Regardless of how you feel about storage, it’s something every home needs, and you face the decision of whether you want your storage to be visible, and part of your interior design scheme, or hidden away in ingenious places around your home.
Here are five of our favourite storage ideas, which together offer a selection of hidden and on-show space to make the most of the room you have in your household.
1. Storage chic
In general terms, don’t be afraid to make a visual statement with your storage; antique (or modern reproduction) jars, boxes and caddies can all give a room character, while holding a multitude of items within.
This is just a general suggestion, but it’s an important one, as all too often we think of ‘brilliant’ storage as being hidden away in otherwise unused nooks and crannies, when in fact the opposite can often bring new life to your interiors.
2. Staircase drawers
One of the most innovative and ingenious storage ideas are staircase drawers – literally drawers hidden inside each step of your staircase.
When you see this in action, it’s easy to wonder why it is not standard practice in every home, bringing about a dozen extra drawers to each property in what is otherwise wasted space.
Just remember to close the drawers fully each time – you don’t want to come across a missing step when you’re in a hurry to get downstairs.
3. Small but tall
If staircase drawers sound a little too quirky for your home, it’s still worth recognising one thing they do well, which is to make use of vertical space that might otherwise be lost.
Tall storage with a small floor ‘footprint’ is ideal if your total floor space is at a premium, and a tall dresser or chest of drawers can achieve the same best use of height in an elegant, statement piece of standalone storage.
4. Shelve it
When you don’t want a piece of furniture taking up floor space, shelves can add storage directly to the walls of a room – and there are plenty of options.
Cube ‘shelves’ that look like boxes placed on to the wall, or floating shelves with hidden brackets, both bring visual appeal to the room, while shelves built into an alcove can again bring function to what might otherwise be lost space.
This article wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the Ottoman, a classic footstool-like piece of furniture that allows substantial amounts to be stored inside it.
For people of a certain age, their first encounter with an Ottoman may have been in the first series of the US sit-com Friends, when Rachel moved the girls’ green Ottoman while cleaning, and obsessively tidy Monica was desperate to move it back.
From stylish interiors to popular culture, this piece of furniture has iconic status across the board – and is both practical and visually appealing when used in the home.