YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections


Where to Find More Storage Space


Here's a startling fact: The average new home built in America is 2,500 square feet, about double the size of homes built a generation ago.

With all that room, you'd think today's homes would have tons of storage, right? Wrong.

The fact is that storage is sadly lacking in many new homes and there's one clear culprit: bad design.

To cut corners, many builders waste valuable space or miss the opportunity for storage altogether.

Smart storage doesn't happen by accident. Check out these tips to squeeze more storage out of your new home:

* Expand the garage. Adding a few extra feet can provide a wonderful space for storage or work table. Another idea: build a storage space on the back of the garage that's accessed from the outside to house lawn and garden items.

* Go up. Use the attic space over a garage for storage of bicycles, Christmas decorations, etc.

* Go up, Part II. In the master bedroom, extend cathedral ceilings into a master closet. Pulling these tall ceilings into the closet will provide all kinds of storage. Add a couple of shelves for storage of items like luggage or extra clothes. Another idea: extend high ceilings in the kitchen into the pantry as well.

* Go up, Part III. Finish off the attic space under eaves or over the garage. Add closets or pantries under stairs.

* Squeeze storage out of breakfast nooks. Window seats should lift up for storage of linens and other kitchen gear.

* In showers, build shallow shelves into tub walls for bath supplies.

* Kid's stuff. Put low shelves or drawers in children's closets to provide toy storage; children can also use this shelf as a stepping stair to reach hanging clothes.

* Go direct. Direct-vent fireplaces eliminate the need for flues; instead put in bookshelves, cabinetry or other storage above the fireplace.

* Add cookbook shelves in the kitchen. Smart places for this storage are in an island (or below an eating bar).


Excerpted by permission from "Your New House--The Alert Consumer's Guide to Buying and Building a Quality Home." Second Edition, by Alan and Denise Fields, Windsor Peak Press, $13.95, in bookstores or by calling (800) 888-0385.

Los Angeles Times Articles