Design Chick  

Maximize home storage

Here’s an amusing fact: almost every home is uniquely different in some way, and yet nearly every home is deficient in one common element — storage space.

Just when you thought you’d heard everything about finding and making the best use of extra space, below are three untapped areas that, when made use of in smart and resourceful ways, can boost the orderliness and efficiency of your home.

Mud Room Must-Haves

Most rear or side entries are used predominantly by the family, not their guests: coats, boots, backpacks, hockey bags, groceries, pets, and more will be traipsing through this spot, so my No. 1 tip is to make use of valuable vertical surfaces by designing and incorporating built-ins for most of these items.

Include shelves and hanging space with doors to close off clutter, and built-in shelves which can store shoes and boots and free up floor space for a bench or chair.

For a vintage look, install locker-style cabinets for each member of the family; they’ll add nostalgic interest to the space and keep each person’s items organized in one spot. Alternatively, dedicate a shelf, cubby or basket for each family member. It’s never too early to start instilling good habits, so install hooks 36 inches high, so little hands can easily hang up jackets and backpacks.

Wooden pegs mounted a few inches above the floor work well for drying off wet mittens, scarves, and gloves. Recreational equipment needs specific shelving and accessories, so source out and install specialty hardware and holders for these items too.

Laundry Luxuries

Times have changed – doing laundry shouldn’t demote you to a dingy spot in the basement.

Many clients are moving the laundry to the main or second floor of their homes, for increased ease of access and functionality. The main thing every laundry space should have is counter space – stash front loading units under wall-to-wall countertops, making way for folding and sorting space, baskets and bins.

Install overhead cabinetry so soaps, cleansers, extra linens and towels, and even folded clothes waiting to be put back can remain neatly tucked away.

If square-footage allows, install lower cabinets under the laundry sink and anywhere else in the room where you may be able to fit them: this will provide extra storage and take away from the utilitarian feel most laundry rooms have by adding warmth and interest to the space.

Fold down clothing rods are great for drying items above a counter space, and installing a tall, pantry-style cabinet at one end of a wall for storing mops, brooms, and a vacuum if necessary will keep your floor space uncluttered and tidy.

Garage Goodness

Notorious for becoming dumping grounds for things people don't want to keep in their homes but are unable to throw away, the garage is an untapped area waiting to be simplified and organized.

Garage storage and specialty shelving opens up more space and makes it easier to find and use your things. Creating zones for different kinds of items — tools in one area, outdoor toys in another — help keep potentially dangerous objects and substances out of reach and at bay.

Wall organizers and slat wall panels are an amazing addition to any garage; designed for tough garage conditions, specialty wall panels can firmly support hooks, baskets and shelves for organized storage of garden tools and supplies, sports equipment and a whole lot more.

Consider installing a bank of pre-fab cabinetry in one section to help keep seasonal items or clothing tucked away neatly.

And be sure to use your vertical square footage as well.

Overhead storage bins are a necessity for homes lacking interior off-season storage while heavy duty over-head storage racks allow you to get items up off the ground and maximize your floor space.


Comments are pre-moderated to ensure they meet our guidelines. Approval times will vary. Keep it civil, and stay on topic. If you see an inappropriate comment, please use the ‘flag’ feature. Comments are the opinions of the comment writer, not of Castanet. Comments remain open for one day after a story is published and are closed on weekends. Visit Castanet’s Forums to start or join a discussion about this story.

More Design Chick articles

About the Author

Crispin Butterfield is the creative force and mastermind behind Urban Theory; a graduate of Mount Royal University in Calgary, her engaging personality and design-commerce savvy make her a valued and well-respected professional and mentor within her field.

She’s able to uniquely see the parameters and vision of each project in ways her clients often cannot, and has honed the process and proficiency required to grow incredible long-standing client relationships. 

Crispin embraces a life full of ingenuity and imagination, fueled by raw ambition and a desire to leave her mark on the world. Her impeccable design style, expertise, and a rock-solid business acumen is the foundation which allows Urban Theory Interior Design to provide full scale services with authenticity, innovation, and ample amounts of personality.

Featured in Style At Home Magazine, Covet, Canadian Retailer, and The National Post – www.urbantheoryinteriordesign.com


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

Previous Stories