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Utilize Open Storage for Things You Use and Want to Look at Most
A family of four in a small 1970s bungalow is just the kind of challenge that Julie Carlson -- founder of the influential design and lifestyle blog Remodelista -- lives for. “We really need every space to be useful in some way,” says Carlson, whose content addresses real-life decorating and organizing concerns. In her own small (but high-ceilinged) home, open shelves in the kitchen provide easy access to the most frequently used serving bowls and pots and keep countertops clear. To contain the potential sprawl of family photos in a home that’s short on wall space, she created a gallery on open shelving under the staircase to hold framed pictures, as well as her favorite pitchers and vases.
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Invest in Craftsmanship
Especially in a small house where storage is at a premium, custom cabinetry becomes both an architectural element and beautiful furniture. “When you’re renovating, built-ins can be so painful to spend your money on,” says Carlson. “But over the long term, they pay you back and make your space the most livable.” A clean yet warm birch-plywood wall unit in the living room showcases mini vignettes of her favorite things, while allowing space for a basket of firewood and an archive of magazines tucked into black cardboard file holders.
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Make the Storage Beautiful
Carlson and her family spend much of their time in the kitchen -- aka the nerve center. She created a laundry station right off the room, hiding it behind a sleek plywood facade. The stacked washer and dryer disappear behind pocket doors, and she stashes detergent, a hamper, and other household utility items in a set of cabinets and drawers.
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Small in size but big on function and design: some of Carlson’s favorite everyday objects.
Tidy TP Holder
This smart, trim holder for bathroom tissue has no parts to fumble with in its simple porcelain-cup design.
Toiletroll holder, from $28, manufactum.com
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A pull-out folding and ironing surface tucks away with shiplike efficiency.
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When your trash can looks nice, you can leave it out instead of keeping it in a cabinet (and wasting precious storage space). The sturdy and airtight Vipp Pedal bin is worth a splurge.
From $319 each, allmodern.com
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More Design Ideas
Remodelista: A Manual for the Considered Home (Artisan, November 2013) features homes and smart resources for designers.