Built-in storage solutions for awkward spaces
From under-stair storage to fitted bedroom wardrobes, save space with these storage ideas
Whether you’re struggling to fill an awkward space or looking to create more room in your home, these clever space-saving built-in storage ideas will help combat tricky areas.
Whether it’s off-the-peg or bespoke, built-in furniture designed specifically for a room helps to put every inch of space to good use. More streamlined than freestanding storage, built-in designs can provide clever solutions to awkward corners, lofts, high ceilings and staircases.
Planning storage early on in a self-build or renovation project is important. Location is key, but you’ll also need to consider what items you’ll be putting away when deciding what will work best.
Use empty space under a staircase
Take the opportunity to make an under-staircase area multi-functional by incorporating storage beneath or within it. Options range from simple cupboards to pull-out systems, similar to those used in fitted kitchens which slide out for easy access to shoes and outdoor kit.
Think about including shelving in a custom-designed staircase to house books or a collection of kitchen crockery. Alternatively increase usable space by squeezing in a compact home office or workstation with a fitted desk combined with open shelves and drawers to make the most of any awkward angles.
Bespoke built-in options neatly tuck household appliances away
Manufacturers of bespoke built-in furniture offer much more than standard kitchen unit or wardrobe configurations.
Look out for plinth drawers and extra-deep designs for kitchen storage, as well as drop-down internal racks, different sized cubby holes and rows of pull-out trays that glide effortlessly to display neatly folded shirts for fitted wardrobes.
Some companies even offer space for media devices.
Maximise space in your bedroom with made-to-measure built-in storage designs
For renovators who want to use every bit of ceiling height, made-to-measure designs are ideal. ‘Bedrooms come in all shapes and sizes and it’s vital to prioritise storage practicalities,’ says Simon Meyrick, designer at Neville Johnson.
Awkward sloping ceilings and integral architectural features are easily dealt with by bespoke furniture. Built-in wall-to-wall cupboards and shelving are an investment, but one that can be recouped when you sell as buyers put a premium on storage.
‘With no top, side or back panels, our wardrobes can stretch between walls and from floor to ceiling, giving you more space,’ says Rachael Hutcheson, design expert at Sharps.
Sliding doors are a space-savvy option and a reflective finish will help to bounce light around a room. For traditional appeal, mirror-fronted panelled and fretwork door designs are a classic choice. If you have the ceiling height, a raised bed platform in a child’s room provides an opportunity to fit shelves, rails or a desk underneath.
In loft conversions, use eaves space around the edge of a room, where sloping ceilings are too low to stand beneath, for low-level cabinets. And if you’re on a budget, don’t forget that off-the-peg fitted storage is a less expensive option than going bespoke.
Choose storage cupboards with a bench in your living room
Built-in storage is often the best approach when living areas accommodate more than one activity.
Consider devoting a single wall to organisation, so it reads as one sleek entity rather than having several pieces dotted around.
Other ideas that keep a room clutter-free include bench or banquette seating incorporating storage, while a window seat is also space-efficient and adds a relaxing element.