Feature attributed to: Natalie Davenport, head of marketing, Häfele UK...
"Homeowners are spending more time at home than ever before, and the COVID-19 lockdown has forced everyone to think differently about how their spaces work, look and feel. Now doubling up as offices and gyms, our homes must do more to meet our changed needs but within the same footprint.
Even before the pandemic, figures suggested that we were using our homes more often. Data revealed the typical family hosted one dinner party a month, with half of all UK adults preferring to stay in and cook for friends than go out for dinner. Likewise, remote working increased by almost 75 per cent in the last decade and has grown significantly in 2020.
However, the average living room and kitchen today is 15 per cent smaller than those we occupied 40 years ago. With houses getting smaller and homeowners needing their properties to be truly multifunctional, products which enable efficient use of space must be a fundamental tenet of residential design. Furthermore, these solutions must be equally space-optimising but also offer a highly desirable aesthetic, adding an impressive wow-factor to properties.
Clever products and innovative solutions help make even the most compact of spaces smarter so with our homes needing to work harder than ever before, Natalie Davenport, head of marketing at Häfele explores five products to help homeowners get more life per sq. m.
Sliding doors are by no means a new concept but as compact living is fast becoming a way of life, designers and installers are using them as an alternative to hinged doors for their space saving features.
As well as being used to break up rooms, sliding doors are making waves in kitchen interiors due to their seamless functionality to optimise storage capacity. Similarly, pocket doors – sliding doors which are concealed within existing walls when not in use – act as a great space saver. In fact, versus a traditional hung door, these clever systems can save an average of 1270mm of operating space per door.
Hawa Concepta, meanwhile, combines elements of both designs with an innovative pivot sliding system that can conceal areas such as kitchenettes and wardrobes. And because it doesn’t need a floor channel, it gives an extra sleek finish to the desired design.
Make internals the priority
The age old saying ‘it’s what’s on the inside that counts’ couldn’t be more accurate when it comes to cabinetry design. Internal storage is an often overlooked part of a kitchen, with homeowners preferring to focus on the external design of their cupboards rather than how they will function day to day. However, clever wirework and pull out or swing out shelving can transform the interiors of furniture to make them work harder in spaces that are more compact.
For example, the Vauth Sagel Cornerstone Maxx, made up of multi-layered pull out shelves, helps maximise space in awkward corner cupboards. The shelves extend out individually, and to different points, enabling the user to effortlessly access top and bottom content and without obstruction from the adjacent cabinet. It’s also available in three different designs to suit different styles of kitchen, and is power assisted for more efficient, smooth movement.
Make drawers work hard
The humble drawer has become integral to maximising space in kitchens, especially with the rise in demand for systems which work in harmony with larder style units. In accessible kitchens, designed for those in wheelchairs, larder drawer systems which sit behind a cupboard door, allow full, top-down views of the products, enabling the user to get closer to the products to increase accessibility.
The Grass Nova Pro Scala Stack Tower combines larder height with a huge 40kg load per drawer, helping homeowners optimise storage for their available space. Each drawer also works independently and pulls out to different depths, so it’s easy to find what’s needed when cooking.
Free up your space
To make use of all available space in a kitchen, head- or ceiling-height wall units offer additional storage capacity. To assist in their design and maximise every square inch available, Häfele has launched Free space, a hinge less flap fitting that eliminates the need for large, space-consuming cover caps and has an internal installation depth of only 63mm. Additionally, Free space can hold up to 10.7 kg for a cabinet height of 400mm with its 1.11 model.
It’s already won several international awards and is becoming a must-have fitting for kitchens where space is a premium.
Don’t ‘waste’ space
Having multiple recycling bins on show doesn’t only take up valuable space, it also looks unsightly – bins aren’t exactly designed to inspire.
Designed to overcome both these challenges is the Waste Boss Duo. Consisting of two large 32 litre capacity bins – one for general waste and another for mixed recycled – the easy to install, pull-out system is secured to a cabinet floor and slides back in to keep bins out of sight and integrated with the rest of your kitchen scheme. They can be retrofitted and are suitable for use in cabinets of 400mm and above.
More Life per m2 is our company ethos; something we embody and strive to achieve for our customers’ customers. We partner with the highest quality brands and have designed, engineered and built our own robust and reliable solutions to ensure homeowners are armed with space saving products as compact living becomes the norm. So, even as housing footprints get smaller, with clever design and installation, we’ll ensure the customer doesn’t even notice the difference."
To find out more about Häfele’s space saving solutions, please visit their website
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