Follow The Four ‘F’s To Effectively Organise Your Home Office

If you are one of the millions of people who works from home you may find that organising it to suit your needs can sometimes be a challenge. Some may have a room dedicated to home working, while others may only have a corner of a room to work from. Either way the key is to create an environment that allows you work comfortably and remain motivated. Whether you’re thinking about working from home or whether you already do so, but need to sort out your space, there’s no time like the present, especially as ‘Organise Your Home Office’ day is on 14th March!

Functionality

Consider what you need to work effectively. Do you just need a computer and a printer and somewhere to file paperwork away? Or do you need extra surface space, for example somewhere, if you are a designer or architect, to lay out designs or plans? Or, if your business has grown, perhaps you need extra storage space? Then consider how you might need to position the various items to create the best work flow.

Furniture  

Once you have an idea of what you need, how you need to lay things out and how much space you have available, you can then work out the furniture you need to accommodate your requirements. A desk and a shelving unit or bookcase might be enough to start with, but if you’re adding to your existing furniture do you have a modular system of shelving or cabinets that allows you to add to it easily? Whatever storage solution you choose make sure you have enough to cope with your initial needs as well as allowing some extra space for the future.

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Filing

Even in today’s digital age, we still have a need to store business paperwork and other materials. Keeping the amount of paperwork generated under control can be a challenge, so creating a filing system that works for you is key. Try to set aside time on a regular basis to file stuff away so that you can maintain a clutter-free workspace as too much clutter can be a distraction.

Furnishings

Given the amount of time you spend in your home office, it’s only right that you add your own personal style to your environment so that you can feel completely comfortable. Incorporating lighting, books, plants and pictures into your design scheme allows you to create the right ambiance for you to work well and these can be both functional items and favourite items that you enjoy having around you.

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If you are looking for more inspiration and ideas on how you can re-organise your home office why not take a look at our blog – you’ll find plenty of topics of interest. If you are planning to use any Shelfstore products we would love to hear from you and so please tweet us @Shelfstore and we would be happy to offer any practical advice you may need.

For more information about Shelfstore’s flexible and multipurpose system of shelving, doors, drawers and desks or for help planning and designing your new storage solution, please visit us at www.shelfstore.co.uk.

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Shelfstore’s Top 10 Children’s Books

With World Book Day in early March as well as National Storytelling Week and World Storytelling Day, there are quite a few reasons to celebrate storytelling this month – whether you like writing stories, listening to them or just like reading a good book.

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Stories can be enjoyed by all ages and there is plenty written about the benefits of reading – it broadens our knowledge and our vocabulary, it improves our memory and our concentration, it inspires creativity and imagination, and above all…it’s fun!

With this in mind the Shelfstore Team has come up with a list of its favourite children’s books – take a look and see how many you and your children have read…

The BFG by Roald Dahl

The BFG stands for Big Friendly Giant, who transports a little girl named Sophie to a land of child-eating giants. One of Dahl’s most lovable character creations, it’s full of outrageous humour and plenty of jokes, this story is a much-loved tale that continues to be cherished by readers of all ages.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney

The first book in the bestselling Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. Illustrated in diary format, this laugh-out-loud book recording a year in the life of Greg Heffley – an all American kid – was a New York Times bestseller and continues to have huge appeal.

Dork Diaries by Rachel Renee Russell

Nikki Maxwell is not popular, in fact she’s a total dork! The reader follows Nikki’s life through sketches, doodles and diary entries as she starts her new school, battles with her mum and meets her arch-nemesis. The bestselling Dork Diaries series is written and illustrated by Rachel Renée Russell.

Girl Online by Zoe Sugg

This is the first book from Zoe Sugg, better known as Youtube star Zoella. Dealing with many issues that will be familiar to Zoella’s millions of  fans – including the ups and downs of social media, and the challenges of dealing with anxiety – this is a sweet and warm-hearted teen tale.

Gone by Michael Grant

Gone is the first book in the Gone series and is Lord of the Flies for the 21st century. It is a fast-paced, gripping, all-action novel that delivers a powerfully exciting and engrossing read. Its author, Michael Grant, is one of the World Book Day authors for 2017.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling

After the misery of life with his ghastly aunt and uncle, Harry Potter is delighted to have the chance of an exciting new life at the Hogwart’s School of Wizardry and Witchcraft. This internationally bestselling and award-winning story is the first in the phenomenally successful Harry Potter series.

The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien

The Hobbit is the unforgettable story of Bilbo, a peace-loving hobbit, who embarks on a strange and magical adventure. Since its first publication in 1937 this well-loved fantasy – full of magic, humour and adventure – has delighted both children and adults.

The Maze Runner by James Dashner

The Maze Runner is the first in a series of dystopian science fiction novels. Full of fast-paced action and adventure, this smart and well-observed saga of survival has won multiple awards and was a New York Times best seller.

Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief by Rick Riordan

In this bestselling comic fantasy novel, 12-year-old Percy Jackson having discovered that his true father is Poseidon, the Greek god of the sea, learns that his fate is to undertake a dangerous quest to find Zeus’ stolen lightning bolt and avert a War of the Gods.

Skellig by David Almond

Exploring a ramshackle garage with his new-found friend, Mina, Michael discovers a strange, magical creature – part owl, part angel. This captivating novel from critically-acclaimed children’s author David Almond won both the Carnegie Medal and the Whitbread Children’s Book Award.

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If you’re looking to find the perfect home for your children’s book collection or even your own – take a look at the Shelfstore website. Shelfstore’s flexible and multipurpose system of shelving is the perfect solution for storing books and can be easily designed to fit any space, no matter what the shape to suit your book collection needs.

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Your Get Organised Checklist for 2017!

Well the house is looking bare now that the Christmas decorations have been packed away and you may well be struggling to keep to those New Year Resolutions you made at the start of January, but take heart! All is not lost! Now that the frenzy of Christmas is well and truly past and your energy levels have returned to normal, it’s the best time to focus and look forward to getting organised for the New Year. January is after all Get Organised Month!

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Update your calendar

Start by noting down in your calendar all birthdays, appointments and holidays and of course don’t forget some ‘me time’ too – whether that’s to exercise, start to learn something new or spend time with family or friends!

Tidy up paperwork

Clear out old paperwork and file away any that is still lying around. Then shred what you no longer need and if the amount of paper is still weighing you down, why not go paperless!

Clear out clutter

Work through each room in your house – especially those that get used by all the family – and clear out the clutter discarding anything that’s not be used regularly. As a rule of thumb if you haven’t used something for at least a year, it’s likely you no longer need it!

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Create more storage

Take a look at your shelving, cupboard or drawer units and work out if you need more storage units to be able to tidy things up. Don’t forget to check out your kitchen, bathroom and loft as well as your home office too! There are always ways to make best use of the space you have.

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Mini Spring clean

Freshen up your bedrooms too with a mini Spring clean! Flip and vacuum the mattresses, clean the light fittings (replacing any bulbs whilst you’re at it) and the inside of the windows too to give a brighter feel to all the rooms.

Living an organised life can save you time and energy and increase your productivity and should, therefore, make you happier!

If we have inspired you, we would love to hear from you if you are planning to use any Shelfstore products. Please tweet us @Shelfstore and we would be happy to offer any practical advice you may need.

For more information about Shelfstore’s products or for help planning and designing your new storage solution, please visit us at www.shelfstore.co.uk.

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Guest Blog: Being Healthy In Your Home Office Increases Levels Of Productivity

If you are someone who works from home, then improving levels of productivity is just one of the steps which you need to take towards achieving success within your business.

Measures can be taken to improve your health within your working environment, thus improving overall productivity.

How Does Health Impact on Productivity?

An unhealthy worker can form a downfall of productivity because they’re more likely to take time off working, leaving tasks incomplete. If you’re experiencing physical or mental health problems, it can take longer to complete tasks and cause your motivation levels to hit an all time low.

Choosing Office Furniture to Improve Productivity

One of the simplest steps you can take when trying to improve both health and productivity is to choose the right office furniture for your home office. For example, choosing ergonomic office chairs will help you to sit comfortably and in a position that will prevent you from suffering from any pain.

On the other hand, if you’re uncomfortable in your office, then you may get easily distracted from tasks, spending time readjusting your position in attempt to get comfortable. Joint and back problems could be an issue causing you to take time off work and impacting negatively on your productivity.

As well as this, choose furniture which will enable you to keep your working environment clean and tidy. Shelfstore has various shelving and storage solutions which can help keep your home office organised, ultimately improving levels of productivity.

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Natural Light

Natural light in the office can have a direct impact on productivity. Wherever possible, position furniture, such as chairs and desks, close to windows as this will help to get the best out of your work efforts. If natural light is limited in your office, try adding blue lights as studies have linked blue light to levels of motivation and productivity.

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Rest Breaks

People who do not take regular breaks will begin to tire and then lose concentration and focus, resulting in them taking longer to complete tasks, whereas those who do take regular breaks are more motivated and can retain focus throughout the day.

Healthy Eating

Those who eat healthily usually have steady blood sugar levels, while those who eat unhealthy snacks will have blood sugar levels that rise and fall throughout the day. Having steady blood sugar levels means workers will maintain good energy levels without getting tired.

There are ways you can encourage healthy eating. For example, don’t have unhealthy snacks or drinks dispensers in your home office. Instead, have a water dispenser and consider fresh fruit.

A Pleasant Working Environment

When people are mentally and emotionally well, they are also more productive. One measure you can take to promote good health is to create a pleasant working environment. Choose a light and bright colour scheme for your office and include plants too!

By taking these steps, you will gain better physical, mental and emotional health. In turn, this will improve the productivity of your company and contribute to your overall success.

Adam Robertson is a professional in the office furnishings industry. He works for Allard Office Furniture, an office furniture company which has 18 years of shared experience in office desks, chairs, supplies and accessories.

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How To Keep The Kids Entertained Over Christmas

As the schools break up for Christmas there will be plenty of children of all ages excited and bouncing for joy…but for their busy parents it can be quite a challenge to come up with new and entertaining activities over the festive break, especially after the frenzy of Christmas Day, so the team at Shelfstore has put together some fun ideas we think will keep them amused.

Bake some festive treats

Why not get the children to help bake some homemade treats over the festive season? It’s a great way to get messy and have fun – and children of all ages can get involved! You could choose to make mince pies or gingerbread cookies and let them get creative using shaped cookie cutters and decorating with icing – and for the more adventurous, how about making a gingerbread house!

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Go for a walk or bike ride

Going out for a walk is a great way to for children to let off steam. You could even go on a bike ride instead if it’s not too frosty out. A trip to the local park even when it’s blustery can leave everyone feeling refreshed especially if you’ve been indoors for a few days. And of course if you are lucky and it snows, then building snow men, having snowball fights and playing on sledges are all fun things to do.

Get creative

 With all the boxes, cardboard and wrapping paper discarded after Christmas, you have an abundant supply of materials to use – so get creative and either come up with your own ideas of things the children could make or look online for inspiration. And while you’re putting these materials to good use, so they don’t clutter up your home, why not think about what extra storage you might need for all those new toys.

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Visit local events

Of course there will be a pantomime on somewhere close to where you live, which is always great entertainment not just for children but for all the family. But if you are looking for something less expensive to do, with a bit of research you will be able to find all sorts of events taking place locally over the Christmas holidays that you can visit for free or for a very small fee. For example in Maidenhead, where Shelfstore is based, the annual art competition – this year inspired by The Elves and the Shoemaker Christmas Show – is on at Norden Farm’s Gallery and entry is free.

If you are looking for inspiration and ideas on shelving and storage solutions using Shelfstore’s flexible and multipurpose system of shelving, doors, drawers and desks, why not take a look at our blog – you’ll find plenty of topics of interest.

We would love to hear from you if you are planning to use any Shelfstore products and so please tweet us @Shelfstore and we would be happy to offer any practical advice you may need.

For more information about Shelfstore’s products or for help planning and designing your new storage solution, please visit us at www.shelfstore.co.uk.

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Online. Shopping At Your Convenience

Last year the number of Brits who participated in online shopping reached 43,000,000. That’s a huge number and it’s only going to continue to increase. There are so many advantages to e-commerce (transactions made via the internet) it’s no wonder the trend has grown and grown since Michael Aldrich invented the concept back in 1979.

Why brave the high street on a busy, rainy Saturday afternoon, when you can open up your laptop from the comfort of your sofa? Online shopping can be done anytime, anywhere and that’s why we love it. There are thousands of products at our fingertips, which we can browse at our leisure and where the shops are never closed.

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And that’s not all! There’s none of the hassle involved in getting your shopping back home either. Many retailers, including Shelfstore offer a free delivery service¹ – our multipurpose system of shelving and storage can be delivered straight to your door the very next day²! It’s so simple and convenient.

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There are those that still like to see and touch a product before they buy, so we offer a free sample service too. You can view the solid natural wood sample in your own home before you decide to buy so there’s no running back to the shop and queuing to return it.

What’s more using our free online tool, you can easily design any storage solution you require to make the most of your available space – whether it’s bedroom shelving, office shelving, a TV cabinet for the lounge, cupboards for the children’s rooms or bookcases for the library. Why not take a look at our blog for inspiration and ideas!

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So with online shopping set to rise over 7% again in 2017, we’ve tried to make your shopping experience with Shelfstore as simple and as easy as possible – you’re just a few steps away from creating your own piece of bespoke furniture offering the perfect solution to many storage problems.

For more information about Shelfstore’s products or for help planning and designing your new storage solution, please visit us at www.shelfstore.co.uk.

¹ Delivery is free to UK Mainland for orders over £100 (excl. VAT).

² Orders received before 3pm Monday to Friday will be despatched for next working day delivery, Monday to Friday excluding public holidays.

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Guest Blog: Looking For A Strong And Supportive Partner This Christmas?

Shelfstore’s range of storage systems is really impressive – covering stylish and practical options for the home, garage, office and workplace. Part of their appeal, and key to Shelfstore’s success, is the sheer weight these shelves will take. Thanks to an innovative design that distributes weight more effectively, a 60x30cm shelf will happily hold up to 100kg.

So, considering it’s Christmas, what creative ways can you put these mighty miracle-shelves to the test?

What festive goodies weigh 100kg?

20 turkeys – there might not be room for 20 prepared turkeys on your shelf (or 20 live ones, for that matter), but if there was, a Shelfstore shelf would take the strain, no problem.

100 large Christmas puddings – assuming you like to bulk-buy and stock up for decades of Christmases…

One Santa – the average male weight is about 85kg, but we all know Santa is a portly chap…

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500 pairs of slippers – you could have a Christmas slipper amnesty for everyone in your postcode, and do a boot sale in the New Year!

150 empty bottles – stack them on your Shelfstore shelf and release them into the recycling slowly – so you don’t look like an alcoholic.

All your lights, baubles, tinsel and cards – assuming you have the biggest tree in the neighbourhood, and you’re very, very popular.

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A year’s supply of batteries – for all those toys, remotes, torches, and so on. But you’ll still run out by Boxing Day, right?

Grandma when she’s ‘tired’ – or when she’s had a year’s worth of sherry in one afternoon.

All your family’s presents – and if there’s more than 100kg’s worth, there are always more Shelfstore shelves.

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Clearly, there are many creative ways to put Shelfstore shelves to the test. What will you do with yours?

Talking of creativity… at Liven Creative we really enjoyed helping Shelfstore to promote their excellent products and reach a wider audience. They’re great to work with, and we highly recommend their amazing weight-bearing shelves.

Liven Creative is an integrated creative agency based in Surrey, providing branding, printed communications and digital experiences for clients throughout the UK. Find out more at www.livencreative.co.uk.

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5 Decorating Ideas To Make Sure You Have The Perfect Sleep

We all know how important sleep is for our physical, emotion and metal wellbeing, and with our lives nowadays so busy and stressful, it’s even more important to ensure we are able to have enough good quality rest. But is your bedroom the serene sanctuary you need it to be? The team at Shelfstore has put together 5 decorating ideas to help make sure you can have the perfect sleep!

1. Adjust the light

We fall asleep more quickly when we’re in a dark room and so any light has the potential to interfere with our sleep. Control the amount of light in your room by using dimmer switches or low wattage bulbs for ambient lighting to create a soft glow before bedtime. Minimize light coming in from outside by hanging heavy curtains at the windows or use blinds or shutters to keep daylight at bay.

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2. Choose calming colours

Colours that elicit calm and warmth such as soft shades of yellow, peach, green and blue are ideal for bedrooms. Applied with neutral tones they create a balanced and soothing environment, which will improve sleep and relaxation.

3. Add some scents

Our sense of smell has a large part to play in releasing feel-good chemicals which help us prepare for a good night’s sleep. Calming scents such as lavender, vanilla, and jasmine have a relaxing effect when inhaled. Why not place scented candles on your bedside table, window sill or shelves in your bedroom which will help to make sleep much more pleasurable.

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4. Clear out clutter

Maintaining an uncluttered bedroom minimises visual stress and helps to create a serene retreat. Of course keeping the clutter under control and finding room for everything in your bedroom is no easy task, especially if you have limited space. Consider investing in tall wardrobes and shelving and make the most of your space width-wise too with extra wide drawer units. Even your bedside tables can have a cupboard or drawers for storage! And don’t forget under bed storage is also fantastically useful as well.

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5. Ditch the devices

Having any electronic devices in your bedroom can be a distraction and as mentioned previously any light does interfere with our ability to fall asleep. So keep laptops, tablets and mobile phones out of the bedroom in order that it can become the serene sanctuary you want it to be.

If you are looking for more inspiration and ideas on how you can create different looks and storage solutions using Shelfstore’s flexible and multipurpose system of shelving, doors, drawers and desks, why not take a look at our blog – you’ll find plenty of topics of interest.

We would love to hear from you if you are planning to use any Shelfstore products and so please tweet us @Shelfstore and we would be happy to offer any practical advice you may need.

For more information about Shelfstore’s products or for help planning and designing your new storage solution, please visit us at www.shelfstore.co.uk.

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How To Create The Perfect Pantry!

The pantry is emerging as the new ‘must have’ for all good kitchens. In days gone by, before the arrival of the refrigerator, most kitchens had a pantry with a few shelves that served as a cold store to keep food, such as milk, meat and cheese, fresh. It fell out of favour in the 1960s as the fridge became more popular, but now, it seems, it’s making a comeback. It’s not surprising really given the abundance of cookery programmes encouraging us to cook with new and exciting ingredients – we might buy things only to use them once or twice – and what about if you’ve had great fun creating batches of chutneys, pickles and preserves in preparation for Christmas – it all needs to be stored somewhere!

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Practical storage is of course the key to any well designed kitchen to keep everything organised and easy to find and a pantry is just the answer! If you have a small kitchen and don’t have the space to create a walk-in pantry then why not consider using a small area in your kitchen or utility room. To make best use of the space you have, use floor-to-ceiling shelving, which will give plenty of extra room to store jars, tins and all your other cooking ingredients as well as kitchen gadgets, cookery books and even crockery leaving your kitchen workspace clear and free from clutter. As the shelves don’t need to be very deep the shelving unit won’t take up too much floor space creating a very efficient storage area. At Shelfstore our modular shelving system is available in six depths, so you are sure to find the size to suit you.

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Having a pantry is stylish storage option and can even add extra value to your home, so if you are thinking about redesigning your kitchen – in a traditional or contemporary style – or even extending it, it’s definitely worth considering how you could incorporate a pantry into the design.

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If we have inspired you to create your own pantry in your kitchen, we would love to hear from you if you are planning to use any Shelfstore products. Please tweet us @Shelfstore and we would be happy to offer any practical advice you may need.

For more information about Shelfstore’s products or for help planning and designing your new storage solution, please visit us at www.shelfstore.co.uk.

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Transform Your Hallway For A Great First Impression

The hallway is arguably the most important room in your house. It’s the first room that any visitor sees and therefore the first impression they have of your home. We all know how important those first impressions are, so Shelfstore has put together a few ideas to make your hallway more practical and all the more welcoming!

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Keep your clutter under control

All of us as we come in through the front door have coats, shoes, bags and keys that need to be put somewhere and which more often than not get discarded in the hallway. So why not invest in some storage solutions to keep the clutter under control, which are useful, attractive and multi-purpose. A console table with drawers and baskets placed underneath or perhaps a bench seat with storage under the seat with a coat rack attached might be the answer if you have the space. Furniture such as this will give the impression that your hallway is a room in its own right, rather than just somewhere to pass through on your way to another room.

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If your hallway is too small for any extra pieces of furniture, then why not utilise the space under your stairs by creating a recessed storage area – either built-in or freestanding – with hooks to accommodate coats, hats and scarves and shelves to store boots, shoes and bags.

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Shelfstore’s flexible and multipurpose system of shelving, doors and drawers is the perfect solution for under stairs storage and can be easily designed to fit any space, no matter what the shape, and painted to suit your colour scheme.

Creating an all-purpose storage area ensures every member of the family has somewhere to store their belongings and by keeping your hallway as clutter-free as possible will create a more spacious feel and will actually make your house feel bigger.

Create a focal point

Whether your hallway is large or small, you will have plenty of wall space to make a statement with a decorative feature such as a mirror, piece of artwork or framed photographs. Mirrors can actually make a huge difference, as they help to create an illusion of space by reflecting light all around, so are particularly useful, and hanging a series of framed photographs of your family, for example, can help to add personality to the space.

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The clever use of lighting also helps to create a focal point as well as brighten any dark areas. If you have space for a table lamp this will give a soft glow and introduces another layer of light. Recessed downlights are great too as they can be angled to bounce light off the walls, thus reflecting more light around.

If we have inspired you to transform your hallway or even any other room in your house, we would love to hear from you if you are planning to use any Shelfstore products. Please tweet us @Shelfstore and we would be happy to offer any practical advice you may need.

For more information about Shelfstore’s products or for help planning and designing your new storage solution, please visit us at www.shelfstore.co.uk.

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