Ample storage – with dedicated places for all your belongings – really is key to achieving a clutter-free home, and one in which you feel relaxed and organised (rather than in a perpetual mood to tidy up). Here are some ideas which are great to factor in at design stage.

Utilise Awkward Spaces in Lofts

Lofty, vaulted ceilings feature high on the briefs of many self builders and renovators, but these architecturally interesting spaces often result in a very practical problem. If you have converted a loft space, just where do you put the Christmas tree, suitcases, the kids’ toys you can’t bear to throw away? Or, take loft conversions — they add another room, but also rob the house of valuable storage.

So when the loft loses out to high ceilings, planning in storage and utilising ‘wasted’ space under the eaves is a wise idea from the outset. There are a couple of ways to go about it — you can make a feature of it with a bespoke display, it can be an integral part of your interior scheme, or it can discreetly blend in with walls.

Another issue faced by renovators of old homes is tall ceilings, which often dwarf off-the-shelf wardrobes and freestanding furniture. This is where bespoke fitted furniture comes into its own. Not only is every inch of available space put to good use, but furniture designed specifically for a room always tends to be much more pleasing to the eye.

Bathroom in loft with storage space under roof slopeWalnut veneered bathroom cupboards by Woodstock Furniture

Under eaves built in furniture in loft bedroom Under eaves storage by Barbara Genda Bespoke Furniture

Round the door office built in storageBespoke built in storage by Neville Johnson

Why not turn a disused space in your home into an office?

Build Around Doors, Windows and Chimney Breasts

Fittings such as radiators, or doors and windows can render an entire wall unusable for storage. One solution is designing it to sit around such features — for example, if the best wall for your wardrobes is the one where the door is, build over and around the door to maximise space.

Alcoves or spaces around architectural elements such as chimney breasts, can also make it hard to find off-the-shelf furniture that fits or best utilises the space. Consult a built-in furniture specialist who can help you use the space without losing the impact of any features that give a room quirks and character.

Built in bookshelves to sides of window seat
Round window bookshelves

WT Architecture built a bookcase around a picture window, framing the view and providing scope for a window seat

Built in storage disguising an en suite

This wall of bedroom storage cleverly conceals the door to an en suite, in a project by Granit Architects

Built in alcoves around a fireplace in a period home with tall ceilings

Sharps‘ Sherbourne fitted furniture

Stairs as Storage

It was once home to the broom cupboard, or used as overflow for the pantry, then it became ‘the spot’ for a downstairs loo. The space beneath the stairs in the British home has fulfilled many uses over the years. But, with the staircase typically located in falling distance of the front door, we’re cottoning on to the potential of this area for hanging coats and hiding away outdoor shoes — particularly useful if you do not have the space for a dedicated bootroom.

What’s more, storage is no longer in the form of a cupboard with a couple of hooks. Following on from trends seen in the kitchen and bathroom, where drawer organisers have gone from strength to strength, these bespoke examples provide a home for every item.

Glass staircase with raw wood newel posts and under stairs drawers

The ‘StairStore’ solution, from staircase specialist James Grace, can provide up to 2.3m² of usable space

Understairs cupboards under a stair with wooden newel posts and banister and glass balustrade

This solution from Barbara Genda Bespoke Furniture makes the most of an awkwardly shaped space

Built in library round and up stairs

Taken to the extreme, an entire hall and staircase can double as a library and office — this stunning example by Platform 5 Architects is a case in point

Think about innovative storage in the Kitchen

Fitted units are the go-to option for kitchen storage, and a built-in design can offer a far sleeker look — not to mention make a small room look bigger.

Standard fitted kitchens feature a run of base units, paired with wall-hung cupboards leaving a space between for worktops. Consider floor-to-ceiling units where space allows, and where a full-depth workspace is not required, half-depth wall units can be a good pairing.

Larders and larder-style cupboards are more popular than ever. Many will feature internal prep areas or coffee stations — great for those who like their appliances neatly stowed away.

Just make sure you plan for built-in furniture at an early stage of your project, meaning sockets and switches can all be appropriately placed.

SieMatic kitchen with sleek built in cupboards and appliances

In this SieMatic kitchen, a contemporary wall of glass-faced units is ideal to display wares, whereas concealed built-in storage – conveniently located to either side of the cooker – provides a home for ingredients

Note: These images are for idea and illustration purposes only. Products pictured may no longer be available. Contact names suppliers for similar

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