If you are blessed to be able to build a new home or completely renovate an existing one, you are in a small percentage of people who are lucky enough to be able to take on this kind of project. It is a good idea to make a checklist of previous homes you have occupied to see if there are any small improvements you can make in the new space. Here are a few tips I have seen over the years that I feel are a great idea for any home.
Deeper storage – add those extra inches in depth to cabinets and storage closets where you can steal them. Even a few inches in a storage closet will give you a leg up on future storage. For example, I find if you want to buy giant sized towels most linen closets are not deep enough. Standard issue depth doesn’t give you any extra wiggle room so try to add some depth even if you only pop out the centre of your bathroom vanity to give those few extra inches.
Mitred toe kicks – think about this, if you angle the bottom of your toe kick on your cabinets you will never have to dig into a corner with a broom or vacuum again. The angled inside corner keeps dirt from hiding far out of reach and brings everything into the lights.
Double duty items – cabinet or faux fridge panels which double as a chalkboard. What about a backsplash that doubles as a cork or message board for your on the go family?
Consider plumbing a pot filler tap above your stove on the splash – this is one of my favourite features! Increase your use of magnetic rails on cabinet door backs, walls and gable ends of cabinets to allow you to clips and store items in metallic jars.
Drawers not cupboards wherever possible – this is a must have, especially in bathrooms. A deep drawer will hold as much as an under counter cabinet and it makes finding everything so much easier than bending under a 31” cabinet to try to find that extra tube of toothpaste you are positive that you bought.
Combining items is a good way to maximize your useable space. A kitchen island with a small extension/kitchen table attached gives you multiple uses underneath and an extra-large work/prep space on top. Storage under steps using slide out drawers and utilizing space under stairs for a cozy office will give you the extra mileage you may be requiring from your house.
The value of the cubby is underrated in North America. Utilized in Europe, this space saving invention is built into all manner of wall space, under beds and in kitchens and bathrooms. It is a simple, square or round recessed opening made for storing small items such as wine bottles or towels.
We fondly remember them as children at the back of our Kindergarten class as we stored our precious items and I’m sure they would be just as welcomed and loved in your home.
If you are lucky enough to build or create your own space, rejoice! There is so much you can incorporate to make your new space perfectly yours and perfectly functional.
Kim Meckler is an interior designer in Red Deer with Carpet Colour Centre.