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Make A Hutch A Home

crack

If you’re starting to feel that a pet rabbit has more room in a hutch than you do in your ‘des res’, then you’re probably right.

It’s not that your home is shrinking but that - if you’re living in a new home - it was probably pretty small to start with. A new report says that new build properties in Britain have the smallest rooms in Europe, and are often so cramped they don’t provide enough space to cook, have guests round, or simply relax.

Simon Glanville, managing director of Store, a company specialising in storage solutions says:
“We have more and more customers coming in telling us they wish they had a little more space. “They’re desperately looking for ways to
make the space they do have work harder so that their rooms have ‘double lives’ or are multi-functional.”
Find out whether you’re showing the symptoms of living in a ‘hutch’ not a home, and check out our room-by-room remedies.

Childrens’ rooms

Your kids don’t bring friends home because there’s no space in their rooms for them to play, and your favourite movie is ‘Honey, I Shrunk The Kids’. Simon says: “Kids rooms need
adequate storage that’s easy to use, which
will encourage them to be tidy. Make it fun, colourful, and simple from boxes on wheels to under-bed drawers.”
What can I do?
Look for beds and storage systems which adapt to a child’s growing needs. For instance, cots that turn into first beds, nursery cabinets that convert into ‘mini’ wardrobes.

Space saver buys:
Wall Mounted seaside-style Buckets £10 each, could be fun to ‘fill’ with toys.
Northcote Interlocking Shelves, from £80.00 for a shelf unit, can be used
separately or next to each other to form a larger unit. Both from from The Great Little Trading Company.

Kitchen

You’d love a toaster or microwave, but
in common with a third of people in the research, there’s no counter space for even those time-saver
gadgets, and the majority can’t find a corner for three recycling bins. Simon Glanville says:
“We have more queries about this area than any other. The kitchen is the trickiest room in the house because there’s so much to accommodate, and just to add to the pressure these days it’s often the heart of the home where the family wants to gather. “Galley kitchens may be an
efficient use of space, but with limited floor space can rarely accommodate tables.”

What can I do?
Fit a folding wall table in an unused corner, and opt for bench seating with concealed
storage. Built in microwaves, or under cabinet microwaves free up precious counter space,
and a built-in rubbish bin can save floor space. Simon says: “Look for ways to maximise drawer space or cupboards with extra insert folding shelves, stacking shelves within shelves, or hooks. “Wall mounted or magnetic racks work well for spices, and you could consider a rack suspended from the ceiling for pans.”

Space saver buys:
Lakeland bursts with inspired ideas, such as an Overdoor storage rack, £21.59, and a Willow Stair basket, £19.57 in the hall, which could
encourage kids not to leave toys scattered on the kitchen floor.
Tidy ‘green’ rubbish into three compact
recycling bags, £50 for a set from The Holding Company.

Living room

Furniture we might have had for years may,
in reality, be impractical for the space we’re
currently living in. If they’re blocking the view into a room or obscuring a window the room will feel cramped.

What can I do?
If you can’t substitute a large,
dominating sofa for a smaller one, Simon advises, ensure furniture isn’t pushed up against walls. This makes it easier to move around it and instantly gives an illusion of more space, if you can see the floor, a room will look larger. Fold up tables, a ‘nest’ of tables, or storage boxes can double as side tables.

Space saver buys:
If having a coffee table’s non-negotiable,
a Capella, £95 from Littlewoods.com,
incorporating a fold-out table and storage, could be a wise buy. Laura Ashley and The White Company have an excellent selection of boxes and baskets.

Bedroom

Instead of a peaceful night-time sanctuary, the space is claustrophobic and so cluttered, that it’s almost impossible to burrow your way out in the morning. Storage possiblities in the bedroom are most commonly under-exploited. For instance,
a bed harbours the most overlooked source of hidden storage - the space underneath it.

What can I do?
Boost storage in wardrobes with specialised organisers Hanging fabric shelves for jumpers, shirts and bags could make a bulky chest or
cupboard redundant.

Space saver buys:
Bring order out of chaos with the Open Cubby
storage system of see-through units, for everything from shoes to shirts, from The Holding Company.