If you are a Londoner - and most of european large city resident- you know that often space is scares in most habitation or office. I have to come up with clever and creative with storage ideas in my business and the inspiration often comes with what I am faced with in my home. As you know by now, I advice people to declutter regularly and let go of too much stuff.
A flat that makes you feel claustrophobic will affect your energy and drain you and make you feel anxious and stressed.
There are ways though to add more storage space and free your living space from visual overload.
Here are my best tips:
1 - Use the wall space available:
Use up a wall in its full height and full length. Dedicate this wall to storage and have it built in to use up as much space as possible. The first thing I did when we moved into our flat was to draw the plan for some storage that I had then built in by a carpenter. In the living room I had some bookshelves and cupboards built on the side of the old chimney. If the wall that you chose has a door, use up the pace on top of it as well. We have plenty of books and it was really important to use up as much space as possible for storage. In the cupboard we store our paperwork, board games and documentation.
2 - Display your beautiful belongings:
Instead of scratching your head about what to do with your collection of musical instruments or hats, use them as key features of your decor. My dad is a big fan of hats and in I my parents home in Brittany, they had plenty that they didn't know how to store. I created a display wall in the entrance hall which is not only beautiful but really handy. We can grab a hat when we are on our way out and hang it as soon as we come back. It is how you turn a problem into a clever and beautiful solution.
2 - Be clever with your floor space:
Instead of buying plenty of pieces of furniture to store your belongings, have a larger, top to ceiling storage built in. Plan it with what you will need it for in mind so you can create space for your specific needs. I have turned a large empty landing in my flat into a large full height storage space. In it, I store most of the things that I don't want to see or that I don't use regularly (Xmas decoration, DIY stuff, hoover and bedlinen). The fact that it is on the landing means that it doesn't use up precious living space. So think about using any 'wasted' space such as a corridor. You can create bookshelves, shoe storage and a bench... There are loads of ways you can adapt this idea.
4 - Create storage under the stairs:
One sees this trick used more and more often. If you can use this space it can give you precious and clever storage possibilities. You can use this space as shelving for shoes or outdoor activities. Things that you will only need on your way out to the house. You can also use the larger space for big items such as suitcases or hoover, gym equipment...
5 - Use up unexpected space:
I recently had a client who was complaining about the lack of room in her bathroom. The little surface she add was crammed and the room was too small for wall storage. I told her that the bath and sink panels were hollow and that there was potentially a lot of space to be used. She wasted no time in hiring a cabinet maker who created doors and shelving behind the panels. No more cluttered bathroom.
This are all tried and tested tricks that are super efficient not only on a practical organisational level, but on an aesthetic level too. No more visual clutter that will stop you from being able to relax. There are plenty of people who can assist you if you feel like you don't have the eye to plan or imagine those type of storage.
These can be literally life changing solutions.