The family room often serves as the centre of activity in the home and must house everything from pool tables to bookshelves. Create more storage in this often-cluttered environment by using louvered doors to enclose unused spaces. Louvered doors allow airflow, reducing stale odours and mustiness in closed-off spaces. The louvres can be movable or fixed, but both kinds attract dust on their horizontal surfaces. Clean the louvres regularly with a damp cloth or with the wand attachment on the vacuum cleaner.
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A wall of shallow closets, each covered with louvered doors, gives the family room a clean, uniform look. Install shelves in some of the closets to hold board games, CDs and DVDs, electronic equipment, linens and other items commonly used in that area of the house. Leave one or two closets empty of shelves to accommodate tall or bulky items such as a vacuum cleaner or ski equipment. Hang a clothes rod in one of the closets to provide extra storage for out-of-season clothing, formal wear or bulky overcoats. Paint the louvered doors to match the rest of the walls for a toned-down appearance, or paint them the colour of your room trim. Fresh white paint is a classic louvered door colour and works in a variety of colour schemes.
Create storage space and hide clutter with louvered doors hinged together to form a folding room divider. Close off an entire wall or just a corner of the family room. Use the space to store large items that won't fit into closets or other storage areas. Storage chests, tubs of clothing, old baby furniture and other awkward, bulky items disappear behind the divider, leaving the rest of the family room uncluttered and ready for use.
Wall niches and space under the stairs present possibilities for extra storage. Hang a small set of louvered doors over a wall niche to create the appearance of shutters. Use the space to corral television remotes, pool cue chalk, ping pong balls or other small items that often go missing in the family room. Close off the space under the stairs with a set of louvered doors to form a makeshift storage closet, useful for large items such as a folding card table and luggage.
Once you have created closets and storage spaces in the family room, use the space as efficiently as possible to protect your belongings and make it easy to find what you need. Group small items into plastic lidded bins and label them clearly. Large baskets and bins keep spare blankets and linens tidy. Store frequently used items in the most convenient storage areas and leave long-term storage in closets behind large furniture or in other hard-to-reach places. Consider installing a shelving system in larger storage areas to maximise the use of space.
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