With life there are always trade offs, aren’t there? Our previous townhome had a nice spacious loft for our first two daughters to play in. When we moved here, we lost that but gained a backyard and guest room with en suite bathroom. But our loft was tiny.
Since then I cannot tell you how many tupperware storage systems I devised. There have been countless Ikea hacks to store toys and books. We even managed to fit two desks and a folding small folding table squished along the wall.
Oh! And my last attempt was a humongous IKEA wardrobe closet to hide all the kid’s goodies. You know what they say, one kid’s treasure is another mom’s trash.
I wish I took some “before” pictures after each attempt. Perhaps, I just wanted to forget it all.
The “after” pic however is glorious! We finally decided to add value to our home and have a system installed. The narrow space dictated the vertical design.
Nowhere to go but UP
If I could give any advice for storage deprived spaces, it is to stop buying extra baskets and bins. Instead, save that money and install shelving units or cabinets. For all the money I spent trying to make horizontal storage work, it was all in vain. My stumbling block was the cost but once I added up years of bin/basket purchases, I realized I could have paid for vertical shelving all along.
There are three categories of “clutter” that desperately needed a home. First, we needed desk space for at least 2 people to work on homework or adult stuff like bills or work. Second, storage for office supplies and files. Third, the girls’ arts and crafts supplies, school related accessories and of course toys. Oh the toys! I promised myself no more new toys. But with each birthday or holiday, things accumulate fast. Mom life at its best.
Dreaded Dead Space
I purposely designed the cabinets to go all the way up to the ceiling because the last thing I wanted was the dreaded dead space above cabinets. It drives me crazy! Does it drive you crazy too? I had a choice for the cabinet bottom to reach lower but I am quite claustrophobic. And I hate feeling closed in when working. So I opted for more breaking room.
There is always a catch 22 though. In this case, reaching for things is pretty high up. I knew that going in. Fortunately we gained drawers and storage under the desk. So at least the kids can reach what they need easily.
Budget Friendly Brass Hardware
With every project there is alway a surprise element that I love sharing! With this makeover, the brass pulls are my proudest finds. The cabinetry company I used offered high end brass pulls for $72 a pop! That wasn’t going to work for this budget friendly gal so I decided to scour the web. And I found something similar at a fraction of the cost.
Enter Amazon Prime. The quality is absolutely outstanding! I am beyond impressed. They are heavy duty and with an aged brass finish that I am so in love with!
I got the 5 inch pulls and the length really added a feeling of modernism that I wanted. Always a great feeling when you achieve the look you want on a budget!
Clutter Be Gone
Still, I struggle daily with keeping all the clutter at a minimum. Real life happens here. Bills and work get piled up on my side. Homework, toys and crafts that the girls start and don’t finish all end up in a big mess.
But it doesn’t mean style isnt added from the corners of each desk to a few items displayed that have meaning for us as a family. As you can see, adding books and plants to any corner creates life and magic. Simple yet impactful every time. You can’t lose with this formula. If you walk away with anything I say, please remember this design tip. Thank you very much. *wink*
Another great design tip for office space decor are rustic woven baskets. These jute baskets I got at The Container Store are pretty, add texture to the shelves and is a great organizer!
Image Credit: The Container Store
And last but not least, adding a plant or two makes the whole space that much more colorful and vibrant. The pops of green in terra cotta pots provide fresh vibes.
So, do you have a small awkward space? Get creative and think of ways to go vertical for more storage. I know you got this! And don’t forget to share with me. I love knowing how you are maximizing storage in your home too!