Having enough space to store crucial possessions is a prerequisite of a happy home life yet there are no minimum space standards, building regulations, or regulations covering the planning systems for private homes. In countries like the UK, many modern day apartment complexes and other developments simply do not have enough space for people to store their items securely. Americans have it significantly better, with the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) noting that US homes today are around 1,000 square feet larger than in the early 1970s and that the living space per person has nearly doubled. The onus of making the most of this available space, however, lies on architects and interior designers alike. How are modern homes creating their own rules regarding space to enable dwellers to store their personal items?
The Creation of Storage Walls
Swedish designers Lookofsky Architecture have shown how it is possible to create space where none exists, converting walls into storage and resting areas. Think walls that jut out and contain a recessed seating area (with storage space beneath it) as well as shelves on the walls in the same monochrome hue. Pillars can also be taken advantage of through recessed shelf space. These structures work as well in living rooms as they do in kitchens and even bathrooms.
Nothing is Spare
Spare wall and staircase space can be used to create more storage in homes. Think staircases that contain storage cabinets that can be accessed from one side of the steps. Montana Mobler has come up with a magnificent shelving system that reveals a perfect marriage of artistry and functionality. Designer Juul de Bruijn is showing that even flooring can be used to store items beneath. The need for space is resulting in groundbreaking solutions that are changing our very ideas of storage spaces.
Taking it Outside
Today’s American home has an extra bedroom and bathroom compared to four decades ago; yet as The Atlantic report, gardens are getting smaller. Even smaller yards have enough space for flexible storage solutions – including storage sheds that can easily be moved from one part of the home to another. As noted by Woodtex.com, a shed built in line with a home’s style and spirit can help dwellers safely store items and reduce clutter and disorganization.
Free Standing Units
Minimalistic, free standing units can be used to fill in small gaps and free spaces – for instance, a narrow wall at the end of the hallway. Those with a penchant for stacked shapes can use storage ‘towers’ comprising various shapes and sizes of cubes or other geometric shapes. For very small spaces, a solution as simple as simply display shelves can work.
Because space planning in private homes and developments is largely at the discretion of developers or individual home dwellers, much of the responsibility of creating storage lies with both architects and designers. Storage can be incorporated into the structure of rooms – e.g. via storage walls. It can also be provided through a wise use of outdoor spaces, and seemingly ‘small’ yet useful spaces inside the home. From free-standing units to columns and recessed storage spaces, there are numerous opportunities to help reduce clutter and to enhance home life.