ARTICLE Penny Lewis IMAGES Blum, Scott Espie
London-based architect Anthony Hoete of WHAT-architecture says architects “are often guilty of aestheticising lifestyle” by neglecting storage. “A good house will have 30 per cent of its volume occupied as storage: where else do you put those packaging boxes necessary should you need to return or sell consumer goods? Where do you store pushchairs which are larger than bicycles? And bicycles? And old vinyl. And memories from past relationships, which were previously kept in a trunk in the attic.”
Entire rooms can be dedicated to clothes, shoes and bags, so if you have the budget to fit out a dressing room, embrace it! Both local and imported wardrobe systems are available, with both standardised components and bespoke elements.
Talk to your renovation builder about how you could install a wardrobe system like Poliform from Europe, with several designs to choose from, including island chests of drawers intended to sit in the middle of your dressing room. Such luxury.
For a high-end wardrobe, you can get options like trays and drawers built-in with timber or glass fronts, pull-out shoes racks, trouser hangers and short hangers.
Make the most of every centimetre of your new kitchen design. Rather than just having empty space behind your toe kicks, ask your renovation builder to include wide, shallow drawers between the floor and the cabinets above. While it’s not practical to be using toe kick drawers for everyday utensils, they’re an ideal spot for large platters and infrequently used items – finally, a place to store your Christmas placemats and napkins.
For a high-end kitchen storage solution, you can include drawer inserts which help to separate your draw space, cutlery drawers with multiple compartments so that even your parfait spoons will have a home, pull-down systems for wall units, pull-out and swing-out pantries and corner storage units for your hard-to-reach items.
The most efficient place to have your pantry is as close to the fridge as possible, so that all your grocery items are easy to access. The exception to this is oils and spices. Many clever kitchens include pull-out storage for oils and spices right next to the oven. This makes use of difficult space and means what you need is on hand when cooking.
So that your kitchen isn’t an overwhelming mass of cabinetry, many renovation builders will integrate appliances and cupboards behind doors designed to look like wall panels. Remember though that the simpler the finished result looks, the more complicated it was to achieve. Apparent simplicity can be costly as the design and workmanship need to be top-notch.
Laundry and bathroom
For high-end storage in your laundry think about including pull-out hampers and built-in ironing boards. Many high-end laundries can rival kitchens for their size, scale and finishes palette. If you’re talking to a renovation builder who’s also designing your bathroom, ask them about what ideas they have for your laundry. Often these wet areas will have similar tapware, tiles and benchtop surfaces.
If you’re particularly tight on space, opt for a front loading washing machine so that you don’t need to allow clearance for a top-loading lid to open. Then your dryer can stack on top of your washer. If you live in a small apartment or granny flat, then you might like to consider a combination washer and dryer to take up even less room. The most basic model starts from $1,300, but they’re mostly around $2,000-$2,500.
Make cabinetry to suit living areas, but you need to really find something to suit you. Take the bespoke route and get something custom-made.
Aren’t keen on televisions dominating your living room? No problem, get a cabinet made that hides the TV when it’s not in use. If you want to watch a programme, push a button and the TV rises up majestically from its cabinet.
Bespoke furniture means you don’t have to compromise – it will suit the room it’s in and what’s to be stored in it.
The other way to treat storage is to make it a feature – or even a work of art. It could be something like stacking drawer units built up to different heights like the Stack 13, by Established & Sons available at Simon James Design.
Depending on your budget, make sure you check out basic storage solutions or mid-range storage solutions.
If you would like to discuss options and ideas for your next renovation project, please use the enquiry form alongside to provide us with your contact details. We will get in touch with you at a time that suits you to discuss your project. If you would like to provide us with more information about your project, we have a more comprehensive enquiry form on our "Get in touch" page too.
*Costs are rough estimates and are subject to change. For a fixed-quote accurate to your specific project, please consult your local Refresh Renovations specialist. All Refresh Renovations franchises are independently owned and operated.