Consumerism has put a great need in our lives to accumulate things (useful or not).
We are seeing more boxy container furniture with dual functionality to make up for the lack of space, providing additional storage and serving other functions as well, such as seating arrangements. Many corners in the house are now utilized to the fullest of their potential with various creative solutions. Lot of them are showing up in up on my Pinterest board.
This means that many people are thinking about this problem and finding solutions anywhere they can. I will point out some good solutions to emulate and others not as good to copy.
Wet Bar – It is a perfect idea to utilize a dead space under the stairs for a wet bar in an informal basement or family room. However, I would not like to see kitchen cabinets style, appliances and plumbing fixtures in an elegant space such as living room. With state of the art Italian technology, a faucet can be hidden behind moveable walls and doors. Take a look at this video, you will be surprised to see how beautiful technology can be.
I would disguise cabinets and appliances with panels made of the same wood style and colors of furniture present in the room. The wet bar will not look like a small kitchen cramped under the stairs.
Library on Landing – Great use of both spaces. Stair landing are usually treated as transition areas with little importance and often left undecorated. At times even lighting is not adequate to travel that route. In this digital era, it is sad to see the lack of books in homes. For me, adding books around windows, doorways and landing together with a comfortable seating area, show that anytime is a good time to stop and read, even when doing the laundry upstairs.
Craft and Hobby Room – Nice solution if everything needs to be in open view. A standard base cabinet is 24” deep, there is enough space to make a slide-out cabinet from the back. After accounting for backings and sliding mechanisms, the two base cabinets might be reduced to 8-10” each. Furthermore, keep in mind that a little bending down might be necessary to reach that back slide-out cabinet.
First Step – That first step must hold the full weight of a person. To make parts moveable and operable for storage it is necessary to reinforce the tread (where foot rest) of the first step, otherwise it could cave in.
Banquette – Filling a window area with something useful such as a banquette and storage underneath is always a good idea to use as seating and storage for extra china or linens.
Stairs Drawers – Of the two examples, I prefer the drawers, but both are good use of the under stairs space.
Kitchen Cellar Stairs – I would have to say a big wow to this idea. Sure it is nice to go down below to get a bottle of wine while cooking, for me at least, but the building code requires the stairs tread (horizontal part) to be at a min. of 11” wide and at least 7” high for the riser (vertical part). Big pain! The idea is nice, but the stairs as they are built appear to be dangerous.
Implementing these small solutions can only improve the life of the people living in the house. The expense is only paid once, but the reward is immense, you get more space, a better-organized life and value added to the house.
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Copyright © 2012 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved
Valentina Cirasola, is the principal designer and owner of Valentina Interiors & Designs. She is a trained designer and has been in business since 1990. She works on consultation and produces drawings for remodeling, upgrading, new home construction, décor restyling and home fashion. Valentina was featured in Italy on: “Vogue” magazine and many prominent publications in California. She also has made four appearances on T.V. Comcast Channel 15.
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