When you find yourself pressed for storage ideas, think vertically. According to Mia Olsson, country communications and interior manager at Ikea India, bare walls are some of the most underutilized spaces in urban apartments, and can offer functional benefits without compromising on aesthetics. Vertical storage, and this doesn’t imply bulky overhead cabinets, can even help organize and declutter spacious homes. In an email interview, Olsson talks to Lounge about vertical storage solutions, trends for 2019 and how to create a fluid living space. Edited excerpts:

Mia Olsson.
Mia Olsson.

What are some storage ideas that people can easily incorporate in their homes?

Little things, like having all your chargers and keys in one place or having your laundry sorted, can make a big difference. SKÅDIS is a multi-purpose pegboard to which you can add containers, shelves, letter holders and elastics to keep your things organized. These can also be rearranged to suit different needs.

What design solutions can you recommend for people who struggle to manage their wardrobes?

For a wardrobe to feel spacious, it is important to have a good system for sorting laundry or routinely packing away off-season items, rather than just have floor space. HÖFTA, a divider for drawers, allows you to quickly and easily organize the smaller items in your closet. The SKUBB storage series, which has foldable boxes and hanging organizers in different sizes, is also helpful in sorting the contents of your wardrobe.

What are some of the most overlooked sections of the home, and how can they be better utilized?

An important part of organizing your living is finding and using hidden spaces and choosing functional solutions. For instance, the door frame of a kitchen can be utilized to create special storage compartments for things like decorative vases, jars or cups.

Vertical storage is another way to optimize minimum space for maximum use. Even homes that may have adequate space can benefit from vertical solutions. Hooks, rods, shelving, built-ins…there are multiple ways to find additional storage.

Vertical storage is definitely very useful and practical in the bathroom where there are lots of things that need to be stored or displayed. You can usually find the space for a vertical storage unit, whether it’s by the tub or somewhere else.

We find very few wall knobs used at home, which are a great way to use wall space and they also look beautiful. The LOSJÖN knobs, for example, are colourful, functional and easy to mount.

HYLLIS shelving unit.
HYLLIS shelving unit.

How can people incorporate a more fluid design philosophy in their homes?

Indians have a very strong concept of fluid living. Different spaces of a home are used in different ways at different points of time. This is great as it makes space for more functional products and solutions. Here are some ways to create a (fluid) space that you can easily adapt:

Choose flexible furniture: Use multi-purpose furniture that you can easily rearrange and move depending on the situation. For example, use lightweight side tables rather than one big coffee table.

Create a calming sleeping spot: To separate different spaces in your home, use different colour schemes. It also helps to use flexible accessories, such as movable wall clamps.

Use a well-organized walk-in closet: Open storage solutions are useful because you can see all your belongings at a glance, and different sections can be dismantled and reorganized to suit your needs.

What do you foresee as the biggest design trends of 2019?

Not sure if these are to be called trends but home furnishing or living at home will move towards more sustainable, more functional living and vertical storage. Energy and water saving will be a priority. Kitchen taps that reduce water consumption by up to 30%, bathroom taps that reduce consumption up to 50%, and improved water efficiency for vegetable and utensil washing will be the in thing. Also, a living room for four people during a weekday becomes a get-together room for 10-12 over the weekend. In such a scenario, functional furniture will play a key role. This is furniture that can play many roles, such as room dividers, extendable dining tables or trolleys.

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