Property - Do-it-yourself

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If you’re anything like me, you can never have too much storage at home, but it’s something that a lot of houses and flats lack and unless you like cluttered living, it’s not something you can do without.

One room where storage is essential is the bedroom and while a walk-in wardrobe is the stuff of dreams, it’s not something most of us have room for. The next best thing is fitted wardrobes, as they provide acres of storage space and can be built in to alcoves to make the most of what could be dead space.

Fitted wardrobes are usually made to measure, so every inch of space is used, much of which is wasted with freestanding wardrobes. The interiors can be customised with drawers, shelves and hanging space, etc, depending on your needs, so they’re a very bespoke storage solution.

The main downside of these wardrobes is the price – they typically cost thousands of pounds from a specialist company, although a local carpenter will often make them for a lot less.

Fitted storage is particularly useful in awkwardly-shaped rooms. In a loft-conversion bedroom, for example, a freestanding wardrobe may not fit, but creating built-in storage under the eaves maximises the limited space.

If your bedroom already has fitted wardrobes but the doors belong to another decade, simply replace them with more up-to-date ones (as long as the wardrobes are fine internally). Lots of companies offer standard-sized and made-to-measure replacement wardrobe (and kitchen) doors, so it’s easy to get a new look for a fraction of the price of new wardrobes.

In the kitchen, lack of storage will drive you to distraction. A larder or larder unit is ideal, but in small kitchens, a larder is a luxury too far. That’s why it’s important to have a really well-designed kitchen.

Kitchen showrooms and DIY stores have all sorts of clever ways of making more of the space, including pull-out worktops and shelves/racks, carousels in corner units, drawers within in drawers, and pop-up knife blocks.

Away from the kitchen, there’s potential to build in storage all over the home. Ideas include an under-stairs cupboard (if there’s just an under-stairs space, a carpenter can create a cupboard), window seats that double as storage, stairs that contain drawers, vanity and wall units in bathrooms, and bookshelves and cupboards in alcoves, even a desk – with a bespoke home office, the space can be tailor-made for your particular needs.