Studio and other small-space apartments often lack necessary storage for all manner of household items. From missing linen closets to completely absent kitchen islands, cramped living quarters pose a number of storage challenges. Thankfully, designers have taken these challenges well in hand over recent years, creating multifunctional, modular, foldable and stackable furniture and appliances. Best of all, many of these pieces either completely disappear when not in use or double as camouflaged storage. Follow below for a few room-by-room space-savers ideal for apartments short on square-footage. 

In the bedroom


In close competition with the kitchen — and/or garage, if one is lucky enough to have one at their disposal — our bedrooms store the most “stuff” of any space in our homes. Whether one’s bedroom shares a couple hundred square feet with the living room and dining area or joins a master suite in taking up an entire floor, each of our bedrooms likely stores our clothes, our luggage, our linens and so much more. 

To make the most of your small-space bedroom, we recommend investing in pull-out, under-bed storage. A multitude of options are available for under-bed storage, from sliding shelves to Murphy beds and from wicker baskets to old-fashioned trunks. We love the Canvas Under Bed Storage Bag from The Laundress, as well as the Floyd Underbed Storage from West Elm and the Mason Woven Underbed Basket in Flax from Pottery Barn. 

To store books, knickknacks, hand cream and a midnight snack or glass of water, one might consider investing in a bookshelf headboard above and surrounding the bed. Bookshelf headboards are ideal for those lacking space for nightstands. They are also perfect for people who are renting apartments, condos or townhomes that restrict the resident’s ability to drill into the wall to mount much-needed storage. 

To complement one’s bookshelf headboard and make the most of one’s wall real estate, we recommend adding sconces in lieu of traditional table-top nightstand lamps. Some wall sconces do require internal wiring, but others can be mounted with a single nail and/or adhesive and plugged into a lower outlet, freeing space and necessitating very little effort.

For the living room


For social spaces in one’s home — whether we’re talking about a great room, living room, den, basement or entertainment center — we suggest investing in furniture that doubles as storage without adding bulk. We love trunk end tables for both their old-world charm and their ability to hide anything from books to extra throw blankets during the summer. 

Glass coffee tables with trays just underneath — like the Art Display Coffee Table from West Elm — are ideal for displaying magazines, collectibles, coffee table books and other decorative items without taking up usable space. Floating these materials beneath the transparent tabletop frees up valuable space on the coffee table for one’s coffee, breakfast and/or work throughout the day while keeping magazines and memories close at hand. 

If a glass coffee table is ill-suited to your space, we recommend a nesting coffee table. Nesting coffee tables are typically composed of one larger, central table and two anterior tables which tuck under the main table, to be pulled out as pseudo-leaves when needed. Nesting tables are great for those who frequently entertain and need additional serving surfaces for guests but do not have enough space for permanent end tables. The Eclipse Nesting Tables from Design Within Reach make a statement without overwhelming a small space. 

If the living space is not large enough for any type of end or coffee table, we suggest investing in a skinny console table. A console table can be placed behind the couch without taking up much space, while still offering a surface upon which framed photos, art and all-important coffee mugs may be placed. Just be sure to choose a console table equal in width to the couch and lacking drawers that might be rendered unusable if pushed against a wall.

For the home office


Given that many “home offices” are currently corners of living rooms separated by folding screens, laptops on breakfast trays in bedrooms and garden sheds in backyards, even the most basic and/or minimal space-saving solution is a must. Thankfully, we have a few capable of turning any cramped space into a usable home office. 

To make the most of a limited area, we recommend considering a Murphy desk or a drop-leaf desk and a wall-mounted tiered organizer. While drop-leaf desks are hard to come by nowadays, Murphy desks are quite common. We suggest the Trenton Fold Out Table in Rustic Wood from Pottery Barn, which folds out into a generous 30 inches wide of tablespace when in use.

Leave a Reply