Lifestyle

Reclaimed Space

Do it Yourself

Angelie Martin-Spencer

Thursday, January 03, 2013    

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Happy New Year! May this be your best year yet and may it bring with it lots of good health, wealth, prosperity and a bundle of creativity.

I personally resolve to push my creativity and you with me so we can achieve this. We have to prioritise our lives in order of:

* family

* home

* self

* work

The order is up to you, but you must resolve to make time for each one and stick to it because out of chaos comes chaos, while order breeds order. That's my resolution and I hope it will be yours too. If we follow this principle in all areas of our life — family, home, self and work — then we are bound to find calm and tranquility.

In reclaiming time in our lives we will also need to reclaim space, because there has to be a place for everything, so there can be order. Today we open our eyes to reclaim small, unused spaces in our home/office to create spaces of escape for family time, eating, reading, playing or quiet solitude. None of these spaces exceeds 16 sq ft.

* Kiddies' window seat built into a 4 X 4 recess. This secluded space was created by building a platform into the nook onto which was placed a custom-made mattress and bedding with cushions. Storage baskets placed underneath can house toys and books, and this matelasse "bedskirt" keeps the mess underneath away from all eyes. Your little one can escape to this space for playtime, to curl up with a book, or to take a nap.

* Bedroom storage seats built into a bay window, like the one pictured here in this beautiful nursery, maximise the space in a room, as you can create a seating area as well as provide plenty of storage for toys, clothes and even extra bedding. This reduces the number of furniture pieces required for storage and therefore reduces clutter and gives the little ones plenty of space to tumble around

* A window box, like the one pictured here in this tranquil master suite, uses up the otherwise unused space at the end of the bed. Butted up against the window ledge, it creates seating and also provides storage for bed linen.

* A Reading Nook is the perfect escape in a bedroom. After a long, hard day, you can curl up in a comfy, oversized chair and a half, like the one pictured here, with your love or a book. If you have room for a bookshelf then that's great; however, with ebooks on iPads and Kindles, no worries there.

* A Breakfast Nook is the perfect place for family time, and as shown here, doesn't require a lot of space. Here, it's a 90-degree corner measuring no more than 4 X 6 ft. The bench itself need not be a waste of space as it can be used to house seasonal linens and kitchen equipment. Small chairs or stools can be brought in on the other side of the table to complete the seating area and accommodate more people.

* A Work Wall is a better alternative to stealing a space here and there to get a little work done. A recessed wall, like the one pictured here, can be easily converted into a quiet space for you to pay bills, send emails or do a little bit of work on your computer. The beauty of this look is accomplished by the use of this bold and luxurious wallpaper that fills only the recess. A clean and simple table with an acrylic chair is not intrusive at all and creates a minimalist look. No need either for any bulky cabinets: a simple shelf is mounted off-centre in which you can store current utility bills and other items that need immediate attention.

* A Window Alcove in a corner may seem quite nondescript; however, when you cover that wall in a bold wallpaper like this black and white toile, against crisp white window trim, mouldings and substantial baseboards, the space comes alive. In this space, plush cushions were placed in the window to cosy it up and were covered in the perfect contrast for toile... gingham. A simple wrought iron table and chair set complete the cosy corner. This is the perfect space to sit and enjoy a cup of morning or afternoon tea by the window, or to laze on a rainy day.

There is so much underutilised space all around us, in our homes and offices, and if we just stop for a moment and repurpose our lives and space, then we can learn to enjoy our spaces and in effect our time in them.

All the best for 2013 to you.

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