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Storage: The Latest Architecture and News

28 Houses With Utility Rooms and other Specialized Spaces

The traditional architecture of the past can sometimes seem a long way from the modern, open-plan environments we enjoy today. But while some seemingly bygone upper-class room typologies like parlors, drawing rooms, and smoking rooms still exist by other names – dens, snugs, and man caves, to name a few – other architectural intricacies are more rarely replicated.

Back staircases, sculleries, and drying rooms, for example, were at one stage imperative for properties of a certain size and status to function. But just like a woolen jumper accidentally washed on the wrong setting, technology has reduced the size of laundry workspaces over the past century. Small homes like Under the Barao’s Sky Apartment in Sao Paolo, Brazil, for example, are now able to replace separate laundry rooms and pantries with all-in-one kitchen-diners that integrated small washing/drying appliances into an open kitchen layout, leaving more room for living.

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Beyond Storage: Shelving Systems as Design Elements

Shelves have a clear function: to organize, store and display. This simple, yet vital role has made them a must in every household, keeping the place neat and tidy by holding books, clothes, toys or any other items that would otherwise be scattered on the floor. Although usually found in closets, bedrooms, bathrooms and kitchens, shelves are useful wherever the extra storage is necessary. They are especially ideal for making the most out of small rooms, which will always benefit from having cleaner, clutter-free floor space. Responding to this crucial storage need and following a strict 'form follows function' approach, traditional shelves are often comprised of minimal, flat horizontal planes attached to a wall –a simple layout that is not particularly meant to draw attention. Hence, people don’t tend to think about shelving ideas beyond storage, and in that sense, the countless design possibilities they offer are often overlooked.

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Design Depot: 30 Projects that Explore Diverse Storage Solutions

With the rise of small houses and dense cities, we were forced to sacrifice a good amount of storage space. Ironically, we did not compromise our purchasing habits, so with a few square meters to work with, architects and designers had to come up with efficient storage solutions, and make the best of the limited space they have. However, if you were lucky enough to be occupying a large, unobscured space with a generous budget, your storage design possibilities are endless. In this article, we look at how architects and designers found creative ways to store their belongings in spaces with different functions, scales, and spatial constraints, ranging between completely invisible units to sculptural centerpieces.

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The Laundry Room as an Unnecessary Luxury (or Where to Place the Washer in the Modern Home?)

In residential architecture, there have always been central, indispensable spaces and peripheral spaces more easy to ignore. When designing a home, the task of the architect is essentially to configure, connect, and integrate different functions in the most efficient way possible, necessarily prioritizing some spaces over others. And although today many are designing in ways that are increasingly fluid and indeterminate, we could say that the bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen are the fundamental nucleus of every house, facilitating rest, food preparation, and personal hygiene. Then meeting spaces and other service areas appear, and with them lobbies, corridors, and stairs to connect them. Each space guides new functions, allowing its inhabitants to perform them in an easier and more comfortable way.

However, fewer square meters in the bathroom could mean more space for the living room. Or, eliminating some seemingly expendable spaces could give more room for more important needs. In an overpopulated world with increasingly dense cities, what functions have we been discarding to give more space to the essentials? Here, we analyze the case of the laundry room, which is often reduced and integrated into other areas of the house to give space for other functions.

Storage Solution for Small Houses: Useful Examples

Dense cities mean small homes. With more and more frequency we are forced to adapt to spaces within which some elements simply do not fit. As architects, these restrictions actually provide us with opportunities and remind us that our goal is to give precise solutions to specific problems. Designing with infinite number square meters and/or an unlimited budget is practically unheard of.

What's the key to accommodating everything? Let's review some effective storage solutions for minimum, tight spaces.

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