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A while ago we were asked for help to solve a storage problem in an apartment with limited space.  Over the past few months we have received several suggestions which may be of interest to others:-

"I need help with a spare bedroom (in an apartment).  I am an artist and would like help in decor.  The room has a daybed, bureau (small), 2 small end tables and an easel.  I work in different medias and am at a loss as to where to put things.  Closet space is maxed out. The room is approximately 10 x 10 with one window and a double closet. Help!"

Pleased to say, we have come up trumps again (hope you have heard of this expression!).  A new visitor  (C. Ambrose) suggests the following:-

"Every wall has studs and between the studs there is space that would be sufficient for some storage for different types of supplies - you could transform a whole wall for storage and never use an inch of floor space.   Just remove the wall board (or whatever your walls are made of) from the side of the studs in the room requiring storage.  Place "shelf" boards cut to the appropriate length between the studs and "toe-nail" the boards to the studs.   Place nails at an angle and drive them through a portion of the shelf and into the stud for the easiest installation.  Using an inside wall will be better because outside walls may have insulation in the wall space.  The depth of the space you create should be ideal for storing a number of paint supplied."

I am not sure this applies to all houses in the U.K. as a lot of our buildings have plasterboard interior walls which are not very thick and I believe the plasterboard sheets are fitted to narrow batons which are fairly widely spaced.  I am sure, however, this will give many people "food for thought" when next decorating their houses.

Please be aware that if you remove the plasterboard from one side of an internal partition, some sound deadening will be lost as there will be only one thickness of plasterboard between rooms. There may also be sound insulating material in the cavity.

As an artist myself, I constructed a cabinet with large, shallow drawers for full-size sheets of watercolour paper above vertical compartments for canvases and frames. However, this is of necessity rather massive. Paints, brushes etc are much smaller and not quite such a problem

Stan D. Firth

A site visitor from Finland has sent the following ideas:-

Carpenters specialising in boat interiors can create astonishing amounts of space in places you never imagined. We used one for our own kitchen when we moved house some years ago.

If our artist friend is more of a DIY person and working on a shoestring budget, here's another approach: get rid of everything you don't absolutely need in the room.

If you focus on the main function of the room, that is, a workspace, the daybed would be the first item to go. If this still doesn't create enough space, it might be an idea to construct low cabinets that circle round the room at ceiling level (height: the distance between door top and ceiling). Sliding doors are the easiest to make and use and will not hit the lamp, either. Not very elegant, but will house an amazing amount of seldom needed stuff.

Additional storage space can be made out of a flat piece of canvas sheet by reinforcing its opposing edges with a strip of wood, attaching one end to one side of the ceiling and putting a latch on the other side of the ceiling to lock the other edge into place. Great for holding soft or light-weight items. Of course, if there is a lamp in the middle of the room, this will create a small problem, but a nice workaround, the budget allowing, might be installing halogen or spotlights along the perimeter of the room.

If the room is sufficiently high, it might be possible to build a raised platform at its one end. Under the platform there is space for a mega-sized "drawer" on small rollers. Again, not something where you would keep items needed many times a day, but gets a lot of things out of the way.

Thanks to Kimmo Linkama for this very comprehensive answer.

More imaginative ways to solve storage problems.





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