One of the ideas you will most often hear from homeowners is their enthusiasm for well-designed spaces. This, of course, can mean many different things for different people, but more often than not it also encompasses longing for clever built-in storage areas and crafty furniture.
Built-in furniture for your home can be a very simple affair from using humble two by fours and a piece of plywood, or an elegant solution with the highest quality material – such as windowsill seating seamlessly flowing around the bay windows framing the main living space of your home. Built-in pieces no longer carry the stigma of poorly made fold-outs and cheap plastic materials. Instead, built-in furniture has become a symbol of true creativity and exceptional functionality – at least in the circle of passionate homeowners.
Whatever home decorating style may take your fancy, built-ins can provide you with extra space and dual-purpose utility you simply cannot get with traditional furniture. Imaginative hideaways, secret cabinets, and strategically placed transformers can mean the difference between crowded stuffiness and the comfortable, inviting atmosphere you aim to achieve in your home. Below are a few ideas to consider in designing your built-ins for your small home.
No matter what size your home is, you will need to have some sort of seating available for you and your guests. Built-in seating is a great option to use in otherwise overlooked spaces, as for instance oddly shaped corners. Moreover, fold-down, cabin style built-in seating can offer on-demand comfort for visitors along busy walls of high traffic areas. They are also easy to make with a few sturdy bolts, a pair of quality hinges, and a nice piece of thick cut lumber or composite material that fits your style. These seats will naturally compliment your home. Another option for built-in furniture is wide window sill seating that you will often find in older homes. You can easily carry over the timber to frame your windows and create a cozy nook for a romantic look that will accentuate the beauty of your beams.
Placing adequate amount and size of cabinetry can be a difficult task in a home. Do not be afraid to be creative when it comes to finding alternative solutions. For instance, there is no rule against building cabinets in the style of traveling chests with the lids opening upwards, or with doors that slide over the side. Placing pre-built cabinets can be especially challenging in log homes. Uneven walls and protruding logs can throw off your calculations and often you will not even know about the extent of the problem until you are in the middle of your work. A good way to circumnavigate the problem is to use the logs that extend into your home to create a wall frame that you can fill in with cabinets as needed. This wall can also serve as the semi-detached separation between different living spaces or become a multifunctional feature to block airflow in your home such as between your kitchen and your arctic entry.
Who does not want to have more storage? Even if you do not live in a small home, unique ways of creating extra room for your possessions is worth every effort. Think about spaces you normally write off because they are too high off the floor or tucked away behind a door. You can easily build drawers into the steps of your staircase to hide knickknacks or to safely store cherished photo albums and scrapbooks. The area above your door can be a safe place for bulky but light items such as extra bedding or empty suitcases. If you have a framed home in mind, use a wall between rooms to build in deep drawers from top to bottom filling up the space by dividing it in half on either side of the wall. With this technique you can create an unexpected storage area for two rooms, with the added benefit of extra sound proofing. Certain constructions naturally lend themselves to creating useful storage spaces. Timber frame homes, for instance, do not require the placement of load bearing walls inside the home, providing you with an extra space to fill in with storage as your heart desires.
Hideaway beds can be the best thing since sliced bread for the small home owner. With timber frame construction, you can easily create a casing for your folded up bed in one of your walls. For log homes, it might be slightly more difficult to come up with space saving bedding solutions, but not impossible. If you have young children, or family members young at heart, you will enjoy creating a wall of bunk beds each with its own private cubbies and curtains. You can even build a steep staircase into the wall for added security, and create access points to it through the foot of each bed. Another simple option is to use two by four lumber and a sheet of plywood to build a platform bed and use a nice quality tongue and groove to create a luxurious headboard right on the wall. If you wish, you can also easily transform it into a captain’s bed by adding drawers underneath and bookcases at the foot.
One piece of furniture we tend to give up in small homes is a solid work surface, such as a desk. Of course, we mean to add it all along, but for one reason or another, we justify its omission by thinking we can work on our laptops in an armchair or on the sofa. This does not have to be the case. Take a look at unused corners and awkward spaces, as these usually make excellent work surfaces. With a little bit of creativity, you can turn that place under your stairs into a mini office with a built in desk, bookcases, drawers and filing cabinets. How about a fold down desktop you can pull out from the side of your built in bench, or a pair of desks that are built in to a false wall from either side? There is always a way to find some extra room to accommodate your needs as long as you keep an open mind and have the willingness to experiment.