Well-appointed cabinetry for all the things you want to keep - Exterior & Interior | Spring Home Special Section

Space-Saving Hardwood Storage Stunners

Well-appointed cabinetry for all the things you want to keep

"There probably isn't a room in the house where we don't store something," writes Mervyn Kaufman in his new book, Store It!, from Filipacchi Publishing. "Lack of space is certainly a challenge, but it is superseded in every instance by how best to use that space."

Before adding or rearranging storage in any room, Kaufman suggests you examine and evaluate. Keep what's needed. Then, begin your space-saving journey. Consider the following creative tips for practical yet beautiful ways to increase storage potential throughout your home.

First impressions are lasting ones, so if totes and umbrellas, shoes and boots are cluttering the entrance of your home, make them disappear without becoming inaccessible. Consider a bench with added storage space under a lift-up seat as a convenient clutter catcher, complete with niches for stashing caps, gloves and scarves yet a handy spot for shoe-boot exchanges. Splurge on a wall-mounted hardwood storage cabinet to hide keys, garage door openers, newspapers, and mail, keeping them out of sight yet close at hand as needed.

Don't let the idea of a formal living room dissuade you from making it a storage workhorse. A coffee table with an open shelf or shallow drawers can be more than an elegant surface for coffee service or a floral arrangement. Corners and wall space between and around windows cry out for unique built-ins to display collectibles or stash entertaining essentials. The warm colors and unique grain patterns of hardwoods are guaranteed to enhance your room decor.

Add greater functionality to your kitchen by incorporating hardwood cabinets with accessories that remove clutter and make neatness second nature -- wooden dividers to organize drawers, carousel shelving so nothing gets buried in corner cabinets, deep cabinet drawers to store cookware or stacked dinnerware. Fill unused space between base cabinets with retractable kitchen-towel bars or narrow pull-out spice drawers.

Today's dining rooms double as libraries, music rooms or places to do homework or crafts. If cramped for storage, look for a dining table with drawers beneath its top surface. Beautiful hardwood storage lends practicality, warmth and style as long as it complements the look of your dining table and chairs. A wall of books, whether in fine hardwood furniture or built-in shelving, exploits wall space and adds character.

Hardwood cabinet options abound as you look to increase the functionality of your family room. Near the TV, stereo or beside the kids' play area, consider freestanding hardwood storage -- a hutch, entertainment center, a clutch of bookcases. Utilize overlooked spaces by adding a low cupboard under a window -- ideal for spare pillows and throws; building a window seat -- either with drawers or a hinged top; or placing a low bookcase against the back of a sofa. Organize and store essentials according to where you'll use them.

Why not establish a unique "floating" home office? It doesn't matter where you place it. What will make it work is where you "float" it and how you store what you want to keep there. Find and refinish a hardwood secretary then give it wheels and let it "float." It'll be handy for bill-paying when the desk folds down and a decorative accent piece when not in use. Mobilize a stylish hardwood desk or table, add detachable storage shelves and then get to work. As room requirements change, "float" the workstation to its new home -- a kitchen corner or family room niche -- whatever the situation will allow.

As Kaufman suggests, "Even the most practical storage solutions can be attractive and appealing." Beautifully thought-out cabinetry made of U.S. hardwoods will enhance every room in your home while providing stunning storage space for all the important 'things' in your life.

For more information on including U.S. hardwoods in your home or office, visit the American Hardwood Information Center at www.HardwoodInfo.com.

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