The most common complaint on modern housing is the lack of long term storage space ( Institute of British Architects (2020)).
New build houses in Britain have consistently got smaller. On average there has been a 1.64m2 drop in living area every decade. Bedroom size and the number of bedrooms on offer has also decreased similarly. Overall from 2019 onwards houses are built over 4m2 smaller than houses build 70 years ago.
People are being inconvenienced by storage limitations in their homes and having to adopt practices such as keeping a vacuum cleaner at their parent’s house or ‘buy one – get one free’ supermarket goods being kept in the boot of a car.
These are not seasonal items like the Christmas Tree or nice to have items. They are ‘day to day’, essential equipment. Modern houses are not necessarily equipped to store basics, like the ironing board, linen baskets, the kitchen bin and even in some cases, food.
For those lucky to have older housing with spaces, the space itself may not be an issue but creating tidy storage areas may be. People collect possessions as they go through life and showcasing them or storing them is an important part of creating a home.
I like to be creative with the space that my clients have. I try to maximise the usage of space as much as possible and have made the following solutions for clients:
- Bespoke storage cupboards, made to measure to fully utilise the space that you do have.
- Constructing solid outbuildings in any outside areas to provide extra room or storage space.
To give an example of where space has been utilised innovatively, I recently created a shoe rack for a client underneath their stairs. The space was right next to the front door and was not large enough to naturally hold very much. I made shelves in the area and lined them and the space became both attractive and extremely useful.
Another request from the same customer was to design a corner shelf to put her television on. I created this shelf, strong enough to take a large screen and with shelves underneath to hold DVD players or any other equipment. This then meant that she could use the space beneath the television for other items, such as a decorative plant.