Let’s be honest, our homes are getting smaller; our needs and wants have amplified. We want more, yet find it difficult to part with the things we already own. That leads us to the burning question—just where am I going to put it all? I do advocate discarding and not buying too much as the ultimate solution, but sometimes, it’s not how much stuff you have, but just how efficiently you store it, that is the solution.
THE BED : Making use of every nook and cranny you find is the sensible way to small space living. And the easiest place to find that immediate storage is under your bed. Custom-built in drawers on castors make for deep, long-term storage. If you don’t have a bed with drawers, you can use plastic bins which are easily available in the market and makes the items convenient to identify. Make sure you label the bin with its contents. It is also important not to forget the headboard. A thicker headboard can be created to provide for storage within and on it. Items like books, photographs and candles can be stored behind removable panels, while the top of the bed can be utilised in place of side tables.
THE CABINET : Wall-to-wall cabinets are the ideal way to manage all of your life’s purchases. When planned to the minutest detail, wall-to-wall cabinetry can hide everything from a refrigerator to a home office to innumerable storage boxes. But the trick is to not let the cabinet overpower the house and look too heavy. This is achieved by painting the cabinets the same colour as the wall… or even a completely different colour if you would like it to act as a feature in the house. If opting for polish, go in for a lighter shade like beech and pine as opposed to darker, heavier shades. And for an instant space saver and enhancer, go ahead and mirror the entire piece. A quick tip: Use boxes to store away everything from files and candles to socks and scarves. Make sure the boxes are labelled and colour coordinated for a neat and streamlined effect.
THE SHELF : Convenient to set up, ideal for any nook, cranny or wall space and very budget-friendly, the humble shelf is the answer to a lot of your problems. From kitchenware to toiletry products in a small-sized bathroom, a shelf can hold it all. But it is key to maintain a neat and organised approach to this method of storage as this is open for all to see. It is preferable to opt for a colour scheme or geometric approach when arranging your shelves, but it is very important to have an overall theme for that organised and structured look.
THE ROOM DIVIDER : If ever there is a need to divide a room (you have frequent guests, your teenager wants his or her own space), but have no spare room to give, try dividing an existing room according to however much space you wish to allocate. Instead of wasting precious space on a wall, replace the wall with a bookshelf or a cabinet that can be utilised from both rooms. This is great for storage of books, CDs and DVDs and as well as makes for a great shoe cabinet on the other side. Instead of a dead wall that would just sit there, it is now cleverly thought through and made maximum use of.
A place for everything, and everything in its place—an old adage though it may be, it holds true even more so these days.What with real estate shrinking in size and doubling in cost. Really, that is how you make the most of a small space apartment.
The writer is an interior designer, with offices in Delhi
and Mumbai. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org