Nothing excites us at Perspective more than a funky phresh-looking, cleverly-furnished apartment with stacks of hidden storage space. We all want all of the nice things, and when that includes a chic (albeit compact) inner-city apartment, we need space to store our accumulated nice things to live in some sort of comfort.
We did some digging and have unearthed some absolute gems in the way of innovative space-saving storage solutions for those of us feeling buried by our belongings. Here are 5 steps to set you well on your way to that uncluttered, dream loft lifestyle we’re all chasing!
Step 1 – Use the furniture.
Extra storage space can be found in a whole range of common furnishings found in many of our apartments.
• The Bed – Use bed risers to create more space underneath the bed for storage, or repurpose old drawers as storage boxes to slide below the frame
• Ottomans – Doubling as a cube of free space and a seat for guests, an Ottoman is a great place to store rarely-used items
• Coffee table – Store heavy books, stationery and laptops in the storage compartments often found beneath the table itself
Our favourite use of space in furniture, though, has to be this bedhead, from gravityhome.tumblr.com. The shelving on top of and inside the bedhead can be used for all the functions of a bedside table, as well as a dumping ground for your phone, charger, keys, wallet and wine glass.
Step 2 – Use the walls.
Creating more space in your apartment doesn’t end with clever storage. You also need to be aware of how your rooms look – visual space is almost equally as important as clearing room to achieve an uncluttered lifestyle.
- Floating shelves – Free up floor space and minimise use of lower shelving to draw guests’ eyes upward, creating a feeling of space and openness in your apartment. Also, they look absolutely awesome, like these shelves from uomalibu on Instagram.
- Hanging baskets – “What is this? A kitchen for ants?” is often the reaction when you walk into many apartment kitchens. To free up invaluable bench space, you can store fruit, vegetables, coffee pods and more in these awesome low-cost baskets from Target.
Step 3 – Use every nook and cranny.
It is astounding how often we overlook very usable spaces in our apartments. Most modern designs feature a nook somewhere in the bedroom or hallway, which usually equates to at least a square foot of unused space from the floor to the ceiling.
• Pull-out pantries – Still annoyed by that gap between the fridge and the cupboard? It’s DIY pull-out pantry time. Not only is this a really clever use of space, it actually makes cooking simpler as all your spices are immediately visible and accessible!
• Shoe storage – A common issue facing many young apartment owners is simply not having enough room for all 30 pairs of shoes. How unreasonable! The good news? The kind folk over at millaveallen.com have come up with this genius installation to utilise an otherwise barren corner.
Step 4 – Use the cupboards.
No matter how poorly cupboards are designed, there is always more space than you think. The back of doors, the sides and the inside back wall of the cupboard itself are all spots which are often overlooked when it comes to getting more out of your cupboard.
- S hooks – S hooks are currently $5.95 for 5 at IKEA, and will quite literally free up entire drawers in your cupboard if used effectively. On a single coat hanger, you can hang every pair of jeans and pants you own by threading the S hook through belt loops. Bang, drawer free.
- Magazine files – Attaching a magazine file to the back of a cupboard door is the perfect place to store cling wrap, foil, baking paper and even root vegetables.
- Vertical inserts – Cupboards in apartment kitchens generally haven’t been custom-designed for our specific set of trays, cooling racks and cutting boards. Installing vertical wooden inserts like these ones from apartmenttherapy.com improves ease of use as well as storage capability.
Step 5 – Get creative!
Above all, use that wonderful underrated tool called your creative brain. When it comes to styling your apartment, the decor should ultimately reflect your own personal style, and what better way to show that than having a hand in how you approach innovative storage.
• Think outside the box – Tamasine Osher designed this beautiful ‘Pedal Pod’ bike rack, and it exemplifies what we mean when we say “Get creative!” Turn your bike into a wall piece, make it the feature of an entire room and still ride whenever you need to.
All is not lost. It turns out storage space can be created by utilising what is already present in our apartments, so before you throw out your bike and 14 pairs of shoes, try your hand at making the most of your space. For more creative storage ideas, hit up our article DIY Bathroom Storage Solutions for Small Spaces and get to work!