Thursday, February 9, 2017

15 More small space hacks for your home, office, or dorm room!

One of the most interesting trends in real estate these days is the move towards smaller floor plans. In fact, our average home square footage is lower now than even ten years ago, and older homes can be big on charm but short on square footage.

But none of that means you have to sacrifice utility, convenience or even fun, as there are plenty of creative ways to make great use of the space you already have. In part one of this blog we covered our first 10 small space hacks, and here are 15 more great ways to expand, enjoy, and improve any smaller living space!

Floating shelves
You can hang shelves just about anywhere to add storage and display space, including in front of windows, over doors, and even in corners – which is a fantastic way to maximize unused space in a small room!

Eye level shelving
Too often, people think that bookcases or shelving are reserved for the bottom half of the wall, which essentially makes that space unusable for anything else like putting a couch there, a TV, artwork, lamps, etc. But raise your shelves to eye level, reaching up to the ceiling, and you can still use that wall space for just about anything and still have extra storage.

 Fold down desks, tables, counters, etc.
Back in the 1950s and 60s, just about every house was built with an ironing board that folded up into the wall behind a small cabinet door, and then came down when the ironing needed to be done. These days, most houses have dedicated laundry areas or collapsible ironing boards, but you can use that same concept by folding up and hiding desks, counter tops, vanity tables, and just about anything else into the wall

Hang things from ceiling
You know what your floorplan has a lot of, no matter how cramped? A lot of unused ceiling space! You can utilize all of that blank white overhead by adding hanging shelving, lamps, chairs, storage nooks, and just about everything else you need to save space.

There are some seriously cool things you can do with lofts in just about any room to add storage, additional fun living spaces, or even an additional place to sleep. Of course, these work best when you have high ceilings but just about any space can accommodate some kind of loft for storage.

Multitasking with furniture
Mix and match the practical uses of your furniture, making a simple cube into a basket, a foot stool, a TV table, a seat, and much more – all easy to move around anywhere in the house you need it.

Racks on the back of doors
Your house also has a lot of doors, with unused space on either side. You probably don’t want to clutter up your front door and the main doors to your living areas, but why not hang some narrows shelves, shoe racks, and hanging carriers on the doors in the other parts of your house? (Just remember to measure or put in a stopper so they don’t bang the wall!)

Storage over the doors
While we're on the subject of doors, each one of your doorways has about 18 inches to 2 feet or more of wasted space right above it. You can easily add some storage racks or shelves above each one without people even noticing as they pass through.

Hide the television in the wall
A small living room or bedroom looks even more cramped once you mount you big screen TV on the wall. But you can save space and create a luxury home affect by hiding your television behind a mirror, a big painting or piece of art, or even a cabinet. Just add hinges and secure it to the wall and it will easily swing aside when you want to watch TV.

Chop table in half and anchor it to the wall
We talked about “skinny” tables that are perfect for the back of couches, but if you have a narrow hallway that won’t accommodate a full table, simply cut one in half and bolt it to the wall, with only two legs on the floor.

Under couch, chair, and table storage
Beneath your furniture there is a void of unused space, so why not just affix shelves to the bottom of your chairs or sofa where you can store books, speakers, the remote, houseplants, or whatever else is convenient.

Staircase shelving
Large “floating” stairways can easily be transformed into closets, reading nooks, or a place for plenty of shelving, but you can even turn your stairwell into more storage space by making each riser its own drawer! Just don’t forget to leave the drawers out when you walk down the stairs!

Mirror in the kitchen
If you have a narrow or crammed kitchen, such as in many urban apartments and older homes, your first instinct may be to cover it with appliances and utensils. But by adding a counter-to-ceiling mirror to line the wall, your kitchen will look and feel WAY bigger. You can still install shelving along the mirrored wall so you don’t lose any functionality.

Over sink storage
Older bathrooms are usually cursed with some serious storage deficiencies, but you can easily add a whole lot of compartments to keep cosmetics, brushes, toothbrushes and toothpaste, lotions, etc. just by installing a simple wooden rack into the wall, over the sink, and below the mirror. Or, try installing a single wooden shelf in the same place.

If you don't want to start screwing shelving into the bottom of your furniture or install a custom frame to make this work, you can store baskets or other containers under your couch and furniture instead.

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