Let it all hang out
Store more and stress less by putting everything you own out on display, says Jane Drew
1. Hot trend
There’s a new look for storage, and that’s open. Maybe it’s because of our growing confidence as (lay) interior decorators or because everything we own suddenly seems worthy of being put on display; the bravest of us are closing the door on closed storage.
2. Shop talk
Even unlikely objects can look great on display, if they are stylishly arranged and given a proper place. Consider hanging your clothes on boutique-style racks and maybe even purchasing a mannequin or two. This way you get to make the most of your favourite frocks every day of the year.
3. Space race
The idea is to live with what you love, and at the same time free up space. Particularly in a tiny Hong Kong apartment, make sure that open storage facilities integrate seamlessly into the design scheme. Have open cabinetry built directly into the wall and always beware of blocking thoroughfares.
4. Points of focus
If properly planned, open storage facilities can actually make a room seem bigger, not least because closed cabinets foreshorten a room. Create focal points with a couple of well-placed shelves, hooks or task-specific racks and never shelve a whole wall (let alone a whole room).
5. Kitchen smarts
Open kitchen shelving enables you to see (and grab) what you need in double time. Not only does it make kitchenware easily accessible, it also allows you to admire it daily. In addition to open cabinetry, you can follow celebrity chef Nigella Lawson’s lead and install classic pot racks above the workspace.
6. Practical magic
Of course once cupboard doors are closed you don’t have to worry about what’s stored inside – if you decide to open things up make sure what you store is neatly arranged. In the kitchen, for instance, you can group crockery and glassware according to shape, as well as colour to create a neat and attractive display.
7. Tall order
In the bathroom, tall open units are ideal for storing neatly rolled towels and carefully boxed (but seldom used) toiletries. Install a librarystyle ladder if you can’t quite reach the top shelf. It’s also a good idea to add individual pull-out racks; this way you can be sure to find what you need, as nothing will get pushed to the back.
8. In the closet
A closet you can actually walk into is the ultimate in functional, easily accessible open storage. Have shelves customised to accommodate specific items, like shoes and bags, so you can really organise the space to the max. And remember a walk-in wardrobe doesn’t have to be huge as you can shelve it on three (if not four) sides.
9. Talking point
Not only are wall-hung items easy to access, they can also make a stylish and unconventional design statement. Consider hanging your bicycle up in the hallway or investing in a quirky but practical wall-hung wine cabinet to keep the Burgundy close at hand. When hanging heavy objects, attach them to a solid wood dado rail, as this will protect your walls and provide plenty of support.
10. Halfway measures
If you don’t want to go the whole way with open storage, or worry about your ability to keep stored items tidy, invest in a glass panelled unit, which hides some, if not a multitude of sins. The idea here is that the glass fronts contain, without quite concealing what’s being stored.
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