Design Dilemma: Making Use of Vertical Space
Sometimes, the problem isn’t so much that we don’t have enough space. Rather it’s making good use of the space we already have.Â This is especially true for those of us with high ceilings but maybe not so much square footage. We forget to think vertically. And yet, just by considering the space overhead we can create new storage opportunities, display opportunities, even sleeping options.
IDEA NO. 1:Â Build a false ceiling and use it for storage. If you’ve got a tiny little apartment with very high ceilings, make use of some of that ceiling height to create a storage area. This type of overhead storage is common in European homes — much less so in American ones. The best areas to lower the ceiling and create a storage compartment include hallways, anterooms and bathrooms — that is, those areas where the ceiling height won’t be missed. Because this type of storage can be harder to access than closet space, you’re best using it to store items that are seldom-used. And there’s another route too: use the space overhead for open storage (for instance, bicycle storage as below) but don’t hide the bikes for a funky, youthful look.
IDEA No. 2:Â Build a tall bookcase, and add a ladder. If you’ve got high ceilings and more books than you can handle, don’t buy a bookcase of conventional height. Instead, go for a tall, floor-to-ceiling bookcase and add a ladder to help you access those books up near the ceiling. In the second picture below, owners have made clever use of a high ceiling be creating a ceiling-bookshelf.
IDEA No. 3: Create a picture gallery. If you’ve got high ceilings and you like to collect art, a natural way to make use of vertical space is by hanging artwork salon style, right up to the ceilings. A salon-style installation of artwork can make a striking impression that adapts well both to large and small rooms alike.
IDEA No. 4: Create a Loft Bed. What do you do if you have a really small apartment or small bedroom with high ceilings? Create a tall bed that you can access with a stairway or ladder, thus freeing up square feet below. It’s a solution we often see in industrial lofts and in older European apartments where high ceilings are common.
Images: via Apartmenttherapy.com, Light Locations, New York Times, BravaCasa.it.