A few years ago I worked on a 100 year old home and one of the biggest challenges with old homes (besides the crooked walls and uneven floors) is the lack of storage. After all, back then people didn’t own much, not like today, so closets and storage weren’t a huge consideration.
The clients had installed a wall of freestanding wardrobes in the master bedroom which, while providing a tremendous aount of storage, limited their options as to furniture placement.
Their bed was against the wall just inside the door and left no room for night stands, but the only other availabe wall had the chimney running up from the fireplace below.
I really wanted the bed against the chimney wall, but with the chimney pretty much in the centre of the wall, it wasn’t an option, until I decided to build a half wall flush with the chimney.
This gave us the opportunity to re-orient the bed, add a headboard and provide some shelving as well as give space for two floating night stands.
To provide even more storage, we built a window seat to take advantage of the empty space in the large bay window.
Finally, in the living room, we made over the fireplace which was in an awkward position at the edge of a wall. We extended the wall, building it out and added a built in bookcase.
This centred the fireplace on the wall. We clad the fireplace in MDF, mounted the TV above and put some shelving inside the fire box to house the audio video components. The client had no intention of using the fireplace so this was a brilliant use of space.
When you live in an old home, or any home that lacks storage, you have to get creative and look for any opportunity to create more space.
Sometimes, de-cluttering, while critical, simply isn’t enough.