I have never heard anyone say, "This house would be perfect if it had less storage... what a waste of space".
The best way of making sure you have enough storage is to include it in your plans before you build. However, some of the following tips may give you ideas, even if your home is finished.
1. Taller ceilings - If you can't go out, try going up! Tall ceilings can be used to carve out more storage in several rooms. In your closets, several rows of higher shelves can be placed above your normal rod for items that are out of season. Kitchens and Great Rooms can also benefit from higher ceilings because you can use taller cabinets. Don't forget the open area above the wall cabinets, which can house anything from a basket of books to speakers.
2. Stairs - If you have stairs, putting deep drawers or cabinet style doors on the side can help you get the most use out of an otherwise waste of space. Note - Please check with your local building department on locating anything under your stairs, some codes do not allow this area to be used without making special provisions.
3. The Attic - If you are going to have a steep roof, take advantage of this extra storage space. When you build make sure the ceiling joists are sized large enough to carry any extra load created from your storage items. ONE TIP - If you install "real" stairs instead of pull down stairs, getting that Christmas tree down every year will be much easier!
4. Built-in Seating - A mudroom is the perfect place for built-in seating. If you build the seating with a hinged top or deep drawers, you get the perfect place to store your shoes. In a bedroom you have the perfect place to read a book and hide extra blankets at the same time.
5. Cabinets - Linen cabinets with a built-in hamper are perfect for creating extra space in your bath. Everything is located in one place and does not take up extra floor space.
6. Islands - They can be great in a kitchen for extra storage but have you tried one on wheels? If you need more room in the kitchen, you simply roll it out of the way. Have you thought about an island in your closet? If you have a large walk-in closet ,why not take advantage of that extra floor space? A small island makes a perfect place for extra storage and you maybe able to free up some floor space in your bedroom by not having an extra dresser.
7. The Garage - With the popularity of SUV's it is very important you make sure your new garage will be big enough to hold the family car. For example the GMC Yukon has a length of 198.9" and the Yukon XL has a length of 219.3". If you plan on walking around it after you park, that garage better be deeper than 20'-0".
Copyright 2004 - Debra Purvis, AIBD
President DesignHouse Inc.
Please contact us if you would like permission to use this article on your website, email or newsletter. Thank you
I hope I gave you a few ideas to think about for your new home and best wishes on your next building project...Debra