Friday, 11 March 2011

Clever Storage and Reclaiming the Dining Room...

I dream of having the stylish interiors I see in Living Etc. I am often found pouring over a homes magazine or one of Kelly Hoppen’s latest books, obligatory glass of wine in hand visualising new interiors - all white and glass with the odd piece of natural wood thrown in for good measure. Clean simple lines with a random ornament here and there for effect. Possibly even lit with a low energy mood changing bulb and a lightly scented Jo Malone candle burning in the background…

But in reality it looks nothing like this. Our house looks like the aftermath of a particularly energetic robbery. There are things everywhere.

After a brief tidying up session in the dining room last week, Mini-Me had already re-infiltrated the space with her vast array of Sylvanian Families. Three more families had recently joined the ever expanding brood; a brood that had taken to camping at the end of the dining room, settling like a mini travelling community. They’d even got the caravan. And I don’t think an injunction served by the local council was going to get them shifted.

Word Was Getting Round About a Great New Camp ...

Is it possible then to mix normal family life with a designer interior?

My epiphany moment came when I realised that things don’t get put away in our house because they have nowhere to go. It appeared that the answer to my tidying woes lay in clever storage. (Have you noticed how editors always apply completely inappropriate adjectives; what exactly makes storage clever?) One magazine I saw recently claimed to have storage solutions to get your heart racing. I knew exactly what they meant.

Armed with a tape measure and an unwilling Husband, I set about marking out the room and making a list of all the items that needed to be found a home.

It seemed that we needed the equivalent of Dr Who’s tardis to house all of the items I was planning to buy a cupboard for. How come we never have anything to watch when at the last count we had over 300 DVDs? I also discovered CDs still wrapped in their cellophane, 4 old Next Directories and chargers for mobile phones I hadn’t seen since the last century. Still undeterred, we made a quick pilgrimage to Ikea and soon spied some full height white gloss monsters with hidden door handles. Perfect.

These have now been strategically placed around the dining room and lo and behold they actually do exactly what we wanted. By positioning shelves at the right heights for each item we have managed to cram in an enormous amount of possessions in a relatively small space. And nothing got broken in the move. Although we did have one hairy moment when Mini-Me was waving around The Husband’s prized vinyl collection asking “What are these black circles with the holes in for?” Who said having children keeps you young, although I suspect The Husband hasn’t moved that fast since his 3rd year Sports Day.

So now everything can be neatly stored away in its proper place, will this make us tidy? Probably not but at least I can get to the back of the dining room without feeling like I’m reliving Gulliver’s Travels.

Just the rest of the house to go….
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