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  • Writer's pictureKristina Browning

Using Vertical Space when you can't Reach it: Solutions

Updated: Jan 30, 2022

I like to give every Space a Reason. Step Stools are just a part of life when you are 5'2" (like me)'ve opted to put cupboards all the way to the ceiling using every ounce of space available to you. SO, my radar goes quickly to step stools when I see them out and about in the world because mine must be accessible at all times. I use them daily.

Because of that, I decided to list out some that I love:

Aesthetically pleasing: This modern Teak Step Stool would be ideal in a spot where it is intended to sit out all the time and be admired, then pulled into action when needed. It's lovely to look at and has two steps. It could probably double as a seat for kiddos or a plant stand...but I only mention that because I adore things that have a dual purpose. SerenaAndLily remind us that Teak is naturally water-resistant, so it stands up to moisture like a champ if you are thinking of using it in the bathroom or say, the pool house. I also can imagine this being moved outdoors in the summer in between two Adirondacks on the porch for holding drinks, magazines and a perfect tiny potted succulent. I'm a fan of floor pillows for family time and this could be a supportive item in that scenario too... if we are all gathered around our coffee table assembling a puzzle, this little gem can swoop in to hold the coffee cup and eye glasses. Mobile and oh so cute... thumbs up!

Utilitarian and foldable...this is a few notches up from the metal folding beast I remember from childhood that weighed a million pounds and felt so clumsy in my small hands. Available in either white or mahogany, also in two or three steps, this is the bad boy you take out to reach the turkey platter on the top shelf you only get down once a year. I love the extra step option, because sometimes you can change a lightbulb with just this added height if you are taller than I am. (I have to actually get the real ladder from the garage.). I'm a fan of using ALL the space in my home, vertical space included, which means baking items are at the top of my pantry since I don't use them often. I pull out my step ladder, tucked neatly between the end of my kitchen counter and the high chair we still hang onto because my niece is still little. It folds up so thin, that it isn't a bother at all. Quick and easily accessible, it makes for motivation to easily put it away too.

Feast your eyes on this fantastic idea below. I first saw this integrated step stool on social media. It was a video that I cooed over and watched many times, wishing I had thought of including this into our cabinets when we built our home. This is the product of Hideaway Solutions who have a patent pending. It is meant to be added to a kitchen during the cabinet installation process so if a remodel or new build is in your near future, it's something to consider. The step stool is rated for 200 lbs. which is the standard rating for Type 3 light-duty normal household use.

What I love: if you have this installed in your kitchen, you don't have to have a storage spot to hide your step stool. I also appreciate that it folds out in either direction. This is ideal for the single wall of upper kitchen cabinetry that is combined with another wall with no uppers, which is so popular these days. What I don't love: if you need to reach anything else, anyWHERE else, you need another step stool anyway. However, it is still so very cool!

Your home is the framework for your life. It either opens possibilities or hinders them. It either encourages your passions or makes them difficult. Many people could “make do” in most any home but to truly thrive, you should give your life some careful thought. That's why considering every purchase with care is important. If you love to bake for example, there are several things that need to line up in order for that experience to be enjoyable. And...I might add as you get further down this list, they are less necessary for the experience to HAPPEN but the enjoyment level increases.

  1. You must have a functional kitchen

  2. Having a quick and easy way to access all your baking supplies is a very real part of baking. It also helps to make it easer for the clean-up, getting it all back to where it came from.

  3. If your kitchen is organized enabling you to easily and quickly find everything you need, your pleasure supersedes your stress and frustration. The more chaotic, the more stress and frustration compete for the space in your mind that Joy is attempting to fill. It is the very past-time you most eliminating any parts of this process that are distracting in a negative way, helps the experience to be MORE enjoyable.

  4. If your kitchen is aesthetically pleasing to YOU, and you feel GOOD in the space, it heightens the pleasure of being in that space to bake, or cook, or visit with your neighbor who just popped by to borrow a cup of sugar.

Identifying the issues that you find recurring in your days and slowly eliminating them can lead to more peace. It's a fantastic gift you can give yourself. What are these "issues" that I speak of? I'm not talking about not being able to pay your electricity bill here. I'm talking about little nagging things happening under your roof every day that are akin to a poke in the eye over and over. When piled one atop another, your home can become a stressful unpleasant place. Again, these things aren't big deals. They are the sort of small annoying things that easily get pushed to the bottom of the To-Do list because nobody is gonna die if they don't get done. I mean WE ARE BUSY. I get it.

Setting up your space for quality time is the best gift you can give yourself and your family.

Imagine having your grand-daughter over for berry picking and making jam. You can't find your jam jars. You can't reach the large pot for boiling the jars without going out into the garage to find, and haul in, the ladder. You keep running your elbow into the pantry door that pops open over and over because something isn't quite right with how the door sits in the door jam. Lastly, it's dark in your kitchen these days with a couple burned out bulbs needing to be changed. What COULD be a memorable, easy like Sunday morning experience is sure to be stressful and makes enough angst in your mind that you really don't want to even start the project because you have already foreseen all these irritants coming your way.

Start with something simple: finding that ideal step stool so you can reach what you need and easily put it back away. Identify your irritants and tackle one per day. One per week. One per month...whatever you can muster! Progress is progress. Little by little, your experience in that space will be filled with more pleasure and less stress. Tackle one space at a time and stay tuned to me, here or on social media...because I love these "home puzzles," spacial reasoning and making homes beautiful.

Your home is the framework for your life. It either opens possibilities or hinders them. It either encourages your passions or makes them difficult. Let's assemble that framework thoughtfully.

If you aren't in the right home and you live in the greater Metro Portland Oregon area, I can help. I'm a Realtor and Consultant for people just like you. I Consult on...

  1. Spacial Reasoning (wise use of space and functionality)

  2. Curb Appeal.

  3. Paint Color

Thanks so much for spending this time with me! If you enjoyed my writing and thoughts, please comment, subscribe and follow me on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest. I'm most active on Instagram. I also am developing a Curb Appeal e-course. If this interest you, click on the Curb Appeal Class link and sign up to be notified when the class goes live.

X,O ~Kristina


Kristina Browning is a realtor in Oregon City, West Linn & beyond. She is a licensed in the state of Oregon under 503 Properties with a Sellers Representative Specialist certification. She is a home coach focused on spacial reasoning and home functionality.

©Kristina Browning 2019

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