These simple solutions to common design problems come out of the box


These simple solutions to common design problems are ready to go.

ASK any renovator the reason for all their hard work and often their answers are remarkably similar.

It seems like we are all looking for extra storage, more space, and more natural light.

We’ve discovered some great pieces that explore creative uses for old design problems, whether it’s an unexpected addition to a kitchen drawer or a budget-friendly solution for a temporary children’s play area.

While some of these ideas will cost more than others, it might inspire you to come up with design solutions that solve your particular design dilemma.


As the kitchen evolved into the heart of the home, innovative design followed, with kitchen designers constantly coming up with new ways to better use existing space.

This clever design from Randwick’s Provincial Kitchens is perfect for a home where space is at a premium.

An ironing board built into the kitchen cabinets makes the space versatile and would work well in homes with a small utility room or in apartments.

Kickboard drawers are also a fantastic way to increase storage without taking up extra space.

Following: Provincial kitchens,


The little ones need space. There are the toys, the books, the games, the tech – you could probably fill a few rooms with whatever your kids have.

Consider converting a media room, guest bedroom, or additional living space into a children’s sanctuary like this functional setup from Ikea. The best part is you don’t need expensive furniture or even miles of space.

Coordinating shelves provide great storage while children’s chairs provide a place for kids to do their own thing. Complete the picture with a small side table and a lamp and enjoy the peace and quiet.

Following: Ikea,


We love this streamlined bedside storage solution from Sydney’s Anna Carin Design studio.

The Scandinavian-style low headboard provides excellent space above and next to the bed.

Functionally, the combination of drawers and open shelves ensures that there is room for everything while keeping it close at hand. The end result is a spacious and uncluttered bedroom, perfect for a good night’s sleep.

Following: Anna Carin Design,

Carpentry by Eddie Chedra / Adam Standfield Cabinetmaker


With a modern open-plan design, the Island Bench has become a natural gathering place, not only for people, but also for things.

Who doesn’t have a bunch of school notes, bills, phone chargers, and other stuff piled up on the bench?

This design from Freedom Kitchens has Caesarstone surfaces with a smart built-in shelf to help keep your bench clear.

We especially like the inclusion of a power outlet making this hidden space the perfect charging station.

If you’re super tidy anyway, the built-in downlights could make this a great display idea for books or ceramics.

Following: Caesarstone,

Kitchen by Freedom Kitchens,


There is so much to love about this bright, light space in a guesthouse on the south coast of New South Wales.

A dark old farmhouse, this property has been brought back to life thanks to the clever positioning of windows and skylights to flood the space with natural light – an easy fix for most older homes that might need light.

The vaulted ceiling helps create a sense of space while the triangular window next to the fireplace and glass door are thoughtful inclusions that don’t detract from the original character of the space.

A barn-style sliding door to the butler’s pantry is a great space saver when adding modern spaces to older homes, while still respecting the age of the property.

Following: BAM Construction and Interior Design,

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