Creating Functional Storage

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A home with lots of cabinets, doesn’t necessarily translate to a home with plenty of functional or useful storage space. There are five key points for good storage design: efficiency (minimal effort and maximum comfort in using the space), flexibility (suits the abilities of everyone using the space and is totally accessible), equitability (the design works safely and equally well for everyone using the space), simplicity (how the storage system works is easily understood) and balance. Here are a few solutions to some common cabinet storage problems (and one nonstorage problem):

Problem: Items are difficult to find/see/reach in dark, cavernous, corner cabinets.
Solutions: One solution is the lazy Susan. An excellent alternative is the fitted-wire shelf system that attaches to the door. The shelving begins to emerge when the door is opened, and the recessed corner shelving emerges when the door is fully opened. This system provides full visibility and is adaptable to both left- and right-hand cabinets.

Problem: Cabinets are installed too high for some users to reach.
Solutions: Motorized cabinets lower the cabinet to counter height with the press of a button. These are usually fiberglass and are available in various sizes with adjustable shelves. They can be custom finished to match existing cabinets. An alternative and less-expensive option is to insert pivoting upper shelves inside existing cabinets.  

Problem: Cabinet is too deep, making it difficult to access items in the back.
Solution: Rollout shelves are handy in kitchens, bathrooms and wet bars. Ensure that these are fitted with full-extension brackets.  

Problem: Lugging items from one floor to another is cumbersome. 
Solution: A dumb valet is a great addition. These are especially handy to transport laundry, trash, groceries, breakables and heavy items from one level of the home to another. They are available in different sizes, with or without shelves, and can be designed to coordinate with existing cabinetry.


Beppie Mostert | LEED AP, CAPS
Living Design Interiors, LLC


Be sure to attend the second Designed for Life educational event on lighting from 4 to 6 p.m., Aug. 6, at Illuminating Interiors, 7816 Miramar Road. For more information, visit.

Categories: Home Design