Sarees or scarves, gadgets or shoes, whatever tickles your fancy, the best way to store them is to show them off and weave a story around them. What makes cozy apartments and workspace desirable are their proximity to CBDs, low maintenance and lower rents. Storage however is no small feat in this day and age of consumerism. Thus arises the need for using design principles to incorporate more storage spaces that don’t give you a boxed up feeling.
Take for instance Designer duo Gayatri Vijayan and Karthik Srinivasan’s office project in Indiranagar, Bengaluru where they broke the conventional idea of conference rooms by creating flexible seating that goes back into the wall. They made different fabric upholstered pouffes that can be used as primary or additional seating to accommodate more people or add more floor space. “It creates a new look everytime. It was designed to work for a space that has to don different roles,” shares Gayatri.
Delhi-based Interior stylist Bhawana Bhatnagar on the other hand has designed a line of products (wildlife inspired décor tables) where practicality marries aesthetics. Depending on the theme and availability of space, these can be used as sideboard, multipurpose desks or centre tables in living rooms. She explains, “Their spacious tops can also be used as a study table or simply consoles to provide platforms for coffee table books, vases, and other items of decor. Deep vertical shelves are best to put photo albums, newspapers, and tabloids, while horizontal shelves acknowledge very well the worth of precious books, unique manuscripts, and classic movies.”
Furniture that blends well with a theme/design concept not only highlights your personal aesthetic but is an opportunity to create extra storage.
For Karthik, designing a kid’s room that stays relevant for a few years to come as the kids grow up was at the core while designing their client’s space. They used curved and fluid furniture to add to the look. “We gave them a huge wall-mounted bookshelf to store and display collectibles, a long desk that doubles up as a workbench, pendant lamps made of mason jars etc. This open storage was created in a dynamic shape to lend extra drama to the space. It also allows flexible storage as their needs keep changing as they grow.”
How else to use strategic design intervention for storage areas? Play with textures and characterful furnishings. A buffet between kitchen and dining area need not be wood, it can be a bright flaming red console with a bronze collectible over it. Think dual purpose furniture where kitchen islands double up as bar extensions.
Go vertical with your storage to use wall space, hang jute baskets or give it an industrial style with metal racks on exposed brick wall. Embrace the floating design trend with not just floating shelves but floating desks too. Packing up ugly electronics and wires that otherwise get in the way of carefully curated spaces to make a rather interesting focal point at their client’s home Karthik says, “We created vintage cabinets with distressed wood and cane. The texture of the cane was kept congruous with their antique furniture. The cabinets housed their tower speakers, because cane is porous, it did not interfere with sound quality.” When a saree lover approached Gayatri and Karthik with a brief to figure a way to design storage for her silk sarees, after many iterations they achieved just the right cohesive design. “Our client stores her silk sarees in rolls covered carefully with cloth bags. We designed an entire wall with pegs to prop these pipes on. They get space plus create an interesting story wall in her bedroom.”And that’s how you can increase the functionality of your home design.