Make the most of every centimetre in awkward spaces

Johanna and her family moved into the old rectory in Jäla. Their new residence had less storage space than their previous home. Actually, there was almost none at all. Room was therefore made upstairs and next to the bedroom for a relatively large walk-in wardrobe. The sloped ceiling and beams posed challenges. Despite this, they managed to cover an entire wall with smart and efficient storage solutions from Elfa. Johanna then realised that it would be possible to create practical storage in three small and rather tricky spaces that she had been mulling over.

This is where we live

Johanna Berglund (age 35) is a home and garden influencer. Kristoffer Berglund (age 37) is a home DIYer and works part-time as a lorry driver. The couple and their children, Hugo (age 12) and Melker (age 10), live in the Swedish town of Falköping in a large rectory with 180 sq.m. of living space.

Follow Johanna on Instagram: @snickargladjen

Three tricky spaces

A small niche in the bedroom was originally going to be turned into a reading corner.

– We changed our minds fairly quickly and decided we wanted a wardrobe there instead, says Johanna. But would that be possible in this space with its sloped ceiling, beams and a timber truss, which is part of the original structure? Working out how to make use of every bit of space was not easy.

Johanna wanted an open and airy storage area with room for shoes under the stairs. The challenge there was the angle of the stairs and the small space

The third area was the tiny laundry room, which measures just a couple of square metres. There is a washing machine, a tumble dryer, a geothermal heat pump, an electrical consumer unit and underfloor heating cables in this space. Ideally, Johanna wanted wall-mounted storage and somewhere to hang up the laundry.

So Elfa was presented with the challenge of maximising every millimetre of space in these three areas, which were also the only spaces left in the house that could be used for storage.

The bedroom


The niche in the bedroom provides useful storage space for outdoor items, Christmas decorations, extra duvets and pillows, plus other pieces of home decor that are needed and used, but not right now.

Johanna uses both wire shelves and wire shelf baskets to keep everything neatly stored. 

Under the stairs

There’s room for a lot of shoes on the shelves under the stairs. Having no shoes on the floor makes it easy to vacuum up any grit and dirt that fall through the wire shelves.

The laundry room

The space in the laundry room was desperately needed for seasonal items, cleaning and washing products, a medicine storage box, pet accessories and much more.

– I wanted a storage solution that would meet our present needs, but could be adapted in the future as those needs change.

– I wanted an open storage system where you can easily see where things are. And room for boxes, clear or opaque, that can be labelled as needed.

Laundry and cleaning products, a medicine storage box, dog and cat accessories and other items are now on the shelves around the washing machine and sink. Seldom-used items are stored on the top shelf.

Johanna’s top tips for impossible spaces

  • My biggest and best piece of advice is to sit back and let Elfa’s experts help with the planning. Of course you can tweak their suggestion afterwards, but we accepted theirs straight away!
  • You can easily see what is stored in wire drawers. Dividers can be added to the drawers to help keep items tidily in place.
  • The wooden boxes that we chose for the shelves, and to which I’ve attached labels, give the laundry room quite a calm feel.
  • Remember to give these spaces a little TLC now and then to keep them clean and tidy. I get a real kick from knowing that things are organised and neatly stored, even in the spaces hidden from daily view
  • Allocate a small shelf for extra supplies, just in case.

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With easy to use drag and drop function you can plan everything from a small shelving system to a full-scale wardrobe solution.

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