Spaces 4 Living

An Architect's Idea Book: Sharing ideas and inspiration to help create beautiful living spaces.

Leave a comment

Playroom Storage Ideas

Awesome bedroom or separate playroom either way if you have the space that your little one can call their own is a great step towards their independence.

My son has a nice little room but things are always pulled out into the main space. For the most part, it is life as we know it when all the living areas are on the same floor. His room is a bit small which is half the problem. As he is growing, the want for constant supervision from a baby to toddler is making way to preschool independent play.



Bright room brighten minds! Well I like the sound of it anyway. Quirky layouts, hide-away spaces and peek holes are always a delight.


As great as a space may look, it must have storage, whether it is built-in, stacked baskets monochromatic or colour coordinated, it is a necessity.




Zones for activities

There is a place for mess! Who wants to knock down the “perfect” tower, racetrack or fort every day. The photo above has a loft which is a perfect area for creating and keeping masterpieces for a few more days.  The loft also doubles as a sleepover area for guests.



Open shelving can be daunting, but by adding baskets, or grouping smaller containers can minimize the mess. Still not for you? Add a few doors to keep things out of sight.



Let your kids input help guide your space. Be realistic about how you will treat the space, a new space will not “make” everyone tidy over night.

If you are a “everything has its place” minded family, open shelving would go down a treat.

If you are more ” I clean up after my kids and have very little time at the end of the day” minded family, then think about bigger “dumping” or pull-out bins. Everything is at their finger tips and it is really quick to put things away at the end of the day. It is even easy for the children to help.

Most of us land somewhere in between. Assorting collectibles in appropriated sized bins, some open and some closed shelving and also larger baskets for your children’s most used toys. Mix and match and see what works best for you.


You just can’t stop the toy migration…but good storage solutions at least reduces the clean-up frustration.


Leave a comment

Taking on “Tiny House” ideas for your own home.

The concept of Tiny House Living is becoming more and more popular. The increasing number of foreclosures and unemployment in recent years has really pushed homeowners to rethink the concept of home and its size. Most tiny homes are under 500 square feet and many have stretched this notion to 150-300 square feet house on wheels. The ideals are simple living…focusing on outdoor spaces, de-cluttering and down-sizing. Smaller housing is not just for the retirees, but for those who wish to own their home who normally couldn’t afford a house or those who feel mobility fits their life style.


Tiny houses do not imply to live without comfort, just using your space more wisely. That is a concept that we can all employ.


Vertical Space

Craftsman Basement by Seattle Architects & Building Designers Board and Vellum
Eclectic Bedroom by Somerville General Contractors Morse Constructions Inc.


Built-in floor to ceiling storage or creating a partition wall with cupboard and drawers lets you packs away all your collectibles.

Eclectic Kitchen
Traditional Kitchen by Huntington Kitchen & Bath Designers Susan Serra


Using the vertical storage in the kitchen adds a bit more visual interest as well creating more storage. Whether choosing to incorporate shelves and/or rails to display your kitchenware or you could suspend over an island   if you have the space. The wall solution is not just limited to pots and utensils, there are baskets you could add for spices, plants and even task boards.



Shallow shelving 

Contemporary Kitchen by Jackson Interior Designers & Decorators dwelling
Eclectic Bathroom
Finding extra space to store things in shallow shelves or thin concealed drawers that might be otherwise wasted.


Under the stairs

loft-staircase-storage  office-under-staircase


Using the dead space under the stairs is a great area for added storage, closet, home office or a powder room that can fit a number of storage needs and stair configurations.

Wall niche

Traditional Entry by Los Angeles Interior Designers & Decorators Alexandra Rae Design
Modern Staircase by London Photographers David Churchill – Architectural Photographer
Modern Bathroom by San Francisco Architects & Building Designers Michael Tauber Architecture
Traditional Home Theater by Peoria Design-Build Firms Dan Waibel Designer Builder


Creating a wall niche is not just reserved for the medicine cabinet.  Framing out the space to add niches for art, books, shower shelving,  or even to hide AV equipment.

Hidden storage under bulky furniture


BoConcept  (Chiva functional coffee table & Adria Nesting tables)

We’ve seen the storage in an ottomans and drawers in coffee tables, but the Chiva coffee table combines both ideas with elegance. Nesting tables are not a new concept, but them are coming back into trend. Storing tables beneath tables is a traditional and simple space saving innovation to keep.


Hidden bed


Poppi Theatre by Resource Furniture
Atoll 000 by Resource Furniture


Nothing short of amazing! I love the ideas that Resource Furniture has to offer. A twist on a murphy bed shown here is only a small sample of what they create. These beds are a vast improvement from the traditional hide-a-beds for guests in the living room. So comfy, they could be your own bed.


Dual Function and Transforming Furniture

Goliath Glass Table 
Goliath Glass by Resource Furniture

Modern console table transforms into a dining table suitable for 8 people. Incredible!


Loft Floor Space

Tiny House Floor Storage

This storage solution is not for everyone, but for the loft or attic floor especially in a mobile tiny home, this is a great idea to incorporate storage without incrouching floor space with large furniture.

If you can’t go over, go under! (the floor). Using the ceiling space between floor joists is a great spot to keep your books and trinkets.

Knee wall storage

 Traditional Hall by Chappaqua Architects & Building Designers Fivecat Studio | Architecture
Contemporary Family Room by San Francisco Interior Designers & Decorators Ashley Roi Jenkins Design, LLC


Built-in storage into the knee wall maybe a great solution for hard to find furniture pieces and it keeps the floor space open.


There is always a storage solution, no matter the size of the space. Whether choosing built-in, dual function, transforming, wall space, floor space are but a few examples to use space more wisely and many more ideas out are there.

Leave a comment

The Small Bedroom

Whether your quandary is with a small guest room, child’s room or master bedroom the resultant frustration of “what on earth do I do with it?” is the same.

An appropriate size bed for the size of room is one thing, but sometimes when space is premium, we run out of options. So the next best thing is to be creative with storage, add some quirkiness and work some design tried and tested methods.



This bed just fits and no more in this guest room. For a night stand, shelving on the back wall provides just enough space for a glass of water for your temporary guests.




Kids bedrooms are always so fun for creative space solutions. Whether it is using beneath the bed with drawers for toys or linens or cubbies for books right by the bedside. Find places for pin boards, display areas where you’d least expect it, and (in the case of the image of the above left) a port-hole shared between sibling rooms. The over sized map is a great visual interest for re-directing your attention. It helps give the impression of a wider space, which is also aided by the curve-linear  design of the rug on the floor. The image on the right, uses a simple white scheme to make the space seem more airy, but as with many schemes the clutter (and colour) is kept to a minimum.




The fun and little hidey spaces aren’t just for the kiddies. When there isn’t enough floor space for night table or a chest of drawers, build up! The built-ins around the bed, not only add storage but add a great deal of character and interest as well. The spaces seem to look more finished. There is space for ornaments, books, and personal belongings. An alcove around the bed is the perfect opportunity for mounting wall sconces and an interesting headboard…a little niche.


I adore this space. It is fun and playful. If it would have gone down a traditional route of bed-night stand etc. it probably would have folded in on itself. The over all black and white scheme has interesting elements “dotted” throughout. This not only a pun on the upholstery pins that create an upscale interest on the basic white shelves, but also to the creativity within this tiny space. The placement of the shelving creates a bedside surface at the window and another for a workspace at the foot of the bed. Even the quirky “Apocalypse Now” quote on the roller blind adds to the rooms interest. The coloured ceiling and mock black posts and rails around the bed space makes me think of a four poster bed! So much artfully placed creativity leads you to pause and to take in the elements of the space and not its size.


The successful outcome of the small space is only limited by your imagination. It almost forces you to become more creative with your spatial solutions. You’d be surprised that it may end up being the best room in the house!


Leave a comment

Make the most out of a small kitchen

The heart of the home is the kitchen. It is not only where we create sustenance for our family but also where we talk about our day, bond as a family, do homework, create projects and have fun making a mess! Sometimes we need to make the most out of the space that we have, no matter the size limitations. It just means that we have to be a bit more savvy with what we already have and know how much we can push to get what we want for the space, as long as we are realistic.

The key objectives are to:

  • create and enhance the ERGONOMICS,
  • enhance STORAGE,
  • maximise USABLE SPACE
  • and to be open to DE-CLUTTER


This kitchen in a  19th century row house, it is small but efficient. The traditional white cabinets, contemporary stainless steel appliances, and understated ironmongery/hardware lift this kitchen. Perhaps only one cook can fit into this kitchen at a time, but everything is just at your finger tips.  This kitchen design emphasis in the de-cluttering and simplifying of the space. The cabinetry and ironmongery are uncomplicated in that they not distracting. A lovely little detail with the kitchen taps/ faucet where they are not resting on the counter and the sink is under mounted. This leaves the beautiful Pietra del Cardosa. counter to be visually uninterrupted.

The small (can I say micro?)  kitchen above appears larger due to the open concept into the dining room. The choice of all white cabinets and walls allows your eyes to casually wander. The kitchen above is a prime example of the compact ergonomics. The best layout for small kitchens is to have the cooker, fridge and sink in an equilateral triangular placement. It is about promoting the ease of movement. Although I do understand the want to keep the full height window, however the kitchen would have been better served if the lower cabinets extended to the exterior wall for extra preparation space rather than the ability to walk around. It is such small space, storage and usable space are also vital.  I do like a lot of the elements of this space, the simplicity of the pendant lights and Turner bar stools. The quartz counter and backsplash and the oak herringbone pattern flooring and  the ceiling height cabinetry add a feel of luxury. It enhances the space with a sense of bespoke/ custom detailing.

Space is precious in this small two storey. The limited footprint just fits the dining, living, kitchen, and powder room on the same floor. The high gloss smoky grey cabinetry gives this compact corner layout a high calibre studio feel. The shiny stainless steel appliances integrate well within the grey tones, while the choice of a fashionable white fridge tries to sink into the wall. Albeit, a custom built-in fridge with the same glossy smoky grey door would have looked stunning. The white solid surface waterfall detail has a lovely contemporary look at the edge of the counter. The look balances the white, grey, and steel tones beautifully. There is no ironmongery/ hardware to distract and break up the panels. Many cabinetry manufacturers offer a press-release system so that you can keep the design sleek and uncluttered.

All in all, there are always options for any scale of kitchen project. Just keep to one design theme and work it throughout the room. Most importantly follow as many rules as your space can allow for ergonomics, storage, usable space and de-clutter. has a new look!