Having enough room while living in DC sometimes feels like an oxymoron. But you’d be surprised by how much space you can free up with creative custom storage solutions.
Homeowners are always searching for ways to create more space, but I think this is especially true in the DC metro area. Square footage in major cities is a luxury—and DC has one of the ten most expensive zip codes in the US (20004 residents represent!).
Space still can’t be created out of thin air, unfortunately, but it is possible to open up extra room with the help of custom cabinetry and pull-out accessories. And while your closet might be the most obvious starting place, there are lots of other spots in your home that can benefit from a custom makeover. Here are a few of my favorite ideas:
In Your Closet…
Belt and Tie Racks: Many stores sell aftermarket belt and tie hangers, but these aren’t always efficient—especially if they take up valuable space on your hanging rods. A pull-out rack can be installed in a less-trafficked corner of your cabinetry, letting you store your collection without losing space for other items.
A Valet Rod: This is just a single rod that can be pulled out when needed and pushed back when not in use. It might not sound exciting, but it’s one of my favorite closet features. Tasks like putting away dry cleaning or planning outfits usually require a staging area, and it can be next to impossible to find space for this in a small closet. Valet rods fulfill that need. A cramped walk-in will suddenly feel a lot more manageable.
Laundry Hamper: Hampers are one of those things you can’t really do without, but they take up an awful lot of floor space. A pull-out hamper solves this problem—it can be hidden within the rest of your closet cabinetry, and there will be no more tripping over it as you get dressed.
In the Laundry Room…
A Fold-out Ironing Board: When vertically stored, ironing boards don’t take up a ton of space. But when you factor in the room you need to pull out and set up the board, it’s a different story. Pull-out ironing boards make the entire process easier—you don’t need as much room to get set up, and the board folds compactly down when you’re done.
In the Mudroom…
Chrome Baskets: Mudrooms tend to become a holding area for items you collect as you go in and out the door—and the clutter can become unmanageable in a small space. That’s why I often tell my clients that no mudroom is complete without pull-out baskets. These give you a quick spot to stash everything from sports equipment to winter accessories or library books.
In the Kitchen or Pantry…
A Slide-out Wine Rack: The DC area is a great location for those of us who love entertaining—and wine often plays a key role. Countertop wine racks seem like a good idea to many hosts, but they often take up space you often need for meal prep. A slide-out wine rack in your reach-in pantry is a good workaround (and makes a great spot for San Pellegrino, too).
A Spice Rack: Spices can be challenging. Put them in a cabinet, and it’s hard to see exactly what you’ve got (and, if you’re like me, you’ll wind up with three separate bottles of cinnamon and more varieties of paprika than you’ll ever use). A pull-out rack gives each jar its own easily visible spot.
In the Office…
A Murphy Bed: When you think about space-saving pull-out features, you might not immediately think “Murphy bed,” but that is literally the reason these beds exist. For those of you who want to use a spare bedroom as an office but also need a spot for guests, a Murphy bed is the answer. These beds are quite comfortable and disappear into your wall cabinetry when not in use.
While there are plenty of other space-saving options, these are a few of my favorite because they tend to have such a big impact on the rest of your home. As you look for ways to create more room, don’t overlook the effect of a few small changes. You can also get in touch with us for a free design consultation—as a local company, we’ve got lots of experience with the challenges of life in the greater DC area.