|1. Ask Yourself: What Do I Really Want?||
Do you want to add space? How? By repurposing a space that you no longer use very much? By actually adding on to your home? By using the space you now have, but more effectively?
What do you want to accomplish in this space? Multiple tasks? Or will this be a dedicated area? If you answer "multiple tasks", is there a chance you'll end up with an area that is unusable because you've tried to cram too much into it?
What furnishings will you need to make the area work the way you want it to? Do you need equipment or additional equipment? Do you need areas that are just for laying things out and working on them? Do you need to store equipment, tools, component parts, supplies?
Does the area you have chosen have enough electrical for your projects? Will you need to add additional circuits? How about adequate lighting? Is ventilation a consideration? A source of water and/or a sink? If so, do you have the area properly plumbed? Will you need to add access to phone lines or the internet?
What is your budget? Is this a project you can do all at once, or should you undertake it in more affordable stages?
Can you do the preparation work needed yourself, or will you have to hire outside help? Will you need to pull any permits? What tasks must be done by a licensed workman?
There's nothing like checking out what others have done to get the creative juices gushing through your brain. We've assembled a gallery of images and storiesof other idea-stimulating, thought-provoking home make-overs to encourage your imagination. Or take a look at what some professionals such as mechanics, home-office dwellers and other small businesspeople have done to make their workspaces work.
At Lista, we think about storage all the time. It's what we do. So we think we have some insights that may help you plan this aspect of your project.
It's likely that there are limitations to the amount of space you can devote to storage in your project area, so you certainly want to make the most of the space you have. The fact is, drawer storage cabinets are much better at making full use of your available cubic space than shelves, particularly if you are storing small-to-medium size items of irregular shape and size.
Shelving is fine for big, bulky, regularly-shaped items – items larger than a shoebox. For example, stackable rectangular boxes can often be a nice fit for shelf space. But irregularly-shaped boxes, or items with irregular surfaces (such as most tools and equipment) usually can't be easily stacked. Even if they are stacked, cubic space is almost always wasted, because even if they could use the full cubic air space available with shelving, most people simply don't. And people typically store frequently-used items along the front edge of the shelf, hiding and inhibiting access to items at the back of the shelf.
Drawer cabinets, on the other hand, allow storage in right-height drawers which can be filled to the top, using all available cubic space. Be sure to look for drawers which feature full-height sidewalls (that's what we offer at Lista). This, in conjunction with drawers having full-extension capabilities, means that the entire three-dimensional drawer space can be utilized – front-to-back, side-to-side, and top-to-bottom. Because of this, with small to medium items, one eye-level modular drawer cabinet can hold as much as three to four sections of shelving.
Modular drawer storage cabinets also protect your valuable belongings from environmental wear and tear. Items come out of the drawer looking as clean as when they went in. This is far from the case with shelving, with items often left out in the open where they can collect coatings of dirt, dust and grime.
To accomplish most projects and hobbies, you will typically need a work area. Work areas can come in many sizes and shapes, depending on what you want to do. Consider these questions:
How much work area do you need? How deep does it need to be? How wide? Will you be standing or sitting when you're at work? Do you need to store or hang items right above your worksurface (like tools or parts/supplies)?
Do you want the space under your worksurface to be empty, so you can store trash cans, bulky equipment or maybe a mobile toolbox under it? Or do you prefer to use the area under the worksurface for some type of storage, whether it be in drawers or on shelves?
Does the worksurface need to be sturdy and tough (like hardwood, or galvanized or stainless steel), or can it be made of a more decorative material (like laminate)? Will you be mounting items (like a vise) on the worksurface?
Once you've thought through all the considerations involved, it's time to plan your space. You may know exactly what your want your space to look like, how it should flow, and just how everything will fit. Or you might want to talk to an expert about some of these ideas. If you have the budget, you might be working with an architect. If you have a lot of structural work to do, you may be bringing in a contractor.
If you want free planning advice from a storage and workspace expert, then you should call us at Lista (that toll-free number is 888-273-6930). Because we specialize in making workspace work. And we'd be happy to help you make your workspace work. Or play, for that matter.
|2. Getting Inspired|
|3. Thinking about Storage|
|4. Working Out Your Work Areas|
|5. Talking to Planning Experts|
|6. Place Your Order|