Tuesday, February 17, 2015
How to Sneak In Creative Guest-Room Storage
If you have been using your guest room only to house overnight guests, you might be overlooking some prime storage space. Check out these ideas for putting your space to work 24/7 with storage over and under the bed, creative closets and smart shelving. Hardworking space: The guest room. The challenge: When space is at a premium, using the guest room for storage can be a lifesaver — but once the guest bed and bedside tables are in place, it can be difficult to fit in anything extra. These tips will help you find the storage space you need. Good to know: Even in the tiniest guest room, there are a few pockets of space that can almost always be used for storage: a bedside table and under the bed.
Design idea: Built-in bed with storage. Why: Maximize storage potential around the guest bed with underbed drawers and to-the-ceiling shelving. How: Work with a cabinetmaker, an interior designer or a skilled carpenter to create a plan that meets your storage needs and fits the space. Cost: As with any custom project, the cost can vary widely depending on the scope of your project, materials used and regional rates, but expect to pay $2,000 to $5,000 and up. Thinking ahead: This is a permanent change to the layout of your guest room — if you think you may later want to transform the space into a nursery or an office, it’s probably best to choose a more flexible plan.
Design idea: Bedside cabinets. Why: Perhaps the better question is why not use storage-packed cabinets instead of traditional nightstands? They take up about the same amount of floor space but increase your storage capacity. For even more storage, install floating cabinets on the wall behind the headboard as well. How: Working with off-the-shelf cabinet components is straightforward and budget friendly. You can have a pro install them for you or, if you have some home improvement experience, do it yourself. Cost: Simple ready-made cabinets can be purchased at many home improvement stores and Ikea, and come at a wide range of price points — starting at around $100 per piece,not including installation. DIY tip: If you are doing this project yourself, measure your space carefully at least twice and double check the measurements against the measurements of your cabinets before purchasing. When it comes time to install, have a friend help you — cabinets can be heavy and unwieldy to work with.
More options: You can also use tall cabinets with openings; the openings can be used as bedside tables. Consider installing sconce lighting on the wall above the bed as a space-saving alternative to traditional bedside lamps.
Design idea: Storage lofts over beds. Why: This setup, reminiscent of bunks on a steamship, provides sleeping space below and storage above. Use the far back portion of the storage lofts for your own storage, and leave the easily reached front portion open so guests can easily stow their belongings. How: Because these heavy storage shelves are positioned over beds where guests will be sleeping, it’s important to get a pro (a carpenter or knowledgeable handyperson) to install them, for safety. Measure before committing — there should be enough headroom over the bed for a guest (even a tall one) to comfortably sit up without knocking into the shelf. Cost: You can find simple, utilitarian ready-made storage loft shelves for less than $100 each, plus installation. Expect to pay $500 and up for a custom-made shelf. Design tip: In a guest room with multiple bunk beds, hang curtains on the exterior of each bunk to provide privacy.
Design idea: Slim cabinets on closet doors. Why: Double up on storage by attaching low-profile cabinets to the outside of the closet doors in your guest room. Slim cabinets like these can be useful for storing shoes, accessories or toiletries. Cost: Ready-made wall-mounted cabinets can be purchased from home improvement stores and Ikea, and start at about $200. Where these work: Sturdy traditional doors and pivoting doors can usually handle the extra weight of a slim storage cabinet. You may also use them on sliding closet doors, but install them only on the outer door…otherwise you won’t be able to open the closet.
Design idea: Wall of built-in bookshelves. Why: Find a home for your overflowing book collection and give guests good reads to peruse. How: Hire a pro to outfit the wall surrounding your guest bed with bookshelves. For a budget-friendlier option, go with floating shelves or purchase a few ready-made bookcases and anchor them to the wall. Cost: From about $2,000 (and up) for built-in bookcases; costs depend on the materials used, size of space and regional rates. If you opt for simple floating shelves, expect to spend from $200 to $500 or so. Basic ready-made bookcases can be purchased for $100 per piece and up. DIY tip: Paint the backs of your bookcases a contrasting color for a custom look or match the wall color in the rest of the room if a seamless look is what you’re after.
Design idea: Wall-to-wall cabinets. Why: If you have a free wall and a bit of floor space to spare, investing in an entire wall of custom storage is a worthy splurge. Just imagine how much stuff you could fit in there! How: This is a job for a pro. Hire a cabinetmaker or an interior designer to create a storage wall that meets your needs and fits your space perfectly. If you are already working with an architect, ask for the storage to be worked into the plans. Cost: Around $3,000 to $6,000 for wall-to-wall cabinetry designed and built in by a cabinetmaker.
More cabinetry options: If you have a window in your guest room, consider working a window seat with hidden storage into the plan. Think through what you need to store before deciding on a layout for your cabinetry — tall cabinets for wardrobe items, drawers for sweaters, shelves for bedding or books.
Design idea: Bed with storage below. Why: Even in a tiny guest room (like the one shown here) beneath the bed is a place where you can stow things. A captain’s-style bed with drawers below is ideal for keeping everything from off-season clothes to Christmas ornaments and holiday tableware out of sight yet accessible.
DIY options: Already have a guest bed? Create your own version of a captain’s bed by repurposing old drawers from a thrift shop dresser. Simply place the drawers below the bed as is, or attach casters to the bottom for easier access. Or just stash a few plastic storage bins designed for this purpose beneath the bed, and hide them with a crisp bed skirt.
Design idea: Nightstand with hidden storage potential. Why: The nightstand should never go unused in a hardworking guest room. Lidded baskets, trunks and small dressers all work well as bedside tables and offer room inside to store extra blankets, TP rolls or whatever you’re having trouble finding a spot for. More: Guest Rooms That Work How to Turn Almost Any Space Into a Guest Room