In a world that continues to grow up instead of out, space is at a premium and it isn’t always convenient or economical to rent out storage space. Luckily, designers are recognizing that a home owner or renter’s needs are changing — just as quickly as their spaces are shrinking. These five smart design ideas will help you reduce clutter and increase the functionality of your small living space.
For the Kitchen
When kitchen space is limited, a table is probably the first thing to be sacrificed, especially in a day and age when so many meals are eaten in front of a television screen. When you’re entertaining dinner guests, however, a couch and a TV tray simply won’t do. Fortunately, there are several spatially feasible dining table options on the market. Remember the Murphy bed? This dining table from Ivy Design takes the practical concept of a folding Murphy bed and applies it to the kitchen. Combine this clever design with some folding chairs and voila! Your small space is instantly converted into a perfectly efficient dining area.
For the Staircase
If your foyer or entryway is narrow, adding a shoe rack can make things even less maneuverable for you and your potential guests, especially during the winter months. If you live in a multi-level dwelling, chances are the space under your staircase is either underused or entirely empty. Inspired by yacht and boat storage, this unique design concept from Design to Inspire turns your stairs into a multifunctional space to store shoes, books, linens and other items. For the avid reader, check out these bookcase stairway designs from Apartment Therapy.
For the Bedroom
Any city dweller who has ever been in the market for a new apartment or condo knows that enough space isn’t just a given — it’s a luxury. Some of the one-bedroom options out there don’t even include closets! Portable and expandable garment racks can come in handy, but they take up valuable and precious space and, let’s face it, we want to hang art on our walls — not laundry. Italian furniture manufacturer Dielle has created the perfect storage solution for closet-less apartment and condo residents. It’s called the “container bed.” This handy and practical modular design allows you to store all of your clothing and accessories underneath the bed without the need for storage bins. Simply lift your mattress for easy, organized and convenient access to your wardrobe.
For the Home Office
As the internet revolutionizes the way we work, more and more businesses are choosing to save on real estate costs and introduce “work from home” policies. In an ideal world, we’d all have the perfect home office space, but let’s face it — in reality, many of us are stuck slumped over a laptop propped up with pillows in bed. Sooner or later, this kind of work space will take a toll on your health and your sanity. This floating desk from Wayfair can safely hold up to 80 lbs and attaches directly to a wall without taking up any floor space. Prettify your desk area with repurposed Bijou bases to hold your office supplies and you won’t want to leave work.
For the Bathroom
A full-length mirror is a bathroom must for any fashion savvy gentlewoman. Utilizing the space behind a mirror for storage is nothing new in the restroom world, but this DIY mirror storage case from Shanty 2 Chic takes storing your Q-tips and make-up brushes to new lengths… literally! When making your case, try shelves of varying heights to allow room for taller items such as hairsprays or bathroom cleaning supplies. Do it yourself for less than $100 and, before you know it, your friends will be begging to find out where you purchased such a practical piece.
Living in a small space can present challenges, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you need to upsize. With a little creativity and ingenuity, you can transform even the coziest living space into a fully functional home.
About the writer:
Always a dreamer, Jill Bentham is a passionate writer and photographer based in Toronto.