
"Children have more need for storage than anyone else. But whatever solution you choose, it should be easy for them to use so they can learn as early as possible to do their own tidying," says Joanne. Tips: Modular storage systems, which can be added to as the child and its possessions grow, are a good solution. Position drawers close to the floor so children can reach them. Also look for soft close actions on drawers.
Smart storage: Animal Farm Wooden Crate Storage Units made in Italy: Cow, Pounds 3,495, Pig, Pounds 995, and Goose, Pounds 550, Alexander & Pearl. Budget buys: Great Little Trading Company's Northcote Storage System starts from Pounds 65.
STOCKISTS Alexander & Pearl: 0208 508 0411/ www.alexanderandpearl.co.uk Asda: www.asda.com BoConcept www.boconcept.co.uk Bliss Home: 01789 400 077/ www.blisshome.co.uk Dunelm Mill: 0845 165 6565/ www.dunelm-mill.com Great Little Trading Company: 0844 848 6000/www.gltc.co.uk Heal's: 020 7636 1666/ www.heals.co.uk Ikea: www.ikea.com John Lewis: 0845 6049 049/ www.johnlewis.co.uk Laura Ashley: 0871 230 2301/ www.lauraashley.com Mark Wilkinson: 01380 850 007/ www.mwf.com Marks & Spencer: 0845 302 1234/www.marksandspencer.com Neville Johnson: 0161 873 8333/ www.nevillejohnson.com Neptune: 01793 427 427/ www.neptune.com Pretty Dandy: www.prettydandy.co.uk Vertbaudet: 0844 842 0000/ www.vertbaudet.co.uk
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