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renovation station

Space saver: How to make fitted storage work for your home

This compact cottage manages to be functional and beautiful all at once.

IF ONLY YOU had a bigger home, you would have more space to store all your things, right?

Perhaps it’s not a house swap you need but a bit of reorganisation (and perhaps a clearout, but that’s for another day).

Take a bit of inspiration from this compact, but somehow airy and open townhouse in Dublin’s Ballsbridge. spoke to Ruth Kennelly of RK Designs who fitted out the home with a brief from the clients that included a need to find storage solutions.

“Storage is a huge issue for people – the most important thing is that it is designed for the client’s actual needs,” says Ruth.

“For example, some clients have books or other items that they love and want to display while others have things that they want to conceal until they need them”.

In this home, Ruth had custom-designed shelving inserted to house the client’s CD and DVD collection for easy access in the living and entertaining area:

RK Designs RK Designs

Don’t make the shelving too deep though, she recommends, as you never get to see what is at the back and it becomes a wasted space.

RK Designs RK Designs

Meanwhile, on the other side of the room, you can see a cupboard has been built into an awkward nook under the stairwell to create space for those things that you need close to hand but don’t necessarily want on display all the time:

RK Designs RK Designs

“If you live in a fairly compact space, where do you put your suitcases?” says Ruth. “The thing I would say to people if they are getting storage done is to remember the things like shoes, hats, gloves, coats that need to be in a convenient and specific place. In hallways, we tend not to put in enough storage for these things and then you end up with shoes and coats in a pile, on the banisters.”

The kitchen in the Ballsbridge property is also bespoke, and Ruth points out that different storage and shelving work for different purposes and room types. So in kitchens, she would recommend pull-out baskets and racks to fit in more items and yet keep them all accessible.

RK Designs RK Designs

These all look lovely and practical, but isn’t bespoke or fitted furniture more expensive than buying off the peg? Ruth notes that there are good pieces out there – she isn’t one to deny the value of a Billy bookcase or two – but says that getting a joiner in does not have to cost the earth.

“If you have a number of areas you need work on, you should choose to have the shelving or units all in the same colour as that helps in the cost. Also they are not very expensive if you go for something simple – much of it is spray-painted MDF. If you go for detailing or solid wood, that will be more expensive.”

See more of RK Designs projects here>

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