September and back to school is the perfect time for reassessing all parts of your life…It’s also a great time to assess your home and think about some little ways you could put under-loved areas to better use and breathe new life into unused spaces.
There are so many little areas of our homes that end up underutilised. These dead spaces might just be a little corner, but they could be a whole room and could actually be made into extra storage areas, study areas or useful spaces, or they could just be a small area of dead space that could look much more appealing with a little something added.
The area under the stairs is a typically underused and left as a rather boring dumping ground or filled in with a utility cupboard or small loo. However, these are great spaces for storage, study nooks, library, TV or reading space. Ideally under stairs furniture is built in to perfectly fit the space, but you can easily use specifically designed free-standing understairs shelves, stacked storage boxes or low media units so your TV, DVD, gaming equipment and wiring is all nicely away in its own space.
Room to spare
How many of our houses have a spare room that actually doesn’t see anyone staying in it more than a few nights a year?! What a waste. While it’s great to have a guest room, the rest of the time it can easily double up as an office, sewing room or studio. Swap that boring over-sized bed for a cool sofa bed and dedicate one wall purely to desk and shelving, and you have the perfect study-cum-guest room. Best furniture: sofa beds/chair beds, integrated desks/shelves to maximize use and storage.
Small wall areas in narrow spaces may not have enough room to put a piece of furniture, but they can still be used to breathe life into an area with greenery – real, fake or even painted. Try using printed wallpaper to give the appearance of foliage and flowers or simple planters, stands or ladder shelving to bring greenery into a lifeless room.
Corners and dead spaces like landings, alcoves and eaves are frequently left empty, but they can provide the perfect, quiet spot for reading, watching films on your ipad or catching up with social media; for a mini library or as a spot for old school board games! Perfect furniture: chaise longues, corner chairs, comfy armchairs, lamps and lamp tables.
Windows are amazing spaces that provide light, atmosphere and interest with an ever-changing motion picture. However, the space around and below them is often wasted. You don’t have to have casement window to have a window seat. Simply choose an upholstered or padded storage bench or sturdy wooden storage or day bed to provide an instant window seat for reading or watching the world go by.
Tip: make a window look like a casement by installing high shelving on either side and low bench in the middle under the window. Paint the shelves the same colour as your wall.