Storage: Unlikely Spaces in Your Home

All around the house, possible storage spots go empty. Here are ten places to look.

All about eaves. Don't let the spaces under the eaves go to waste. Maybe you can't stand under that sloping ceiling, but you can sit. So pull up a chair. Then add a desk, file cabinet, and bookcase for a cozy home office.

Space bar. Homeowners love the idea of having barstools at a kitchen island. But many discover that few people actually sit to chat during food prep. If your stools have stood empty of late, think about installing extra shelves or cabinets on that island instead.

Every inch counts. Why not make good use of space under the stairs? Westside WineCellars–or any custom cabinetmaker–can design a triangular built-in wine cabinet. Or use the space for built-in bookcases, an electronics center, even a powder room. For wine cellar ideas, see westside-group.com/other-wine-cellar-cabinets.html.

Spare the rod? Don't give up on narrow closets with a single rod up front and wasted space behind. Install an inner rod or two for out-of-season clothes and coats or for formal attire you won't wear until the next black-tie affair. Even better, steal that space for a closet in an adjacent room.

Stud space. In between wall studs are empty spaces that could be filled with a recessed cabinet–and there are many to choose from. NuTone's PressRite Ironing Centers hide a flip-down ironing board–along with an electrical outlet and safety switch. See nutone.com. Other recessed cabinets include broom closets, pantries, and medicine cabinets.

Storage stand-ins. Why not make creative use of furniture you already have? Give a retired dresser a second chance as a kitchen island with a butcher-block top. Pull down picnic baskets, old suitcases, and hat boxes from the attic for attractive storage.

Toe to toe. SieMatic's toe-kick kitchen drawers offer a clever place for newspapers, step stools, or pet bowls. See siematic.com.

Once more with ceiling. Think about installing cabinets in a kitchen or bathroom up to the ceiling to store items you don't use often. When you need access, just pull out a step stool.

Tall order. The Putnam rolling ladder turns out-of-reach shelves in a den into convenient storage. Made-to-order in ten hardwoods and at least 20 stains, the sturdy rungs range from $1,000 to $2,000 uninstalled. See putnamrollingladder.com.

Door number one. The Container Store's new door-and-wall rack system from Elfa will have you looking behind doors in your house for unused space. The units, made from epoxy-coated steel, consist of a frame that mounts in minutes. Add on baskets and racks and load them up with everything from canned goods to videos. Available in white or platinum at area Container Stores; containerstore.com.

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