If you own an older home, chances are good that inefficient or inadequate storage is high on your list of grievances. We have more – and different – possessions than previous generations. The storage provided in a home built 25, 50 or 100 years ago simply doesn’t work for today’s homeowners.
Most old houses have small (or non-existent) closets and garages. Homes from the 18th and early 19th centuries may have fieldstone foundations and dirt cellars, which limit the storage value of a basement.
The solution is to find extra storage space in the nooks and crannies of your home. With careful planning, it is possible to discover all kinds of untapped storage spaces without expanding a home's footprint. Storage can be tucked into niches or unused corners, around doors, under stairs and eaves, and even hidden beneath stair treads. Basements can be dried out and finished to create functional space.
Have an unused chimney? Take it out and use the space for closets. If you have air ducts left from an abandoned heating system, put that wasted space to work for small shelves or cupboards. If your closets are too narrow, considering enlarging them to get the space you need.
The key is to look at space creatively to make every inch count, as we did for these two Boston-area clients:
A couple in Cambridge added a tremendous amount of storage in the master bedroom by lining the walls with built-in cabinetry.
These built-in bookshelves provided additional storage in a previously unused corner, while adding architectural interest to the hallway.