Posts Tagged ‘Space saving ideas’

Beautiful Space Saving Details

March 22nd, 2011 by Lori Gilder | 2 Comments

Space can be at a premium these days and maximizing every square inch can really make a big difference.

I love to incorporate “niches” of all kinds into my design projects. These recessed nooks, crannies, cubbies and alcoves (or whatever else you’d like to call them) can be integrated anywhere in your home and instantly adds a charming detail and focal point in whichever room it occupies.  A niche simply defined – could be a recess within a wall (which is ideal for extra storage and/or highlighting your collections) – or a recess, angle or obscure nook within the architecture of a room itself.

So take a look around your home to see how you can make the most of your space by creating that ideal niche or nook to fit into the favorite room of your house.

  • Could you utilize the space beneath your stairs for display shelving, a bar area or reading nook?
  • Is there ample wall space in your foyer or hallways to create that niche to showcase or highlight your favorite object or piece of art?
  • Do you have a window alcove (a projected bay or bow window) in your living room, dining room, kitchen or bedroom for that ideal banquette or window seat? If so make sure to provide large storage drawers below the seat for easy access to your supplies.
  • Is there sufficient space within your living room or family room walls to recess bookshelves?
  • If you’re renovating your kitchen have you considered incorporating a recessed niche with shelves over your stainless stove to create a unique focal point?
  • How about some beautiful display niches within the decking of your bath tub or vertically within the walls located at the head and foot of the bath?
  • Does your laundry room/mudroom provide you with enough storage?  This would be the ideal area to introduce niches and cubbies for sports equipment, backpacks, heavy outerwear and dog supplies.

Here are some fabulous ideas in all design styles to inspire you!


Photo: via Southern Living Magazine

The crisp white walls enveloping this reading nook clad in bead board – and the simple molding of the seat’s base compliments this cottage’s casual and style.


Photo: via Cococozy                Designer: Vanessa de Vargas

This integrated wall niche becomes more of an architectural element in this modern home and simply showcases the pure elegance of the glass vase.


Photo: via House Beautiful

This very charming window seat/banquette spans wall to wall and is tucked into the recess of the gorgeous garden window.


Photo: via Elle Décor                           Photographer: Simon Upton

Here the formal living room maintains its sophistication and elegance by keeping it simple.  Painting the interior of the display niches a deeper color – provides instant drama and allows the objects to pop – which ultimately creates a striking focal point within the space.


Photo via Remodelista

Here a series of uniform niches to store various sundries is both practical and attractive in this pristine bathroom.

The design possibilities are endless – so next time you’re looking for a little extra space, include a niche into your room or better utilize those nooks and crannies!

Stay Inspired!

I encourage you leave questions or comments below this post, and fill out the form on the right hand side of this page to receive your free copy of my special report: “15 Money Saving Strategies When Planning Your Home Renovation”

Article by Lori Gilder, Architectural Interior Designer, Los Angeles, Ca. © 2011 Lori Gilder. Interior Makeovers Inc.

Gorgeous Space Saving Doors

January 13th, 2011 by Lori Gilder | 6 Comments

Do you live in a home that’s a little tight, compartmentalized and short on floor space?

Compared to an open and more free flowing floor plan, compartmentalized homes tend to have a myriad of doors that swing in to one space and out from another – wasting some valuable floor space.  Typically a standard door occupies anywhere from 7.5 – 9 square feet of floor space – and upwards of 18 square feet of clearance needed for a French door application.  Door swings can inhibit traffic flow and often times impede on the placement of furniture.

Don’t get me wrong. Privacy is a necessity – particularly in bedrooms – baths – and offices.  Incorporating pocket doors into your plans would do the trick, but some demo and construction is required to re-frame of a portion of the wall to accommodate the concealed pocket door itself.

Sliding doors or barn doors are a great way to grab some extra square footage, and at the same time instantly infuse character into your home.  No construction is necessary. They are hung on a surface mounted rail system above the original opening (can be exposed or concealed behind a valence) and slides to one side leaving the entryway free and clear.   The best part is it’s only a few inches thick and every inch counts.

You may even want to take the time to enlarge the opening of your space slightly to improve traffic flow and increase the convenience from room to room – as the doors can be manufactured in custom sizes.

These sliders can be re-claimed, rustic, contemporary or custom.  They can be installed in hallways, kitchens, baths, family rooms, bedrooms and closets – anywhere!

Create a beautiful detail and focal point to your space.

Here are just a few fabulous ideas.

These custom floor-ceiling sliding doors cleverly conceal the washer and dryer in the kitchen.  They provide such great texture to this space.

With two different entry points into this sunken living room space, the barn doors close off the corner in a very clean and unobtrusive way.  Doors swinging into the space would be very inefficient – particularly when floating off the floor.  A great solution!

This reclaimed door closing off the pantry in this kitchen is a perfect example of infusing “instant” character into a space!  Particularly with the chalkboard painted walls.  How fun.

A more contemporary door design in a loft-like space provides an interesting juxtaposition between the materials.  A crisp and clean finish – don’t you think?

This serene bedroom utilizes the sliding louvered doors to create a sense of separation and privacy between the sleep and lounge area of the space and conceals the rail system beneath a custom valence.

How great is this?  This antique barn door has found the perfect place to rest – transitioning the bedroom to the bath.

What do you think?

Stay Inspired!

I encourage you leave questions or comments below this post, and fill out the form on the right hand side of this page to receive your free copy of my special report: “15 Money Saving Strategies When Planning Your Home Renovation”

Article by Lori Gilder, Architectural Interior Designer, Los Angeles, Ca. © 2011 Lori Gilder. Interior Makeovers Inc.