Bike Storage Part 2

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Bikes. We obviously love them and not long ago I posted about our first bike storage solution. The bike pulley has been one of our favorite finds and it has served us well so far. That said, we were ready to find another way to store the second bike in our loft. We wanted to check out other options so our stairway/ceiling space didn’t get too cluttered. Which is when we found these bike hangers. They can be hung from the ceiling or a wall which meant they provided LOTS of options!

Bike Storage

When we first moved into the loft we didn’t think much about the opening in the down stairs room. I just assumed we would design around it and leave it as is. I should have known better! After trying a few different floor plans for both rooms(either side of this wall and opening) I was really wishing the thing was just solid. So we closed it off with curtains and set up the living room accordingly.

Bike Storage

The space stayed this way for quite some time and my bike lived on the other side. It was generally propped up against the wall and while it wasn’t in the way it still visually cluttered the space. One day while propping my bike up after a ride I realized the bike was about the same size as the opening itself. Lightbulb moment! I lifted the bike up and sure enough it totally fit in the opening. The wall here is thicker than normal so the width of the handlebars also wasn’t going to be an issue.

Bike Storage

After I bought two hangers we installed them using drywall anchors. We spent some time living with a “framed” bike I realized I wanted the option to close the space completely. Back to Amazon to order some basic curtain panels for the office side of this wall! After hanging a new rod and both panels the bike storage part 2 was complete!

Bike Storage

The panels look a bit translucent in the photo but its just the sun/lighting. They are completely opaque and when they are closed you cant tell there is anything behind them. Its insanely easy to hang my bike up and throw the curtains closed after a ride. And nobody would ever guess there is a bike or opening behind these panels!

I realize not everyone has an opening specifically like this but its not the point. The point is to look for unexpected spaces to use for storage! Im sure most people don’t evaluate hallways, banisters, windows, openings, soffits, etc for their storage potential. But if you look past the “assumed” function you may just find a little hidden storage potential.

So what spaces have you converted into storage? Have any other fabulous bike storage tips to share? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments!

Bike Storage
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Storage Solutions: Underbed Real Estate

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Underbed Storage

If you follow me on instagram you’ve seen #loftlife plenty. I love it. Really its been a challenge in the best way to adapt to loft living. One of the challenges we’ve come across is how to live(realistically) in an appealing space when everything is so open. It takes very little to clutter up this loft so finding hidden spaces to use for storage has been crucial. Obviously those “hidden” spaces are scarce in the loft. But everyone has at least one great hidden space for storage: underbed real estate!

The number of underbed storage boxes and bins available is nuts! You can find them in nearly every color, size, and shape so if you have ANY space under your bed you can take advantage. We have a fairly low bed so it took a bit of extra online searching to find a set that would really utilize the whole space. I came across these and decided to give them a try. I could fit 6 total under our king size bed and they were totally affordable.

Underbed Storage Solution

After living in our loft for a few weeks we had weeded out the items we wanted to keep with us but didn’t use very often. Some of the items that made it into the bags were spare linens, seasonal clothes, and bulky beach towels. With 6 full bags these are totally life savers for our closets and cutting clutter. This is basically the equivalent of half a closet people!

Underbed Storage Solution

After living with the bags for a while I was completely happy with their usefulness. Their visual clutter…. not so much. We don’t have a comforter that reaches to ground so being able to see them under the bed was obnoxious. Enter my search for a bed skirt that didn’t remind me of something from a victorian home. Also, am I the only one that thinks of Bunny and the dust ruffle argument when bed skirts are brought up? Didn’t think so!

Underbed Storage Solution

Again, our bed being lower than average meant finding a suitable product took a little extra searching. If you have a standard height bed you can use one straight out of the package. Unfortunately this was not the case for us. They simply do not make bedskirts the right size for our height. So I ordered the closest size, trimmed, and hemmed it to fit. Hemming is one of the simplest sewing skills but easily one of the most useful for DIY projects. If you haven’t mastered this I promise its worth looking up a tutorial and/or practicing. It will open up the products you can use for projects significantly.

Underbed Storage Solution

With the 6 underbed bags and and 1 custom fit bedskirt we have completely upped our storage! The fact that you cant even tell we are using the space for storage is a total bonus as well!

Underbed Storage Solution

So what spaces have you used for secret storage? Have you converted your underbed real estate into useful space? Tell me all about it in the comments!

Underbed Storage Solution
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Bike Hoist Storage

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Bike hoist storage

Bike storage. Unless your place has bike lockers(lucky you!) or you have your own garage(luckier you!) bike storage can require some seriously creative solutions. This last move left us with no garage, patio, or lockers for outdoor gear and specifically things like bikes. The items we only use on occasion like camping gear or our skiing gear lives happily in storage while not in use. But bikes are something that get used on the reg around here and needed to stay in the loft. So began my search for a solution so my living room didn’t double as a bike rack. Enter: bike hoist storage!

Bike hoist storage

After scouring the internet and reading a ridiculous number of reviews it seemed clear this was the solution for us. Being that we are in a loft we have crazy tall ceilings and making use of some of the overhead space made perfect sense. We considered a few different positions but the space above our stairway landing seemed the best suited. First, it wasn’t going to be a visual/decorative issue since the stairway doesn’t have much going on. Second, the landing shortened the distance we needed for installation. Other areas of the loft are 20+’ from floor to the ceiling so this was a big deal. The height above the landing cut the distance down significantly and we could use the ladder we already had. And lastly, the bike actually fit in this space!

Bike hoist storage

Luckily Q’s road bike is incredibly light(only 18lbs) but even if you are riding something with more heft these hoists can hold up to 100lbs. Knowing the hoist could handle the weight we moved on to hardware. The area we wanted to place the hoist wasn’t lined up with studs(typical!) so we needed drywall anchors. Since moving in I’ve used a number of different hanging hardware but we went with zinc drywall anchors that can hold 50lbs each. Once we had all the parts it was just a matter of measure, mark, and drill to get the hoist in place. This is really Q’s area of expertise so I got to sit back and watch(and occasionally hand tools up the ladder!). The whole process only took about 30 minutes.

Bike hoist storage

Bike hoist storage

Its been a couple weeks now and we love this system! Even if we didn’t live in a loft I’d absolutely install one in a home, garage, etc. Its so easy to use, easy to install, and totally affordable. A win in all accounts! So what bike storage has been a win for you? Have you converted to hoist storage? Are you loving it? You know I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

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Upcycled Kitchen Island

Kitchen Island DIY
   
   Kitchen storage. Is there really ever enough? In my case the answer to that has always been NO! We’ve lived in so many different spaces and even the ones with the biggest kitchens still lacked enough storage to house all my kitchen supplies. I realize I may have more than the average person (and even most foodies). But! Being a food photographer as my “day job” means my kitchen doubles as my office and all my tools, dishes, thingamabobs, etc double as my props. Do you see why the upcycled kitchen island was the first DIY we tackled upon moving into the loft? Right. 

   When we moved across the country we decided to use Upack to move the majority of our household goods. The company drops off a container, you fill it, they drive it across the county, and eventually drop it off at your new home. Simple and super budget friendly. Only hitch is you have to pack it all yourself. Now we have moved several times in the last 10 years of making homes together but we have never packed for this big of a move and never with this kind of container. We did our best and man did we pack a LOT of junk items into that space… maybe a little too much. At least weight wise. And maybe a little too much on top of what used to be our dinning room table…

 

    
   When we finally unpacked enough boxes to uncover the table we realized the wood completely split(insert super sad face). At first my mind started to wonder how we could repair it and how we could start some new woodworking projects in the middle of our new place… and then I realized that was too crazy even for us! So we pulled the legs off and I figured the top itself could make a good desk top or even just another backdrop/surface for my shoots. I quickly changed that train of thought once we unpacked another stack of kitchen boxes and realized I needed more storage and an island would be perfect in the space: 

(Doesn’t that space look like it was made for a huge kitchen island?! I thought so too)

    We already had a few old expedite bookcases and some metal legs from a previous configuration. So we just tipped them on their sides, attached the legs, and threw the old table top on! After a few more days of unpacking I added the lid holder to the far side and a couple magazine holders to corral those annoying water bottles which are always too tall to fit in apartment kitchen cupboards:

 
   I also added some fabric storage bins to hide some of the less attractive items. As much as I love seeing pretty kitchens with open storage and all white plates and pottery but thats just not realistic for me. I have a huge variety of sizes, colors, and shapes and when you try to use completely open storage it just looks messy and visually cluttered. So bins for the win!
 
  
 After a few days of using the island we added some rubber feet between the table top and the book cases to help with the small amount of shifting we had. We didn’t really want to attach the top with brackets or other hardware because it seemed like overkill and it would look messy. So far there haven’t been any issues with shifting but I’ll come back with an update after it gets a little more use. 

   So DIY project #1 for this loft is officially complete! What DIYs do you have planned for the weekend?
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