Heal's Tower Modular Shelving System for small spacesToday we’re looking at stylish, clever and efficient storage solutions for small spaces.  I’ve lived in some exceedingly tiny places over the years, including one studio flat the size of a postage stamp.   So I know first-hand the challenge of living comfortably and stylishly in a tiny home whilst maximising all available storage options.

Small space living poses a big aesthetic challenge because your storage solutions are on permanent display.  In a small home you don’t have the luxury of loads of cupboard space, or of attics, cellars and spare rooms in which to hide things away. So small space storage solutions need to be something that you’re happy to look at all day, every day.  The solution?  To get creative with our small-space storage ideas – and that’s just what this post is all about.

As well as looking good, storage solutions for small spaces also need to be super-functional and efficient.  Can you access what you need easily and quickly?  I know how time-wasting (and stressful) it is to have to constantly move things from place to place, just to accomplish the simplest everyday task.

So here are my six best storage tips to maximise every square centimetre of your small living space – beautifully.

6 of the best smart storage solutions for small spaces

1.  THINK VERTICAL


Image via Apartment Therapy

When floor space is limited, making the most of all vertical space is crucial.  How can you make your storage go as high as possible in as many rooms as possible?

Go high with clever storage solutions that use normally wasted space

For fixtures and fittings, put shelves above head height in narrow hallways or corridors, hang racks for pots and utensils from walls and ceilings in the kitchen, and fit shelving and cupboards around and over doorways.

You can even hange your bike(s) on the wall to make a stylish feature out of a necessity.

Storage solution for small spaces - Hahn Square Ceiling Rack for kitchen storageHahn Premium Square Ceiling Rack

Bike wall hanger in reclaimed timberReclaimed wood Bike Wall Hanger by Smoke and Sawdust on Etsy UK

Furniture for small rooms should have a small footprint

When it comes to free standing furniture, choose tall units with a small footprint.  This could be narrow, shallow, or both.Foundry Narrow Bookcase, West Elm

John Lewis Bow 5 Drawer Tall Boy chest of drawers for small spacesBow 5 Drawer Tall Boy Chest in Oak, part of the wallet-friendly House range by John Lewis.  A tall, shallow set of drawers with clean, minimal styling.

Habitat Patton oak and metal shelving unit for small spacesThe very stylish Patton Oak and Metal Shelving Unit combines a roomy 2-door cabinet with black metal-framed shelving above.  Slim metal legs keep the look light and create space around and under the piece – a classic visual device for making small spaces look bigger.

Shelving for small spaces can go lateral too

Shelves don’t just have to go on walls.  So go lateral as well as vertical by using shelves as room dividers.  This is a brilliant, multi-tasking and space-saving storage solution for creating different zones in a small living space or studio flat.

Use Content by Conran Balance Units as storage solutions for small spaces

Ranging in size from low to tall, the versatile Balance Units by Content by Conran are free standing and create perfect room dividers.

2.  MAKE STORAGE SOLUTIONS MULTIFUNCTIONAL

As with all small space furniture, storage for small homes is best when multifunctional and highly versatile.  You’ll be amazed at how many opportunities there are around your home to add in extra storage – in style.

Versatile & multi-tasking storage for small spaces

Wood hallway storage bench with baskets from Wayfair UKBastogne Wood Storage Hallway Bench, above.  A bench in the hallway earns its keep by having baskets or boxes underneath for shoes/hats/gloves.

A mirror/shelf/hooks combo in the hallway or bedroom doubles up again on storage opportunities.

Browse: Top 10 Mirrors with Shelves

Kitchen banquette seating with storage for small spaces (Image via Decoist, Design: Peachtree Architects)

Can a window seat be built with storage below?  Ditto for banquette seating in a small kitchen, as above. (This is a brilliant way to shoehorn a dining area into a tiny kitchen, by the way).

Or choose a ladder shelf that’s also a desk, a coffee table with storage that doubles as a footstool, a storage trunk that’s a bedside table, etc.  You get the idea … the opportunities are endless.

White Ladder Shelf and Grey Ladder Shelf/Desk from La RedouteLa Redoute Ladder Shelving/Desk

John Lewis Clothes Rail and Shelf Unit abd Shoe Rack in Black, ideal storage solutions for small spaces

John Lewis Clothes Rail and Shelf Unit

3.  OPTIMISE, OPTIMISE, OPTIMISE

Ensuring that every possible piece of furniture also provides optimal storage solutions will make a huge difference in your small space.

Choose furniture with the maximum amount of storage space incorporated into its design.  So that means beds with storage, coffee tables with shelves or drawers (or even better, both).  Ditto bedside tables, side tables and home desks.

The Embrace Coffee Table with storage for small spacesEmbrace Coffee Table

MADE Kingsize Charley Storage Bed in grey fabricCharley Storage Bed

Kartell Componibili Storage Units in White and Black

Kartell Componobili Storage Units can double up as side tables or bedside tables.

You might like to browse these past articles on small space furniture with storage:

Top 10 coffee tables with storage for small spaces
Top 10 contemporary home desks for small spaces
Top 10 console tables for small spaces
Top 10 side tables with storage for small spaces

4.  GO MODULAR FOR MAXIMUM STORAGE VERSATILITY

Look out for small space storage solutions that are modular and can be reconfigured and/or added to as your needs change.

The Tower Modular Shelving Unit from Heal's provides versatilestorage solutions for small spacesA great example is the stylish and versatile Tower Shelving System from Heal’s, above and below.

 Heal's Tower Modular Shelving Unit, contemporary wood and powder coated steel modular storage units

It’s configurable in a multitude of ways, including creating a desk.  It’s also free standing with adjustable feet, so perfect as a room divider.

Muuto Stacked modular storage for small spaces in ash and whiteAnother contemporary favourite is the Muuto Stacked Modular System – we have it at home and love its versatility.  The units come in white or ash, with or without a backboard.  And the biggest bonus, apart from their clean, Scandi style?  They can be arranged and rearranged as you choose, either floor standing or wall mounted.

string Shelving system at John Lewis & PartnersCreated in 1949 by Nils Strinning, the elegant and understated string® Shelving System includes shelves, storage and desk sections.  It can be extended and reconfigured endlessly to suit your changing requirements, plus it’s a design classic and will never go out of style.

5.  COMPATIBILITY IS THE KEY TO EFFICIENT STORAGE

When buying storage containers it pays to choose items that are compatible and offer flexible storage solutions.

Stackable storage drawers give you quick and easy access to your stuff and are a genuine life changer.  Whereas a rickety pile of random storage boxes will just stress you out again and again and again.  (I can’t tell you what a difference these have made to our home over the years).

Try the excellent and stackable Like-it Plastic Storage Drawers from John Lewis & Partners, above and below.  Different size drawers fit together neatly and can be added to and swapped around infinitely – in just about every room in the house.

John Lewis stackable plastic storage drawersSmartStore plastic storage boxes with lids from John Lewis & PartnersThese SmartStore storage boxes come in a range of sizes and are stackable.  They’re stylishly monochrome, and another plus is that you can easily see the contents.

6.  STYLE THAT STORAGE – AND DECLUTTER REGULARLY

Reconfigurable storage solutions for small spaces with the Muuto Stacked Storage SystemAs I said at the start, storage solutions for small spaces are usually on display all the time.  So they need to be good to look at as well as functional.  Here’s how:

Blend storage in

Having your storage solutions blend in with the room can help them disappear and create an uncluttered look.  So make shelves and cupboards the same colour as the walls, and the same goes for any storage containers on display.

Vitra Uten.Silo Storage System in white, versatile wall hung storage solution for small spaces

The Vitra Uten Silo Storage System in white on a white wall will make it disappear like magic.

Make storage a unique and personal design statement

Alternatively, turn your storage choices into deliberate, considered design features that add colour, pattern and texture to the space.  This could be in the form of woven storage baskets, decorative boxes, mirrored doors or painted storage units.

Remember, the overall aim is to create a streamlined, coherent look so be disciplined.  Restricting yourself to just one or two main colours, and the same with your choice of materials, will result in a refined look that makes your small living space look larger than it is.Cube Modular Storage Unit by John Lewis & PartnersThe very versatile John Lewis Cube Modular Storage Cube Units come in a range of sizes and have the option of open shelves or natural or painted wood doors for when you want to hide clutter away.  You can mix and match the modular elements – and the colours – and the legs are optional too.

Browse:  Decorative home storage baskets and boxes

So there you have it, our top storage solutions for small spaces.  I hope you’ve found it helpful – happy small space organising.

Enjoyed our Best Storage Solutions for Small Spaces? Check out all our Small Space Living Solutions

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