If you’re struggling to find space in your home for all of your belongings, it might be time to declutter! But what happens when you’ve whittled everything down to what you need and you still can’t find enough space? Professional Organiser Krista Thompson (Zen Den Oxford) is here with her top tips on buying functional furniture, to help your space work best for you.
Whether you’re on the market to replace an old piece of furniture or looking to add to your current collection, furniture shopping can be really exciting. Colours, trends and size are all really popular criteria when it comes to getting that perfect piece, but one thing that often gets overlooked is storage. With stores like IKEA at the forefront of practical design, other companies are beginning to see the importance of multi-functional furniture and we are a bit spoiled for choice. So whether you’re struggling for shoe storage or can’t find anywhere to put the spare linens, check out the list below to see my recommendations.
Bed Storage: This probably seems like the most obvious one, but a bed that has drawers in it or lifts up to reveal storage space is key for things like spare bedding and seasonal clothes. Since this extra storage tends to be relatively small, it can be useful to use vacuum bags to make big piles of clothes a fraction of their size to fit better.
Loft/bunk Beds: These are usually more useful for children as you can have a whole desk and wardrobe area under the bed while still having enough space above to function, but if you have high ceilings and limited square footage this is a great solution. They are a huge space saver, especially in single box rooms and studio apartments where having a bed, wardrobe and desk would be too cramped.
Coffee Table: A coffee table doesn’t have to be just four legs and a flat surface. In fact, a coffee table doesn’t have to be a coffee table at all. We bought a large wooden chest that we up-cycled which looks great in the space and holds all of our guest linens. If you have collections that you want to put on display, you can get a display table where your valuables can be seen under the glass, keeping your other surfaces clear.
Ottoman/Footstool: There are so many options for ottomans and foot stools that have storage under the top. We store our table clothes, napkins and place-mats in ours, as we have a living-dining room combination without any built in storage. Other ideas might include seasonal decorations, spare candles or even kids toys.
TV Unit: This one may also seem a little obvious, but it’s very handy to have a TV unit that has a few drawers and cupboards. DVDs are on the decline and we’re starting to move towards streaming everything, but it’s still quite convenient to have a place where you can store your movies, video games and other electronics. We use ours for spare candles, board games and puzzles, which is perfect because we use them in the same room that we watch TV.
Fold Up Desk: Whether or not you work from home, it is very handy to have a space in your home where you can accomplish your “life admin”. If you don’t have a space where you can pop a full sized desk, there are desks that drill into the wall and fold down into a small desk that can hold a laptop. When you’re finished, you can pop it back up and out of the way again. Just search “floating desk” or “foldaway desk” in your search engine to find the best one for you.
Shoe Storage: Shoes seem to be one of the biggest struggles that we all have, and the tiny little wooden slatted shoe racks are not doing it for anyone who doesn’t live alone. One way to store your shoes while also hiding them in a classy way is using shoe cabinets. This conceals them, while also using very little space horizontally, allowing for more room to move around in a small entryway. The other useful thing about these is that you can pop a small tray on the top for keys and post. Another great piece of furniture for this purpose is a good sitting bench that has shoe storage under the cushion.
If you’re thinking about getting some new functional furniture, have a think about what it actually is that you need storing. Once you know how much storage you need, you’ll have a better idea of what functional piece works in your home. If you need help with this research, feel free to reach out to a Professional Organiser near you by using APDO’s Find an Organiser Page. If you’re looking for tips on how to organise the storage properly, check out our recent blog post on 5 top tips on making the most of your storage.