It's Awkward… – Alexandria Living Magazine

Creative solutions to those weird nooks and small spaces in your home.
Mar. 11, 2022
7:23 a.m.
In your home, it may be the space under the stairs, the far end of the hallway or the entryway without anywhere near enough storage. No matter where it is, just about every home has an area that’s a little bit awkward or just needs some creativity to be a useful space.
We talked to designers who have come up with solutions to those awkward spaces in Alexandria homes. 
Going Up and Down
The basement before…
A full renovation and addition, designed by Marks-Woods Construction Services, on a home in the Beverly Hills neighborhood made both the attic and basement a bit more useful. The original home had a “super small”unfinished attic. Instead of using the attic for storage, the family wanted to expand their living space vertically. A spiral staircase for access and the addition of new dormer windows made the attic a space for a home office.
 Before the renovation, the basement of the home was unfinished. To maximize the small space, Marks-Woods Construction Services made use of every inch — including the nook under the stairs in the basement. Often, this space becomes a messy storage area or, if height and width allows, a very small bathroom.
In this case, bookshelves under the narrow staircase added attractive shelving and left room for a small, pet-friendly corner for the family’s spaniel.
After under the stairs.
Keeping the Cans… Somewhere
Going from a closed-off, dark kitchen to an open-concept kitchen comes with a lot of perks, including more counter space and light. But when walls are removed, where does the pantry go? Normally tucked off in a corner, those who are lucky enough to have a proper pantry benefit from its added storage.
When renovating this kitchen, Marks-Woods designers made an unusual choice — featuring the pantry as a focal point. The pantry was put right in the middle of the kitchen in a way that gave it architectural significance on the outside while serving as useful space on the inside. The back of the pantry is now a feature wall when you view it from the dining room.
The pantry was hidden into a small feature wall in the open-concept kitchen.
Creating a ‘Drop Zone’
Sometimes homes have plenty of storage — in the least useful places.  That was the case with this home, pictured below, in Alexandria’s West End. The homeowners needed a better solution for the front entryway to create better (and more attractive) storage for shoes, jackets and backpacks.
The solution was not to build more closets, but to create built-in storage in the entryway that looks like it was part of the home’s original design all along. In addition to the shelves and hooks, Marks-Woods Construction Services designers left space for shoes and backpacks on the floor.
Under the stairs in the same entryway, built-in decorative shelving gave the homeowners space to display artwork and draw visual attention into the living area. 
Mar. 11, 2022
7:23 a.m.
Alexandria Living Magazine is your go-to source for exploring the past, present and future of Alexandria’s people, culture and happenings. Come explore with us!
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