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Making the Most of Your Space

No matter the size of one’s home, it often seems there is never quite enough space. But the way you organize and arrange your home, as well as the furniture styles you choose, will make the difference between living comfortably versus feeling crammed. Use the following ideas to make the most of every nook and cranny.

The lavatory

Add an armoire to your bathroom if it has a large dressing area or other wasted space to store towels, sheets, toiletries, bath toys and other items. In smaller bathrooms, install a bath valet over the toilet. These come in a variety of styles and sizes.

Bedchamber basics

Off-season clothing takes up closet and drawer space, so purchase shallow cardboard or plastic storage containers to slide under the bed. This storage area can also be used for holiday decorations, gift-wrapping, keepsakes and more.

If your bedroom must serve as a home office by day, invest in a Murphy’s bed. Just press a button and your bedroom is transformed as the bed mechanically folds into a wall cabinet.

Family room

When shopping for living room furniture, take heed. The size furniture appears in showrooms is deceiving. Measure both width and depth of sofas and chairs, and opt for compact styles. In small living rooms, sectionals offer the most seating while taking up the smallest amount of space. Choose end tables and a coffee table with drawers and cabinets for additional storage. Select a recliner instead of chair and ottoman so when the footrest is not being utilized, it is stored away. If you must have an ottoman, place a decorative tray on top to double as an end table when not in use. Entertainment centres may seem practical but are space wasters if not fully utilized. Instead, choose a television with a built-in video player and safely mount the TV to the wall. This will also protect your equipment from curious little hands.

Arrange all furniture against the wall. If there is not wall space for a sofa or chair to back up to, place a cabinet and table lamp behind it to serve as an end table.

The mess hall

Unutilized gadgets and gizmos take up precious kitchen space, as do seldom-used tools that often really aren’t necessary. Take inventory and eliminate non-essentials. Also, better utilize your cabinet space by purchasing additional shelving or small stackable organizers.

If replacing your cabinets, purchase the taller ceiling height cabinets. The top shelves offer extra storage for seldom-used essentials. Also add corner shelving to the outside ends of your cabinets for knickknacks, a fruit basket and other odds and ends.

For tight eating areas, purchase a rectangular corner table with ‘L’shaped bench seating. This works especially well for larger families, eliminating the need for several chairs. As an added bonus, youngsters won’t be able to tip their seats. For slightly larger dining areas, a corner table increases usable space so that you can add a hutch or computer desk.

Children’s quarters

Tame these little disaster zones and create extra space by purchasing a loft bed with a built-in desk, drawers and bookcase. Also save space with a captain’s bed with built-in drawers underneath, thereby eliminating the need for a separate chest of drawers.

Decorate your child’s room by installing display shelving along one or every wall approximately two feet below the ceiling. Adorn the shelves with trophies, knickknacks and other memorabilia to eliminate decorative clutter.

Closet organizers maximize storage space. Add strategically-placed drawers, cabinets, shelving and rods. If this isn’t within your budget, lower the existing rod a couple of feet, leaving enough height for your child’s clothing to grow. Then install additional shelves above for storing games, toys and seasonal items. Use plastic containers for storing toys and games since boxes are inevitably destroyed. Then label each container with its contents. Purchase containers in only two or three sizes to make stacking easy and eliminate cluttered shelves and toppling toys.

If your kids share a room, install a partition between the beds. Whether built-in or movable, the partition will give your child privacy and prevent squabbles while creating additional wall space in small quarters.

Odds and ends

If your foyer or mudroom has space, an armoire is essential. Tuck away books and book bags, hats and gloves, sports equipment and more in this multi-purpose cabinet.

Make the most of every room in your home by installing display shelving just a foot or two below the ceiling to display photographs and knickknacks. It’s a great way to decorate and eliminates clutter.

Install a wall mounted light fixture above a reading chair or the headboard of your bed to eliminate the need for a table or nightstand.

When choosing window coverings, forego drapes and curtains. Venetian or wood blinds or decorative shades with a valance on top will create the illusion of more space.

Get rid of your bulky personal computer and get a laptop to make the most of your desktop.

Kimberly is an author and freelance writer. Her articles have appeared in more than 200 newspapers, parenting and women’s magazines, and other publications throughout the US.


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