Architects’ Tips to Help You Plan Perfect Storage

When you’re planning a project for your home, it’s a good idea to think about storage right from the start. We asked three architects to give us their top tips for ensuring that a redesign includes plenty of places to store your belongings.

Think Ahead

Tailor It to Fit

Remember the Details

Adapt for an Open-Plan Room
Many people want a home with an open-plan layout, which provides a lovely feeling of space and connection. However, such a design does present some issues. “The loss of wall space results in a loss of storage space,” Angus Eitel says.

His solution is to merge storage in the different zones to create a harmonious look. “Using kitchen cabinets in the adjacent living space makes perfect sense,” he says.

Get Creative
“Consider the house as a volume, not just a floor plan,” Eitel says. “Use every bit of space you can, including those hard-to-reach spots, such as under the stairs. It may be that some clever tricks can be employed by a designer to provide easy access.

“The bathroom, for example, is an area where some simple advance planning can make all the difference,” Eitel says. “Incorporate storage in false walls that conceal pipework and the toilet tank.”

Go to New Levels

Exploit the Eaves
An attic conversion provides a good opportunity to edit your possessions. These projects “result in the loss of a significant amount of storage, which offers the opportunity to undertake some serious decluttering,” Eitel says.

“However, there are certain items that can’t be sent to recycling, such as suitcases and Christmas decorations, so it’s important to ensure that any [attic] conversion makes good use of the total volume,” he says.

Squeeze In a Utility Area
It’s worth asking an architect to try to incorporate a separate storage zone away from the kitchen, our experts say.

“We often recommend a small utility-type space adjacent to a kitchen, which can double as a mudroom or yard access,” Eitel says. “With efficient space planning, you can house a significant amount of stuff in a tight spot.”

Make Designs Dual-Purpose

Work In Display Space
Our experts recommend having both concealed and open storage in your home. “When briefing a designer, make sure you mention any objects or collections you’d like to display from the outset,” Eitel says. “A full-height bookshelf can be incorporated into a design very easily and can house a significant number of books or collectibles.”