All posts by David Michael McFarlane

53 Insanely Clever Bedroom Storage Hacks And Solutions

Bedroom storage hacks and solutions are a dime a dozen. A quick Google search will reveal a sea of storage ideas. So how do you know which storage solutions to DIY or buy?

You don’t. But that’s ok because we’re here to help.

We sifted through tons of bedroom storage tips and products to bring you this huge list of 53 insanely clever bedroom storage hacks and solutions that you’ll actually want to DIY or buy — without having to break a sweat or the bank.

The result: a more spacious and organized bedroom/home office/closet/storage unit because let’s be real, we’re all tight on space.

So read on, and unleash your bedroom’s true storage potential. Plus, if Grayson Altenberg can maximize the space in his 100-square-foot micro-apartment, so can you.

1. Install shelves along the perimeter of your bedroom walls.

bedroom storage shelves installed along the perimeter of a wall

The least-used space in your apartment is prime real estate for implementing creative bedroom storage ideas. And no space is more unused than the 12 inches of wall below your ceiling.

Put that space to work by installing shelves along the perimeter of your bedroom walls, which will add dozens of square feet of storage space.

2. Clip binder clips onto your desk and store cords in their arms.

Cord storage hack: clip binder clips onto a desk and store cords in the clips' loops.

They may look sleek and be small, but your iPhone and MacBook cables take up more space than you realize. In fact, when they’re tangled beside your bed, they’re just clutter.

Organize those cables using a few binder clips. It’s one of many storage hacks for small spaces that works well on its own or when paired with a DIY charging box.

What’s that? You also want to keep your iPhone charger and headphones untangled while you’re on the go?

No problem. Follow these four simple steps, store everything in an eyeglasses case, and be on your decluttered way.

3. Hang a clothes rack in the corner.

bedroom storage hack: install a clothes rack in an empty corner
Delphine Cosmetic Diary

The bad news: Your closet, if you have one, won’t grow on its own.

The good news: You can quickly make a closet.


Glad you asked. Hang a clothes rack in any empty corner.

4. Use crown molding as a shoe rack.

creative bedroom storage hack: mount a shoe rack into the wall
Martha Stewart

This simple bedroom storage hack will work best with heels, and look best if your footwear collection rivals Carrie Bradshaw’s. Because their sole supports itself against the wall, your shoes will stay put on their own.

The best part: Crown molding is unobtrusive since it blends in with the wall. Kind of like the Indominus rex from Jurassic World, except not deadly.

5. Opt for a headboard with storage.

white ikea brimnes headboard bedroom storage solution
Apartment Therapy

If your bedroom is more bed than room, look at it as a storage opportunity. You can adapt your bed to store many things, starting at the top.

Choose a headboard like the BRIMNES headboard from IKEA that gives you storage space for books, magazines, mementos, and spare light bulbs for your space-saving BULBING Lamp or LiliLite.

6. Hang your laundry hamper on the back of your bedroom door.

Dirty clothes storage hack: hang a laundry hamper on the back of your bedroom door

Your dirty clothes hamper doesn’t have to take up three square feet on the floor. In fact, it shouldn’t since you can buy a hanging hamper from Red Check Market’s Etsy shop.

Hang it on the back of your bedroom or closet door and relish all the floor space you just saved.

7. Use your radiator for shelf space.

white radiator cover shelves used for cheap storage space

Since we can’t live without them three to five months a year, we might as well use our radiators for storage.

DIY-ing a radiator shelf or buying a cover is a good idea for safety and aesthetics. And if you buy one with attached shelving, you’ll get some extra storage space out of it too.

8. Store your yoga mat on the wall.

purple namaste yoga mat storage solution hung on the back of a door
Kickstarter/Neal Margulis

Sure, yoga mats roll up nicely into a soft cylinder, but that’s still a cylinder you have to store somewhere.

You could build a little shelf for it. Or you could install a Namaste Yoga Mat Hanger behind your bedroom door.


9. Buy a bed frame with drawers.

wooden mashstudio lax series storage bed with drawers

Storage beds are one of the most obvious storage hacks for small bedrooms, but they’re also among the best. While every kind of space-saving bed will open up space in your bedroom, storage beds can give you as many drawers as a dresser.

Whether you use those drawers for storing clothes, files, or your movie collection is entirely up to you. And maybe also your significant other.

10. Build a staircase/bookcase.

diy staircase/bookcase/ladder by danny kuo
Danny Kuo

In real life, or on HBO, we’ve all seen those beautiful custom-built loft beds with bookshelf stairs. There’s just one catch: Because they’re feats of engineering, they can intimidate anyone who wants to replicate the design but has no idea where to start.

If you’re handy and want to build tall shelving you can walk up, consider a shelf unit like the one above. It’s simpler than a full bedroom project, and still gifts you with shelving up to the ceiling.

11. DIY a platform storage bed.

white stolmen storage bed ikea hack
Stil Inspiration

With a little creativity and a few extra screws, you can hack IKEA furniture into beautiful storage solutions. In fact, the platform bed above was made from just a few STOLMEN drawers.

As amazing as that platform bed is, though, that’s just the tip of the IKEA-bedroom-hack iceberg. For plenty more bedroom IKEA hacks, look no further than one of our favorite sites of all time: IKEA Hackers.

12. Stack old suitcases to make a vintage nightstand.


vintage suitcase table with storage
Where My Heart Resides

Stacks of old suitcases can add a nice stylistic flair to your bedroom plus convenient storage for the things you need but don’t use every day.

Your extra winter blanket, for example, can go in the bottom suitcase until the weather turns cold again and you need the blanket to beat cabin fever/build a fort.

Our favorite part: This storage trick doesn’t require any construction. Just stack and store, and you’re all set.

13. Hide your trash bin.

amish pine tilt-out trash bin cabinet with a storage drawer
Dutch Crafters

We all need to store our trash somewhere. The only problem is that any trash bin will eat at least a square foot of space. Until it doesn’t because you’re going to hide yours in a tilting cabinet.

Not only will it keep your waste out of sight, but it’ll also serve as a nightstand, filing area, or makeup counter.

14. Install a fold-down desk.

nicki wang writing on the domino loft system's whiteboard while donnie wang watches
Brian Flaherty

Here’s a paradox: You need a desk but don’t have room for a desk.

The solution? A fold-down desk like the one from the Domino Loft System that practically disappears when you fold it back up against the wall.

These desks come in all shapes, sizes, and styles. Some even have built-in storage for your office supplies. They’re a great storage solution for your bedroom, if and when you work from home. All you need is a chair, though the foot of your bed can do in a pinch.

15. Store your tank tops on shower curtain rings.

tank top storage hack: attach shower curtain rings to a hanger and hang it on top of a bedroom door

Your drawer and closet space is a precious commodity. If you have a lot of tank tops to store, save yourself the folding hassle by following these simple steps:

Step 1: Attach shower rings to a hanger.

Step 2: Hang the tank tops on the rings.

Step 3: Hang the entire storage solution on top of your bedroom doorframe

That’s it?

That’s it. You just cleared out a whole drawer, and you’re still ready to bring the guns out when the sun’s out.

16. Hang a cork wall for jewelry storage.

bedroom wall-mounted diy jewelry storage made from a cork board and an empty art frame
Bob Vila

You may not have used cork board since elementary school, but you should, especially if you need jewelry storage.

This simple, sustainable material will keep all of your necklaces from tangling — without taking up more space than a picture frame. On its own, cork board doesn’t look as elegant as some countertop solutions, but it can with a nice gilded frame.

17. Velcro your hard drive to a shelf.

twelve south backpack/hard drive storage shelf attached to the back of an imac stand
Apartment Therapy

Regardless of how small your hard drive is, it still takes up precious desk or shelf space by just sitting there. You can quickly store your hard drive in the air, though, with a little Velcro.

Beneath your desk or on the underside of a shelf, this easy DIY storage hack can be used for your hard drive or anything else you want out of sight, out of mind.

Want the hard drive shelf pictured above?

Pick up a BackPack from Twelve South, clip it to the back of your iMac stand, and keep your hard drive out of sight but definitely not out of mind.

18. Hang pegs on the back of your closet door for storing shoes.

diy shoe storage hack made from wall-mounted boards with pegs
The Project Addict

A shoe organizer does wonders for decluttering your home, but what if you prefer a more attractive storage option?

Build a pegboard shoe rack, attach it to the back of your closet door, or to the wall right above the floor, and hang your shoes on the pegs.

Required: a little elbow grease.

Not required: watching your shoes fall to the floor because a shoe peg board guarantees sturdiness.

19. Fold your bed sheets and store them under your mattress.

white bed sheets folded and stored under a mattress
One Good Thing by Jillee

Sometimes the simplest storage solutions are the easiest to overlook.

Rather than add messy piles to your closet shelves or drawers, clean and store your extra sheets under your mattress. If you fold them well and put them at the foot of your bed, you won’t feel a pea, much less a stack of sheets.

20. Add a few floating shelves.

franklin shelf corner shelves by tronk design
Tronk Design

Floating shelves are an awesome bedroom storage solution. They free up floor space and allow more natural light to flow through your home, which visually expands your space.

Some floating shelves are DIY, but you can also choose from a bunch of prefab wall shelves that just require a stud and screwdriver.

21. Give your pants their own rack.

bedroom closet storage solution: wooden pull-out pants rack
House Design Inspire

You shouldn’t have to waste half of your clothes rod on hanging pants. And you won’t, if you install a pants rack in your closet. These efficient storage systems keep the creases out while avoiding hangers.

That said, they’re usually custom-built. If you don’t have the carpentry skills and don’t want to hire a contractor, invest in a few pant rack hangers. The principle’s the same, though they’re a little more difficult to access while you’re dressing.

22. DIY a pegboard organizer and mount it to the wall.

diy pegboard organizer storing picture frames, watches, bracelets, a handbag, a scarf, and more
Better Homes and Gardens

A fixture of any workshop or tool shed, pegboards can be beautiful bedroom storage solutions too.

With a little paint and a few screws, you can hang pegboards anywhere to store just about anything. Since they’ve been around so long and used so much, you can find many baskets, rods, and hooks tailor-made for the system.

23. Suspend your bicycle from the ceiling.

ceiling bike rack in architect/bike activist david baker's living room
Languid Lovely

Bikes take up a lot of space, which you already know if your apartment building isn’t blessed with a basement bike room.

We’ve seen many gorgeous bike storage solutions that hang your bike from the wall, but don’t forget about the ceiling. Your unused airspace is begging to store your bicycle.

24. Build bookshelves from old dresser drawers.

white diy dresser drawer bookshelf by kate levinson and mike muschong from west town, chicago, illinois
Apartment Therapy

If the idea of DIY shelving terrifies you, consider this alternative book storage hack: Repurpose old dresser drawers into bookshelves.

You may have to hunt around on Craigslist or garage sales for free (or almost free) dressers. And if you do, you’ll have the skeletal framework of a hanging shelf. Arrange the drawers however you want, and voilà, instant and interesting book storage.

25. Add hooks to the back of your closet wall.

wall-mounted white coat hooks as a bedroom closet storage hack
Cents and Order

Behind your clothes rod stands a wall just itching to be used. But because it’s usually covered up with clothes, you can’t store items there that you need to access every day.

Surely, though, you have a few purses, messenger bags, or even coats that would fit on hooks behind the clothes rack. In fact, anything hangable can go back there, so install some hooks and have at it.

26. Maximize your drawer storage with drawer organizers.

wooden diy drawer organizer

You already know modular desk organizers are great for organizing any kitchen or junk drawer. But did you know they’re just as valuable in your bedroom?

Place one in any desk drawer, or in any dresser drawer that doesn’t hold stacks of clothes, and toss your comb, brush, hair ties, hair pins, and any other small item inside.

Prefer to build your own?

Here’s how to DIY a drawer organizer out of craft board.

27. Store your keys and cables in LEGOs.

diy keys and cable holder made from sugru and a lego plate, brick, and man

We love creative desk organization products, and this LEGO storage hack remains one of our favorites. With a little Sugru, these three LEGO pieces can store your phone charger and key ring right where you need them: in plain sight.

28. Hang your pants and jeans on S Hooks.

stainless steel s hooks used for jeans and pants storage in a bedroom closet

Like the tank top trick mentioned earlier, except for pants, hanging S hooks on a rod is an easy way to instantly increase your closet storage space. The simple metal hooks will store any number of pants and jeans, without the bulk of wooden hangers.

Use them in your closet or add a new rod anywhere in your bedroom. Just make sure it’s high enough to suspend the full length of your pants.

29. Buy a MANDAL headboard — and then a second one.

two ikea mandal headboards for extra bedroom storage
Apartment Therapy

IKEA’s MANDAL bed has always been a stunning piece of bedroom furniture with storage. And because it has drawers built into its frame plus a headboard with adjustable shelves, the MANDAL bed can easily replace your nightstand.

It’s even more effective if you buy two headboards like in the above photo. You’ll need to do a little engineering to keep the top headboard from tipping over. Once you accomplish that, you’ll double your headboard shelf space in no time.

30. Build a trundle bed with storage.

wooden diy trundle bed with storage
Humble Homes

You don’t see many trundle beds, except for maybe in your grandparents’ house. Still, their basic concept is valuable for saving space in a small bedroom. Visible to everyone is a sturdy twin bed, while hidden beneath it is a second mattress on wheels.

If you’d rather not build your own platform bed or install drawers, don’t worry, you don’t have to. Simply add wheels to an old dresser drawer and push it under your bed frame. Whenever you need to access your stuff, it’s only one tug away.

31. Create your own rolling library.

5-shelf storage rack with wheels from seville classics
Seville Classics

Storage racks with wheels are brilliant. Take the 5-Shelf UltraZinc Wire Shelving System from Seville Classics  for example. Thanks to its five sturdy shelves and wheels, you can use it as a portable storage unit.

Or buy a few, push them together, place your books on the shelves, and congrats — you now have a library that you can roll anywhere.

Want a smaller option?

These affordable and stylish bathroom carts from IKEA are exactly what you need.

32. Buy hanging fruit baskets and store socks, hats, and more in them.

 fox run craftsmen 3-piece hanging fruit basket from wayfair

Remember these guys?

Just because hanging fruit baskets are still around in a lot of kitchens doesn’t mean you can’t use them in your bedroom.

Hang one above your nightstand, or in your closet, and use it to store socks, hats, bandanas, beanie babies, or whatever else floats your boat. The hanging fruit basket doesn’t judge, or take up any floor space.

33. Store clothes and linens in canvas totes.

canvas storage bags make for cheap and convenient linen, clothes, and closet storage

Canvas totes are a storage staple in many boats for two main reasons:

  1. They can store as many items as plastic crates can.
  2. They’re malleable, which makes collapsing and storing them under your bed, on a shelf, or in the back of your closet super easy.

34. Deck out your wall with TRONES.

a wall of gray and black ikea trones is a stylish and cheap bedroom storage solution

No hacks or tinkering here, just one versatile shoe storage product. Pick up a TRONES cabinet (or four), mount them to your bedroom wall in your configuration of choice, and store up to six pairs of shoes inside each one.

Don’t limit yourself to only storing shoes, though. If an item can fit in a 20” x 7” x 15” space, it can fit in a TRONE. We’re looking at you, gloves, scarves, hats, and magazines.

35. Mount an invisible bookshelf to the wall

miron lior conceal book shelf from dan and dave
Dan and Dave

The simple, unobtrusive, and inexpensive Conceal Book Shelf is almost invisible, hence its name. Using two thin metal plates, the Conceal Book Shelf can levitate a stack of books wherever there’s a wall. So basically anywhere in your bedroom, and in your entire apartment.

36. Wall-mount your coat rack.

ikea bjarnum folding hooks used as bedroom wall coat hooks

Don’t bother with a coat rack that takes up a whole corner of your bedroom. Instead, hang your coats on the wall using hooks like BJÄRNUM folding hooks from IKEA.

These little storage solutions are cleaner, more space-efficient, and less at risk of toppling over onto your attractive face.

37. Install a shelf above your bedroom door.

white diy storage shelf above a bathroom door
The 2 Seasons

Here’s a space you definitely don’t use but definitely should: the space above your bedroom door.

DIY and install a storage shelf right above your door and use it for storing anything from towels to rain boots.

38. Use bead organizers for your makeup storage.

A bead organizer is an easy way to organize and store eyeshadow singles and MAC Paint Pot jars.
Makeup and Beauty Blog

We’ve seen a lot of makeup storage hacks in our days, and we keep coming back to this one for its simplicity: old bead organizers.


Because they’re a convenient and cheap storage solution that just so happens to be perfectly sized for storing MAC Paint Pot jars and eye shadow singles

39. Belt, tie, and scarf organizers

diy slide-out scarf, belt, and tie organizer in a bedroom closet
View Along The Way

They might have less fabric than any other piece of clothing, but the sheer length of belts, ties, and scarves can eat a lot of space.

Luckily, this slide-out DIY storage rack can store all three types of accessories in very little space. It’s especially perfect if you have a closet in which to build one.

40. Use bookshelves as a headboard.

master bedroom headboard bookcase in an apartment at east lake shore drive in chicago, illinois
Jessica Lagrange

While you don’t need a headboard, they’re a nice addition to any bedroom. They also can be whatever you want them to be, whether they’re wood pallets, artwork, or a bookshelf. If maximum storage space is your goal, we recommend the latter.

Opt for a platform bed and push it up against one or two shelves that you’ve already lined with books. This storage tip will kill two birds with one stone, and offers out-of- sight storage behind and below your mattress.

41. Add risers to your bed.

black adjustable bed risers with outlets and usb ports
Bed Bath & Beyond

Another easy and cheap bedroom storage trick is putting your bed on bed risers. These little pieces look like hooves and give your bed a boost.

Some, like the Studio 3B 4-Piece USB Bed Lift Set pictured above, even act as electric outlets and a USB charging station for your phone, laptop, and tablet.

Although bed risers are frequently seen in dorm rooms, they also work wonders in any bedroom that needs more storage space (like yours).

42. DIY a full-length mirror jewelry cabinet.

wall-mounted diy mirror jewelry cabinet in a bedroom
The Girl On The Go

Medicine cabinets are the perfect storage solutions for your bathroom, and the same goes for your bedroom. And since you need a nice full-length mirror for your room anyway, you might as well hack one into a mirror jewelry cabinet while you’re at it.

Here’s how:

Step 1: Attach hooks to your wall of choice.

Step 2: Hang whatever you want, such as necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and keys, on the hooks.

Step 3: Add hinges to a full-length mirror.

Step 4: Install the mirror on the wall so that when you close the mirror, it hides all your stuff.

43. Install tension rods in your bedroom nook and hang shoes on them.

tension rod shoe racks installed in a small bedroom nook
A Loyal Love

Tension rods are the simplest way to hang up curtains, and just about any other hangable lightweight item you can possibly imagine.

Use them to easily hang shoes, shirts, pants, holiday decorations, crafts, and more wherever you have two parallel walls.

44. Build a balancing bookshelf.

wall-mounted balance bookshelf by cush design studio on etsy
Etsy/Cush Design Studio

Sort of a mix of a floating shelf and a fruit basket, this nifty balancing bookshelf has an intriguing design with practical storage space.

You can buy the Balance Bookshelf pictured above, or build your own with some pipe, boards, and twine.

45. Sit on your storage.

dark brown ikea molger storage stool designed by richard clack

Everybody has to sit, so why not store your stuff while you’re doing it?

The MOLGER storage stool from IKEA boasts a clean design that can store a lot of things inside, including old vinyl records. Whether you place it up against the wall or in front of your fold-down desk, this is a bedroom storage solution you’ll constantly love using.

46. Hide keys behind your artwork.

hidden key holder picture frame mounted on an entryway wall
Planq Studio

Similar to the full-length cabinet mirror, this DIY bedroom storage hack can keep your keys, cash, and other daily essentials artistically hidden against the wall.

All you have to do is screw tiny hooks into the wall and add hinges to the picture frame of your favorite artwork or photograph.

47. Mount magazine racks to the wall.

wall-mounted mail rack ikea hack made from knuff magazine files

Mail piles up. Those old New Yorkers keep waiting to be read. And there’s that form you know you need to hold on to for just a little while longer.

Instead of letting these stacks of paper smother your desk or dresser, hack IKEA KNUFF magazine files and a wooden board into a storage rack. Next, mount the storage rack to a wall and enjoy never having to clutter any desk, dresser, or counter space ever again.

Pro Tip: Use an app like Scannable to scan and digitally save papers to your phone. Then, recycle the paper, and while you’re at it, browse our list of awesome apps and services that will spring clean your entire apartment.

48. Stack cabinets.

wooden diy cabinet wall storage by eightytwo, interior design professionals from singapore

Stacking is the easiest DIY trick in the book, and you can buy a lot of long cabinets that arrive ready to stack. All you need to keep a storage solution like the one above in place are a few screws and a screwdriver.

If you decide to use flat cabinets and only stack a few, screwing them into the wall is optional since they’re already sturdy.

Either way, stacking cabinets give you a lot of accessible storage in your bedroom, and they can fit in more places than most dressers.

49. Install an (almost) invisible nightstand.

cheap space-saving nighstand ikea hack: mount a ribba picture ledge to your bedroom wall
Coulda Woulda Pica

Picture ledges are inexpensive, easy to install, and they can hold a lot more items than picture frames. So mount a picture ledge, such as IKEA’s MOSSLANDA or KNOPPÄNG, to the wall beside your bed. You’ll have a nearly invisible nightstand that takes up next-to-no space.

There’s room to store your phone, eyeglasses, clip-on lamp, and not much else. But really, what else do you need?

50. Add a window seat to your bedroom.

Real Simple 3-Cube Split-Top Bench Storage Unit as a bedroom reading nook
Bed Bath & Beyond

For anyone who loves to read, pick up a storage bench like the 3-Cube Split Top Bench Storage Unit and park it in front of your bedroom window.

In addition to giving you a lovely place to perch, the bench includes three cubbies and two under-seat compartments. Which is plenty of room for stashing all the novels you’ll be reading while basking/tanning in sunlight.

51. Store your boots in a vertical shoe rack.

diy dowel shoe rack storing boots in an apartment
Apartment Therapy

Everybody loves a pair of good boots, but nobody loves a good pair of boots that are now wrinkled because they were stored improperly. Fortunately, a vertical shoe rack can store shoes of any size and keep them wrinkle-free.

DIY the vertical shoe rack pictured above, buy a 3-pair boot organizer from Overstock, or hang them on Boot Hangers — one of professional organizer Anna Bauer’s favorite products for keeping your apartment organized.

52. Install shelves and cover them with sliding mirrors.

bedroom closet sliding mirror door and storage shelves
Furnish Burnish

Don’t have a closet?

Here’s how to live without a closet.

Don’t have a closet but want one?

Take a page out of YO! Home’s book, install some shelves, and cover them with sliding doors:


You’ll lose some floor space, but you’ll gain a ton of storage space.

Pro Tip: Install the entire DIY closet directly opposite a window and attach mirrors to the doors. The mirrors will reflect and fill your bedroom with sunlight, trick your eyes into thinking you have an extra window, and make your room feel bigger.

53. MakeSpace.

parachute home ceo ariel kaye's makespace bedroom storage bin
Parachute Home CEO Ariel Kaye uses MakeSpace as her pop-up bedroom

All of these bedroom storage hacks are wonderful. But don’t feel like you have to cram everything into one tiny room, which would only be counter-productive.

Sometimes the best storage hack is having someone else do all the work for you. That’s where MakeSpace comes in.

We’ll pick up everything (including your furniture), store it in our secure and temperature-controlled storage facility, and create an online photo catalog so you always remember what you have in storage.

The best part: When you need something back, we’ll deliver it to you.

Ready to store your stuff in the fastest and easiest way possible?

Schedule a MakeSpace pickup, pack your stuff, and leave the rest to us.

Pick a city to learn more about MakeSpace in your area:

New York City
Washington, DC

And while you’re at it, make your place even more spacious by learning these incredible storage hacks for other rooms in your home:

This article was written by David Michael McFarlane, a writer from Texas and Oregon who lives in New York and loves smart design and organization.

Rejoice: Here Are 15 Breathtaking Floating Shelves That You Don’t Have to DIY

When it comes to home storage solutions, floating shelves are about as good as it gets for three reasons:

  1. Floating shelves take up zero square feet.
  2. They allow natural light to flow freely through your apartment.
  3. They’re absolutely gorgeous.

But there’s just one problem:

So many wall shelves are DIY, and you don’t always have the free time to build them.

Sometimes, you just need a quick fix.

Below are 15 breathtaking floating shelves that are already cut and stained. Which means the only thing you actually have to do is mount them to your wall.

1. Bamboo Three-Tier Floating Shelves by Lipper International

bamboo 3-tier corner shelf by lipper international
Hold N Storage

Price: $16.69

Here’s a great kitchen storage hack: not having to build one. And the three-tier floating shelf by Lipper International is a prime example.

Made from sleek and sustainable bamboo, this 10” x 10” x 9.5” shelf fits nicely into a corner to keep your dishware safe and handy at all times.

2. SKOGSTA Wall Shelf by IKEA

SKOGSTA wall shelf by IKEA

Price: $34.99

Hailing from SKOGSTA, one of IKEA’s newer lines, is one seriously beautiful natural wall shelf. Because its mounting is concealed, you can enjoy four feet of shelving that seems to emerge from your wall.

3. Cubist Wall Display floating shelf

cubist wall display floating shelf by umbra

Price: $40

If your home office is looking to hire a CTO (as in, Chief Tiny Organizer), the cubist wall display from Erika Kovesdi is the #1 candidate.

This wire floating shelf is simple, affordable, and minimal, and will free up your desk space while looking sharp. And for only 10 bucks more, there’s a larger option that has space to store a tiny plant:

4. Fungi Shelf from Gridy

a gridy fungi floating shelf from lumens storing a white decorative vase

Price: Starts at $54.95

These elegant little wall shelves blend into their surroundings like their natural inspiration:

Tree mushrooms.

Their slight curvature appeals to your eye, enhancing your decor while offering functional storage space that comes in small, medium, or large size.

For the full “fungus that grows horizontally on trees” effect, cluster and stagger five of these stunning shelves at various heights, like this:

gridy fungi floating shelves from lumens

5. Marble Wall-Mounted Shelves from CB2

marble wall-mounted shelf from cb2

Price: $59.95

CB2 carries a nice selection of affordable wall-mounted shelves and this marble piece is definitely one of their prettiest.

Cut from solid rock, the wall shelf’s clean stone and brass brackets will add a touch of elegance to your kitchen, living room, or bathroom walls.

6. Rustic Pipe Floating Shelf

rustic pipe floating shelf by etsy shop mintagedesigns

Price: $79

Sure, there’s a bunch of pipe floating shelves floating around on Pinterest that you can DIY. If you have the time.

Since you sometimes don’t, you can DIY nothing and order this prefab rustic industrial pipe shelf on Etsy instead.

Numerous sellers offer industrial floating shelves, but the one you see above is one of our favorites. Available in weathered grey, dark walnut, or ebony, this  36″ x 7.5″ x 2” floating shelf easily stores three feet of books and comes with zero buyer’s remorse.

7. Coffee and Tea Shelf from (del) Hutson Designs

Reclaimed wood coffee and tea wall shelf from (del)Hutson Designs
(del)Hutson Designs

Price: $105

If coffee or tea is among your deepest pleasures in life, we found your storage soulmate.

Its name: Coffee and Tea Shelf.

Its parent’s name: (del) Hutson Designs.

Handmade with reclaimed wood from pallets, fences, and barns, this floating shelf offers appropriately earthy storage for your appropriately earthy morning ritual.

And in the event that ritual includes DIY-ing creative storage solutions in your spare time, check out our list of cheap and easy wood pallet projects that will revitalize your home.

8. Wall Bar with Fold Down Shelf by BSEID

Wall bar with fold down shelf by BSEID

Price: $110

By now you’re well aware that wall storage isn’t just for books, pottery, and keys. But did you know that wall storage can also function as a bar?

That’s right, this wall-mounted shelf/mini bar from BSEID offers storage space for your favorite spirits and a fold-down shelf where you can hone your speakeasy mixology skills.

Just install, stock, and release your raucous bacchus.

9. Laurel 3-Piece Wall Shelf by IMAX

laurel 3-piece wall shelf set by imax from allmodern

Price: $143.99

Does your apartment crave a little splash of French Farmhouse decor?

Quench its thirst with these circular wall shelves that, despite what its manufacturer’s name might lead you to believe, do not transform into IMAX theaters.

They do, however, come in a set of three wall shelves and range from 16.25″ to 21.25″ in diameter, making them perfect hallway or kitchen storage solutions. Which is wonderful, especially if you’re looking for smart ways to save a ton of space in your kitchen.

10. Bloomingville House Shelf

bloomingville house wall shelves from scandinavian design center
Scandinavian Design Center

Price: $150

For a more playful design, consider the House Shelf from Denmark-based Bloomingville.

Sporting clean lines typical of Scandinavian design, these five house-shaped floating shelves stretch out over three feet. They offer unique and practical storage for tiny, happiness-increasing plants, trinkets, and toys.

11. LiliLite floating shelf

LiliLite, a wall-mounted shelf, lamp, and bookmark

Price: $142

While you’re shopping across the pond, consider LiliLite, a floating shelf that’s beautiful and one of the best book storage hacks we’ve ever seen.

If you love reading but don’t have room for a nightstand, add a LiliLite above your bed. Its zig-zag body offers storage space for your books while its built-in lamp illuminates the pages of the book you’re currently reading before bed.


 12. Curio Shadow Boxes by Sierra Living Concepts

modern shadow boxes wall shelves by sierra living concepts
Sierra Living Concepts

Price: $199

This solid Indian Rosewood wall shelf is as much a piece of art as it is a piece of practical storage. Billed as curio shadow boxes, these cubicles could store anything from mementos and makeup (here are 11 more beautifully easy ways to store makeup), to small plants and books.

Not sure what books should stay in your home?

Here’s how to decide what books to keep or get rid of.

13. Floating Mid-Century Cabinet from West Elm

wall-mounted mid-century cabinet from west elm
West Elm

Price: $249

What’s a cabinet but a set of shelves with walls, a ceiling, and doors?

While this beautiful cabinet from West Elm floats like the best of floating shelves, it adds a distinct mid-century style that few other pieces can invoke.

With three feet of storage above and below, and hanging hardware included, this cabinet arrives ready to create space.

14. Franklin Shelf from Tronk Design

franklin shelf corner shelves by tronk design
Tronk Design

Cost: $400

Made with love in the US, this little floating shelf was nominated for a design award for good reason:

It helps you MakeSpace for storage in the least-used, but perfectly usable, section of a room — the corner.

Tronk doesn’t sell their products themselves, but you can find a lot of their retail partners, like YLiving, by contacting Tronk.

15. Up on the Wall shelves from Bent Hansen

customizable up the wall shelves from bent hansen
Bent Hansen

Price: Contact Bent Hansen

Made from compact laminate, these white or black floating shelves from Bent Hansen can be as simple or complex as you’d like.

Sold in single units, these long (about 30”) or short (about 23”) shelves are sleek and inconspicuous. Yep, even if you mount them to your wall in a geometric Snake-like pattern.


Top image via ArchVisuals and Design Milk.

This article was written by David Michael McFarlane, a writer from Texas and Oregon who lives in New York and loves smart design and organization.

10 Easy Ways To Create Personal Space In Your Apartment

There’s a reason most sitcoms set in New York City feature roommates prominently. When you live in the Big Apple or any big city, you often have to share space to bear the cost of rent.

If you have your own bedroom, you’re at least entitled to four walls of privacy. But if you’re splitting a small apartment two (or three, or four) ways, personal space is harder to come by. Harder, but not impossible.

Living with other people doesn’t have to mean surrendering every square inch of your independence. With just a little communication and the following tips, you can MakeSpace for yourself and your roommates in an apartment of any size.

1. Divide the room.

Installing a curtain in front of your bed is an easy way to create personal space in an apartment.
Country Living

A lot of privacy goes out the prewar window when you’re sharing a small apartment with roommates, but even if you sleep in the same room you can still create boundaries. There are many ways to physically separate living areas that don’t require a construction permit.

Curtains, screens, and bookshelves each provide personal space without taking up much of their own. Tall plants and standing mirrors can also create the illusion of separation. Room dividers don’t have to be solid. Although your own private area may extend only a foot beyond your bed, the effect will feel expansive.

2. Decorate and furnish different areas.

The kitchen in Margaret Mason and Brandon Dunham's 485 sq ft apartment in East Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY.
Intentionally Small

One of the simple pleasures of living alone is expressing yourself in your décor. With roommates, furnishing and decorating require more compromise, but you can still lay claim to certain areas of the apartment to make it more you.

Whether it’s the door of your refrigerator or the walls of your decluttered bathroom, decorating an area provides a sense of personal space. Talk with your roommates to coordinate colors and style choices, and divvy up the apartment, if you all choose to.

Just make sure everyone’s on board. Personal space should never come at the cost of communal peace.

3. Cozy up your bed.

A cozy bedroom in a 387 sq ft apartment in Sweden.

Regardless of how many roommates and square feet you have in your apartment, you’re always guaranteed some personal space: Your bed.

Even if you lack your own bedroom or a room divider, the realm of your mattress is all yours. So make it comfortable.

Invest in nice sheets and duvet covers. Buy a headboard to extend your personal space upward. Fill your bedside table with books (here’s how to decide what books to keep or get rid of) and mementos that reflect you. Your bed should be a cozy place where you love to be, whether you’re eating, sleeping, reading, or watching TV.

4. Swap your couch for chairs.

Swap your couch for chairs to save space in a small apartment.
Flickr/Stefan Schmidt

While there are many space-saving sofas and couches for small apartments, individual chairs create more personal space in your living area. In fact, a chair is all yours as long as you’re sitting in it, creating another microcosm of independence.

5. Invest in a loft bed.

The Domino Loft has separate areas for relaxing, sleeping, working, and more.
Brian Flaherty

If you and your roommate(s) share a small apartment with high ceilings, it might be time for you to invest in a loft bed. Whether you buy your future loft bed from a store or have one custom built, these beds save space by creating space. Space in which you can put a desk or closet beneath your bed while enjoying an elevated view that’s all your own.

Lofting beds is a common hack for dorm rooms, but many designers and architects have made it a respectable small-space solution for adults, too. Consider the stunning Domino Loft System by ICOSA Design that’s pictured above for example.

6. Put your non-essentials in storage.

If only half (or a third, or a quarter) of an apartment is your space, and a lot of that is shared, try to limit your possessions to the essentials. Send out-of-season clothes, shoes, accessories and furniture to storage, and pack old photographs or books along with them.

By paring down your belongings, you’ll have more room for your personal use. You’ll also create a more spacious and decluttered home, which is essential to living happily with other people in a small space.

7. Create a reading nook.

Move a chair in front of a window to create a cozy reading nook/personal space in your apartment.
Read It Forward

Regardless of how big or small your apartment is, chances are there’s at least one empty corner or alcove. If your roommates are cool with it, put a chair there (ideally in front of a window like the nook in one of Lake Street Studios’ micro-apartments) and use that nook for reading and relaxing.

Your nook doesn’t have to be completely private. Even if you’re  situated in the middle of a common area, as long as you have that nook all to yourself, it’s still your personal space.

8. Find a local escape.

A magazine, a flower in a pot, and a cup of coffee are on top of a wooden crate.

Exchanging two roommates for 40 noisy coffee drinkers may sound like an oxymoronic solution, but only if you haven’t tried it. Any regular of a café knows you don’t have to lease a place to feel some ownership of it.

Going to a coffee shop regularly, having a favorite table, and befriending baristas can give you a sense of belonging. Sure, you may be in a crowd, but the space still feels personal by being away from the roommates you see every day and night.

9. Cook for yourself.

Make personal space in your apartment by cooking alone in your kitchen when your roommates aren't home.

While cooking together is a great idea for couples sharing an apartment, when your roommates aren’t romantic, you need more time to yourself. Cooking meals is a practical opportunity.

Since you have to eat anyway, find a time when no one else cooks. If your apartment has a separate kitchen, that’s a full room of personal space while you’re in it. Even if it’s attached to the living room, the counters, stove top, and floor in between are your domain, so use them as often as you can.

10. Enjoy the shared space.

Chandler and Joey from Friends are playing foosball in their apartment that's located in Greenwich Village, Manhattan.

If there’s anything we learned as kids to practice throughout our lives, it’s that (except for toothbrushes) sharing is caring. By sharing a lease, you’re able to afford a more spacious and nicer apartment than you could if you lived alone.

Always remember that, and enjoy your space with, not despite, your roommate(s). Which should be easy if you add a Polycade or any of these other ridiculously fun space-saving games to the mix.

This article was written by David Michael McFarlane, a writer from Texas and Oregon who lives in New York and loves smart design and organization.

9 Seriously Stylish Space-Saving Sofas And Couches That Will Actually Fit In Your Apartment

You already know about space-saving vinyl record storage, book storage, bike storage, shoe storage, billiards, and even storage beds. But what about the other essential piece of furniture that you plop onto after a long day at work — your couch?

Sure, any couch or sofa could technically fit in your apartment if you had the NY Couch Doctor disassemble it before carrying it through your door. However, nothing makes a small apartment look smaller like a ginormous piece of furniture that devours most of your living room.

The couch you purchase can make or break the comfort, aesthetics, and feng shui of your apartment. So rather than lugging your old sofa from your parents’ house (here’s the best way to move from a house to a tiny apartment), or trying to find a cheap futon on Craigslist, choose a piece that conforms to your space and your taste.

Measure your living room, plan out the living areas, and then invest in any one of these stylish space-saving sofas or couches that will actually fit in your apartment:

Traditional: The Lloyd Loveseat

A persimmon Lloyd Loveseat from Eurway is one of the best couches for small spaces.

Price: $1,349
Tiny apartments aren’t the most accommodating for a dinner and/or cocktail party, and so you probably don’t need a traditional three-seat sofa. If your couch is mainly for you and your S.O., you and your roommate, or you and your Hinge date,  a loveseat is your best bet.

Because it’s shorter narrower, and lighter than a traditional sofa, a loveseat is one of the best couches for small apartments. Especially if you live in a walk-up and don’t want to break your back trying to finagle a 350-pound sofa into your 5th-floor home.And though loveseats were originally made to pair with larger, traditional sofas, their condensed size makes them appear tailor-made for a studio.

The Lloyd Loveseat pictured above is made in the US and available in 18 colors, so you’re bound to find one that melds with your apartment style or palette. Additionally, the backrest is only 2 feet 8 inches tall, so it’ll obstruct less natural light and fit evenly with the base of your bed for example.

If the Lloyd Loveseat’s $1,349 price tag is a bit too hefty, fret not. There’s always IKEA, which makes loveseat versions of almost all of their sofas.

Sectional: The Hamilton from West Elm

A Hamilton upholstered chaise sectional from West Elm is one of the best sofas for small spaces.
West Elm

Price: $1,868
Okay say you do want to entertain at least four guests in your apartment, and you just so happen to have an empty corner. What should you do?

Easy. Put  a sectional in that corner. Thanks to its L-shape, not only will a sectional squeeze perfectly in that space, but it’ll also sit four people (or more if you’re cuddly) in the length usually required to sit three.

With a backrest height of 2 feet 7.5 inches, the Hamilton from West Elm sits low like the loveseat above while its narrow arms limit its length to 6 feet 11 inches.

Want the chaise to be on the right side instead of on the left as pictured above?

No problem. West Elm offers both options.

If you’re okay with shelling out $1,868 for a sectional, by all means purchase the Hamilton. If you’re not, head to IKEA and pick up a comfy, chic, and modular SÖDERHAMN sofa and chaise:

A modular Isefall natural SÖDERHAMN sofa and chaise from IKEA.

Or check out the $758 Soho Flat Flex sectional:

A white Soho Flat Flex Sectional from Sleek Modern Furniture.
Sleek Modern Furniture

Like the Hamilton, the Soho Flat Flex sectional comes in a left or right hand option with a chaise. Unlike the Hamilton, it’s also available as a sofa with a free-floating ottoman that won’t cost you one month’s rest.

Less conventional: The chaise lounge

If you don’t have the space in your living room for a full sectional, pick up a space-saving chaise lounge chair.
We Are Change Atlanta

If you don’t have the space or the need for a full sectional, consider its defining feature: the chaise lounge.

While technically not a sofa, these therapist couches accomplish the same basic functions. Plus, because they lack a full back cushion, they meld into smaller surroundings easier, and can adapt to your existing décor.

You can find a chaise lounge in any style, and from just about every era if antiques and period pieces are your bag. Want a Victorian flair in your apartment? There’s a chaise for that, though it might be called a “fainting couch.”

You can also buy a mid-century modern chaise, or one that is just modern.

Chaises can be inconspicuous, like the $639 Patterson from Armen Living:

A Patterson Chaise by Armen Living.

Or they can be coconut-esque conversation pieces like the $4,600 Ichiban Slide:

An Ichiban Slide chaise lounge from Inmod.

But let’s be real, who has that kind of spare change?

Check out these other stylish chaise lounges, which start in the low $200s.

Multi-functional: The Istikbal Kubo

A rainbow orange sectional with storage by Istikbal Kubo.

Price: $759
In case you didn’t already know, we love furniture that serves multiple purposes, and the rainbow orange Kubo is no exception.

Kubo comes from the Turkish furniture maker Istikbal, and while it’s a little wide (7 feet 6.5 inches) for a small apartment , it has tons of storage space hidden underneath its cushions where you can stash anything you want.

Of course, Kubo isn’t the only couch with storage out there. Home Reserve builds narrower loveseats with built-in storage, and Overstock carries some inexpensive options too.

If you really want a bright orange multi-purpose sofa, though, another option is the Doc sofa bunk bed. It transforms from, yep, a sofa into, yep, a bunk bed, in less than 30 seconds:

A closed Doc Sofa Bunk Bed.
A transforming Doc Sofa Bunk Bed.
An open Doc Sofa Bunk Bed.

This article was written by David Michael McFarlane, a writer from Texas and Oregon who lives in New York and loves smart design and organization.

Behold The Space-Creating Glory Of The Domino Loft System

What do you do when you have a blank corner of your apartment, sitting unused?

Most people might settle with finding the perfect sectional, storage bed, or space-saving billiards game to fill the space, but not Donnie and Nicki Wang.

They wanted to maximize every square inch of their 500-square-foot San Francisco condo, so they hired architects to design a Domino Loft system that would transform their one empty corner into five functional living spaces.

The result, created by Peter Suen from FIFTH ARCH and Charles Irby at ICOSA Design, is stunning. So stunning that we just had to find the Domino Loft’s owners and creators to learn more about the loft’s birth, features, materials, and of course, the answer to the million dollar question:

How do we get our hands on this spectacular space-saving loft?!

Keep reading to find out, and try not to ogle too hard.

The birth of the Domino Loft system

Nicki Wang writes on the Domino Loft system's whiteboard.
Brian Flaherty

When the couple first reached out to Peter and Charles, Donnie told us they had a clear idea of what they wanted:

“Five functional spaces depending on the time of day or occasion: bedroom, office, dining room, guest room, and walk-in closet.”

Working collaboratively, the designers started from scratch and went through months of content exploration before settling on the ultimate solution. Peter said he and Charles “spent more time than typical on the initial schematic and conceptual phases,” testing at least eight ideas, but the planning paid off.

“We focused,” Peter told us, “on how a static spatial configuration can still produce dynamic, multifunctional spaces.”

Like the Gramercy Park micro-apartment with a sliding storage wall and the tricked-out YO! Home, the Domino Loft feels dynamic even when it’s not in use. Its energy is partly due to its growing out of (and into) the Wangs’ condo.

Fabricated piece-by-piece in Charles’ Oakland shop, the loft system fits seamlessly in the Wangs’ home where it was assembled on site.

The Domino Loft system as a workspace

The Domino Loft system has a multipurpose workspace with a computer station, whiteboard, storage bench, fold down table, and more.
Brian Flaherty

In addition to eating, sleeping, and watching movies in their loft, Donnie and Nicki run treadfast — a business that designs and sells premium tall socks with grips — from home.

As a result, the couple needed a designated workstation and more storage space for their inventory. The Domino Loft provides both.

The Domino Loft system has convenient storage space and shelves to store your clothes, shoes, accessories, and more.
Brian Flaherty

With a built-in standing desk in the interior, a full-wall whiteboard, and storage shelves and drawers just about everywhere else, the Domino Loft system gives the Wangs the workspace they need while saving them from having to stack unsightly boxes in a corner.

Donnie told us they store “thousands of socks in, on, and around the loft, though you could never tell just by looking.” He’s right. We can’t.

The loft’s two tiers allow Donnie and Nicki to work or rest separately, which is one of the keys to successfully sharing an apartment with your significant other.

The Domino Loft has separate areas for relaxing, sleeping, working, and more.
Brian Flaherty

The Domino Loft system as a guest bedroom

Living in Downtown San Francisco often means you attract friends and family from all over the country. Which is great if you have a spare bedroom, but it’s tougher when you’re already two people living in a 500-square-foot condo.

So does that mean the Wangs have their guests sleep on an air mattress that deflates throughout the night?

Nope. The Domino Loft’s whiteboard folds down into a Murphy bed that sleeps two.

Nicki Wang opens the Domino Loft system's Murphy bed.
Brian Flaherty
Nicki Wang tidies the Domino Loft system's Murphy bed.
Brian Flaherty

What’s the Domino Loft system made of?

Donnie Wang opens the Domino Loft system's curtain.
Brian Flaherty

The Domino Loft is primarily made of concrete, steel, and a gorgeous maple plywood with a white lye and natural soap finish. This follows the industrial, urban aesthetic Donnie and Nicki wanted to create in their home.

“The loft platform,” Peter told us, “is formed from a series of solid wood joists that allow lighting to tuck into the member spacing.

The loft’s concrete and steel live up to their sturdy reputations, and because of its sleek and multifunctional design, it doesn’t create a heavy or bulky presence. Details like the sliding library ladder contribute to the energy of this system. It shifts and adapts while standing perfectly still.

The Domino Loft system has convenient hat storage shelves and a sliding library ladder.
Brian Flaherty

Want a Domino Loft system of your own?

We do too. But we’ll have to wait for an indefinite amount of time.

“We would like to develop a kit-based system based on this concept that owners could potentially configure on their own,” Peter told us. He also couldn’t say what the Domino Loft’s price range might be, since the cost of the loft built in the costs of construction and demolition of the Wangs’ condo.

All hope isn’t lost, though. ICOSA Design specializes in computational architecture, meaning they’re experts at turning concepts and data into physical structures.

The Domino Loft is the first living space project that ICOSA Design has built, and it hopefully won’t be their last.

Donnie and Nicki Wang relax on the Domino Loft system's bed in their beautiful 500-square-foot San Francisco condo, which also has a home theater.
Brian Flaherty

This article was written by David Michael McFarlane, a writer from Texas and Oregon who lives in New York and loves smart design and organization.

Enter The MUJI Hut, Japan’s Newest Prefab Homes

Who doesn’t want to trade the skyscrapers and crowded trains for the quiet, serene, and spacious country some days?

It’s a common impulse of urban living, whether you’re in Chicago, New York, London, or Tokyo. It’s why people still move off the grid and live in cabins. And it’s also the philosophy behind MUJI Hut, the latest prefab homes out of the Land of the Rising Sun.

You could call MUJI Japan’s response to IKEA. Both companies design and distribute simple, low-cost, and good-quality products.

MUJI diverges from that comparison, however, with its scope. Not content with furniture and ligonberry jam, the Japanese company has created everything from CD players to the MUJI Car 1000, a 2001 collaboration with Nissan.

Now, MUJI is building tiny prefab homes, having enlisted three international designers to create affordable, quality retreat houses. Like most of MUJI’s products, their huts are stunning, modern, and (we hope) affordable.

Check them out below!

The Philosophy of the MUJI Hut

A beautiful Japanese landscape from MUJI Hut.

MUJI Hut’s website beckons you to sit in stillness and contemplation. As the page loads, you see and hear a video of quiet, subdued nature scenes with no buildings or people in sight.

Music begins, and calm rhythms play over bird songs, waterfalls, and crickets. You wait, expecting something to appear. Until you realize that waiting and listening is the point. It’s mesmerizing. It’s the kind of experience MUJI hopes to create with their prefab houses.

“Slip away,” the copy reads when you discover you can scroll down, “from the hustle and bustle of the city to a place where you can feel instantly at home and at ease.”

Suddenly, you want that home where you can sit and listen to the rain and watch the day fade into night. That home where you can sit around a fire in a private space talking to your friends.

You can have it, the copy infers, if you live in a MUJI Hut. Three unique MUJI Hut designs were unveiled at last year’s Tokyo Design Week, each with its own amenities and distinct personality.

MUJI Cork Hut

The exterior of a MUJI Cork Hut, a prefab home in Japan.

British designer Jasper Morrison created the Cork Hut, so named for its cork walls and, inside, cork doorknobs. Its 100% natural material is carbon negative and recyclable, all the while insulating the tiny house from cold and noise. This selection of materials aligns with the overall aim of MUJI Hut to live at peace with your surroundings.

The interior of a MUJI Cork Hut, a minimal prefab house in Japan.

The interior of the Cork Hut is spare but offers traditional tatami floors, a wood burning stove, kitchenette, dining nook, and bathroom. In essence, it has everything you need to survive, which was the aim of Morrison. He wanted to create a “house as a product rather than a one-off” for everyone who wants to live on a piece of land but can’t build a new house from scratch.

MUJI Aluminum Hut

The exterior of a MUJI Aluminum Hut, a minimal Japanese prefab house.

Simpler, smaller, and more portable than the Cork Hut is the Aluminum Hut from German designer Konstantin Grcic. With a footprint around 100 square feet, Grcic built this prefab house within the parameters of projects that require no construction permit. Which means if you live in or move to Japan, you can place this tiny home just about anywhere without legal challenges.

The minimal interior of a MUJI Aluminum Hut in Japan.

Three sides of the Aluminum Hut’s exterior are made with, you guessed it, lightweight aluminum. You’d think this would block sunlight from entering inside, but that’s not the case. The front of the Aluminum Hut has traditional Japanese sliding front doors that admit plenty of natural light.

Inside, there’s a loft and ladder. But nothing else. The minimalism is intentional. Grcic wanted to create “a free space, which can be personalized and accommodated for a number of different uses.”

The Aluminum Hut is a basic, beautiful shelter that’s also private, portable, and self-supportive.

MUJI Wooden Hut

The exterior of a MUJI Wooden Hut, a minimal tiny house in Japan.

Japanese designer Naoto Fukasawa considered the associations with the word “hut” before he drew the floor plan for his Wooden Hut: “Not quite a holiday house, yet not as simple as going camping.”

With a stove and kitchenette like the Cork Hut, plus a full Japanese tub and wall of windows, Fukasawa created this house with more pleasures in mind.

The minimal interior of a MUJI Wooden Hut, a prefab home in Japan.

The expanse of windows was designed for the kind of vistas you see on MUJI Hut’s website, and the Wooden Hut’s interior similarly melds with natural surroundings.

The floor and wall are made of timber and offer a shelf for storage along the back. As the small cot in that photo indicates, floor space is limited, but the pitched roof and generous use of glass brighten and expand the single room.

As for the Wooden Hut’s bathroom, it’s stunning, and pictured below.

The interior of a MUJI Wooden Hut, a minimal prefab home built in Japan.

MUJI Hut Price and Availability


So, how much are these gorgeous MUJI Huts? And how soon can you move into one?

We’re not sure.

The bottom of MUJI’s website reads “We are not ready to announce any details yet, but to keep up with the latest news, join our mailing list or follow us.” And when we asked MUJI’s head office in Tokyo for more information, they told us that’s all they can say for now.

Other media outlets, however, cite prices ranging from $25,000 to $40,000 along with a 2017 release date. Given that MUJI’s gorgeous three-story Vertical House sells for just $180,000, that price range for their tiny homes may just be accurate.

Unfortunately, and maybe tellingly, MUJI only sells their prefab Vertical House in Japan. Keep your fingers crossed though until more news develops. And be consoled: There’s still the Ecocapsule.

This article was written by David Michael McFarlane, a writer from Texas and Oregon who lives in New York and loves smart design and organization.

How To Beat Cabin Fever: 8 Easy Tips For Surviving Winter In A Tiny Apartment

Spending a cold, dark season in a cramped apartment has all the makings of a horror movie. Each day your room feels a little smaller, and what’s that clanking noise you hear every night? And then the obvious twist: There’s no poltergeist, psychotic neighbor, or zombie. It’s all in your head.

Except this isn’t Hollywood. It’s the reality of living in a tiny apartment during the winter. If you feel sluggish, irritated, claustrophobic, or edgy, you’re not going crazy, but you are experiencing cabin fever. To combat this normal psychological response and survive winter, you need to optimize the space in your small apartment. These eight tips will help:

1. Move your bed.

Beat cabin fever: place a bed near a window in a tiny apartment.
A Well Traveled Woman

Throughout the year, your furniture should be arranged in a way that maximizes your apartment’s natural light, but you can make some exceptions in the winter. Because the days are so short, try to be as close to sunlight as possible, as early as possible. Moving your bed nearer to the window will make the whole day (and winter) feel brighter.

Rearranging your furniture will also stimulate your mind, creating the perception of a new space. This is essential when you spend less time outdoors. Even small adjustments can make you feel less cooped up.

2. Invest in foliage.

A houseplant increases your happiness, which is one of many tips to beat cabin fever and survive winter.

The grays and browns of winter trees are bleak. They contribute to the depressiveness of cabin fever. When everything beyond your windows is dead or dormant, you can bring life into your small apartment with houseplants.

Most indoor foliage remains green and vibrant even when it’s snowing outside, and many plants are well suited for a small space. The color and energy of a living plant can invigorate you and your apartment, all the while filtering the air of toxins.

You should also consider buying orchids or flowers, which increase your happiness. Even a single stem in a jar can have a pleasant psychological effect, but be sure to toss them as soon as they begin to wilt.

3. Leave your apartment.

In an attempt to avoid cabin fever, two people are bundled up and waiting on a platform for the Chicago L while it's snowing outside.
Chicago Carless

We know. After five weekdays of commuting in the snow or sleet, you don’t want to go anywhere on Saturdays and Sundays. Staying holed up, though, will only exacerbate cabin fever, so try going out when you can.

Visit museums, go to the theater, watch your favorite singers and bands perform live, and run errands while taking a break to warm up in a coffee shop for example.

Not that you need a reminder, but keeping your body healthy also keeps your mind healthy. Exercise regularly to combat the listlessness that comes with winter. Head to a yoga studio to calm your mind, or try kickboxing to vent your “snow rage.”

4. Spring clean before spring.

An easy winter survival tip is to clean your studio apartment, which also helps you beat cabin fever.

A cluttered apartment is a cramped apartment, so spend the next big snow day cleaning and organizing your home. It doesn’t matter how small your apartment is. If your apartment is clean and tidy, you’ll enjoy being there more.

5. Combat the drafts.

A DIY draft stopper with stripes is in front of an apartment window and blocking the cold, which helps you avoid cabin fever.
The Little House In The City

Your home should be a refuge from the brutal outdoors, not a conduit for them. If you’re living in a prewar apartment with prewar windows, you have drafts. Drafts that you need to combat to keep your home cozy and the cabin fever at bay.

A simple and inexpensive trick to block the cold from breaking into your apartment is placing draft stoppers at the base of your windowsills. You can also apply insulation film to your windows for better protection, but be warned: It creates a shrink-wrapped look and makes an already barren view less pleasant.

6. Learn a practical skill.

What to do when you have cabin fever: cook with a partner.

We love Netflix binging as much as the next person, but doing too much of it can slow down your metabolism and make you feel sluggish.

Take a page from Julie & Julia and try a new recipe every day. Begin journaling or even attempt a novel. Read through Shakespeare’s plays. Take a painting class. Build a giant ball pit in your spare room. Or try any of Greatist’s home workouts that you can complete in as little as 15 minutes.

Feeling trapped during winter is common, but if you look at the season as an opportunity to develop yourself and your skills, it can be liberating.

7. See other people.

Two female and one male are shopping in Old Port, Maine, an easy way to cure cabin fever.
Portland Press Herald

A small apartment in a big city already feels isolating at times. Add two feet of snow to the mix, and you might lose all motivation to socialize with others. Interpersonal relationships, though, are critical to a healthy mind during the cold months, and they give you another excuse to leave your building.

There’s a good chance your friends and coworkers are similarly struggling with cabin fever. So make plans after work. Use an app like Squad to find and hang out with other squads. Also, go on dates. The more you push back against isolation, the less you’ll feel stuck inside.

8. Get out of the city.

Leaving home and riding a Metro North Hudson Line train is a cabin fever activity for adults.
I Ride The Harlem Line

Your small apartment isn’t the only contributor to cabin fever in the winter. When you live in a big city like NYC, the high rises and narrow sidewalks piled with snow also restrict physical and mental freedom. The solution? Get out.

Leave New York City a few times every winter, whether it’s to visit family or friends in another city, or hopping on an Amtrak and spending the afternoon in the country. You don’t have to escape to the Caribbean, just move beyond the concrete jungle.

Hike, explore, shop, and breathe in the open air. When you come back, your small apartment will feel more like a cozy cabin and less like a space of confinement.

This article was written by David Michael McFarlane, a writer from Texas and Oregon who lives in New York and loves smart design and organization.

Look To The Sea: Storage And Space-Saving Inspiration From Sailors

Living in small spaces is no 20th century phenomenon. Humans have made do with less room since we first climbed down from trees and built primitive shelters. We’re an economical species, adept at efficiency and thrifty living in big cities, and the open water.

Sailors and everyone living in offshore homes have pioneered many advancements in small-space living. Bobbing beside a dock or anchored in a marina, sailboats, houseboats, and small yachts use clever design to make the most of a few square feet.

If you live in a small apartment or tiny home and crave some space, consider these space-saving, furnishing, and storage tips developed by sea-dwellers.

Mount plates, cups, paper towel, and spices to the wall.

A SeaTeak dish/cup/spice/towel rack is storing plates, a paper towel roll, spices, and cups.

Like a lot of tiny apartments, few ship galleys have the space for cabinets. Ceramic dishes wouldn’t last too long sliding around in a sailboat buffeted by waves anyway. Enter SeaTeak, a company devoted to beautiful, practical storage products that can be mounted to the wall of any home, land or sea.

The dish/cup/spice/towel rack seen above is one of many home storage solutions they make that free up counter space and keep your belongings secure. From knife blocks to book racks, their marine-inspired designs will enhance any home by looking beautiful while saving space.

Think cozy, not cramped.

The cozy bedroom in Tracy and Marty Metro's "Retro Metro" houseboat.
Apartment Therapy

Sure, most of us would love to sleep under a 12-foot ceiling with a huge window overhead or, better yet, a skylight, but that’s not feasible in most small apartments. For centuries sailors have slept in cramped beds with low ceilings, and many modern marine dwellers do too, except they make the spaces cozier.

If you have a loft bed or an apartment with less headroom than you’d prefer, use lights, colors, and textures to make it warmer, and more pleasant. While the headboard in the houseboat pictured above nearly touches the ceiling, its cushion material adds comfort to the small space. The lights pointed upward and outward, and the basket hanging from the ceiling also create more dimensions, making it less of a cave and more like a cozy den.

Hide your counter.

A foldable prep station counter in a Prospect Heights, Brooklyn apartment.

A New York City architect looked at sailboats for inspiration when designing a Prospect Heights apartment, pictured above. He built the foldable prep station with a table bracket used in many boats and yachts. It locks firmly and holds up to 330 pounds, then drops out of sight whenever you don’t need the extra counter space.

Oh, and the stainless steel bracket only costs $16 on Amazon, which makes it economical in every sense of the word. If you need more prep room, or if you’re just looking to save space in your small kitchen, this is among the cheapest and simplest tricks you can find.

Cargo nets are your storage buddies.

Two cargo nets are attached to a tiny trailer's ceiling and storing clothes.
Teardrops n Tiny Travel Trailers

Already a common sight in the trunks of most cars, cargo nets can be found in nooks and corners on boats of every size. You can adapt them to apartment storage as well. Their elasticity makes them ideal for compressing bulky items like spare duvets and pillows. When you’re done storing your stuff in them, they hug the wall, ceiling, or base of your bed, taking up little to no space.

Just like on boats, cargo netting comes in every shape and size for your small home, so you have a lot of options to maximize storage space with these stretchy tools.

Collapsible canvas baskets are your space-saving superheroes.

A large and small canvas storage baskets are storing logs and kindling in a small apartment with a fireplace.
Not on the High Street

We’re fans of our durable plastic storage bins, but when it comes to storing things in your studio apartment, canvas baskets are the way to go.

Seafarers rely on them to store everything from food and toiletries to jackets and linens for two good reasons:

  1. They’re durable.
  2. They’re soft and moldable, which lets you compress them when they’re empty to save space.

You can also store your possessions in canvas laundry hampers or canvas wastebaskets, and then tuck them into nooks and corners where rigid storage containers like a box or trunk might not fit.

Abandon ship clutter.

A layout of a small boat's interior showing multipurpose furniture and smart storage solutions.
Beneteau 235

Every time sailors take to the sea, they bring only the most basic tools, provisions, and cherished belongings with them. The reason is simple: If there’s no room for stuff, there’s no reason to take it. It’s a nice, simple philosophy for anyone who lives in a tiny house or tiny apartment to keep in mind.

Whether you live in an apartment, are about to move into a smaller home, or are planning to tidy up á la Marie Kondo, know that the space-saving solutions above can only go so far.

Think about everything you own and decide whether or not you really need certain objects taking up space in your home. Some items you might want to keep, others you might want to donate, gift, sell, or toss.

Either way, you don’t have to make every decision permanent, or regret parting with an item forever. Simply store the stuff you love, but don’t necessarily need in your home right now, in MakeSpace. And when you need something back, we’ll deliver it to your house, apartment, office, or port.

This article was written by David Michael McFarlane, a writer from Texas and Oregon who lives in New York and loves smart design and organization.

9 Creative Book Storage Hacks For Small Apartments

It’s a hard knock life for big readers living in small apartments. For those of you who love reading, books are more than a leisure activity: they’re cherished possessions, treasures even if they go unread and unopened for decades.

To part with a favorite novel can feel like throwing out an heirloom. Unfortunately, books can also take up more space than other “essentials,” like a bed, couch, or TV.

If a tiny home without books doesn’t feel like a home, don’t despair. You may need to temporarily part with a few memoirs, but you can MakeSpace for others with these creative book storage hacks for small apartments.

Book Storage Hack #1: Hallway library

Book storage hack: DIY bookshelves into walls to build a hallway library in a small apartment.

Hallways are usually designed for a single purpose: going from point A to B. It’s easy to forget they’re part of our living space, and that they can be more functional than a mere passageway. Adding shelves to the walls of your halls can turn corridors into libraries, maximizing space while showing off your literary collection.

We love the bookshelves pictured above, but a hallway library doesn’t have to go wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling. Some floating, “invisible” shelves can be equally effective, and might even be more intriguing.

Book Storage Hack #2: Bookshelf room divider

Easy book storage hack: DIY a bookshelf into a room divider.

Bookshelves set perpendicular to the wall are a great way to divide a studio apartment or any multi-purpose room. While a curtain or screen accomplishes the same goal, it doesn’t offer a chance to display your personal library like shelves do.

Book Storage Hack #3: Literary headboard — or baseboard

A creative book storage hack is building a baseboard that has convenient storage space for books.
Hello Kate and Luke

If you love books, why not keep them where you spend the most time in your apartment? A quick Google Shopping search will reveal hundreds of bookcase headboards, and even Etsy has a few handmade options if that’s your bag.

A simpler book storage hack, though, might be storing books at the base of your bed. The principle remains the same, but you don’t have to buy a new bed. Any short and wide bookshelf or bench would do the storage trick.

Book Storage Hack #4: High-perimeter bookshelves

A cool book storage hack for tiny apartments is building bookshelves above a kitchen.

Built-ins and standalone bookcases alike take up a significant amount of square footage. If you live in a small apartment, that’s square footage you don’t have. You do, however, have ceiling space, which means you can add shelves along the perimeter of a room without cluttering your apartment.

High perimeter shelving is a functional storage hack for storing books, though it isn’t the simplest endeavor. You’ll need a ladder in addition to power tools, paint, and lumber. If you’re willing to do the work (and risk your landlord’s fury), high shelves will give you more space for the novels you didn’t send to storage.

Book Storage Hack #5: Loft bed library

Building a wooden book cabinet under a loft bed is one of many smart book storage hacks.

We could browse photos of custom loft beds for days, basking in the beautiful, functional spaces created by various carpenters. One of the best we’ve seen is in the 240-square- foot studio, pictured above, designed for an anthropology professor in NYC.

While the whole loft is impressive, that cubbyhole library is the best part, giving a true lover of books a private space to store and read them. Since we can’t all hire an architect to build a library, you should consider other loft beds that create space for books too.

Whether storing books in stairs or in shelves you build into a loft bed’s frame, space-saving beds can be a great book storage solution.

Book Storage Hack #6: Closet library

Donald Albrecht, Museum of the City of New York curator of architecture and design, built a creative book storage hack in his apartment's closet.
The New York Times

If you’ve already learned to live without a closet, you might want to keep that skill and turn your hallway closet into a real, tiny home library. The beautiful room pictured above was built by Donald Albrecht, the curator of design and architecture for the Museum of the City of New York.

Donald exchanged a coat rack for a wall of shelves in his foyer closet, and he added a glass door to frame and display his little library. “It’s the oldest trick in the book,” he called the project. Maybe not the oldest, but definitely one of the most creative book storage hacks we’ve ever seen.

Storage Hack #7: Bookshelves in nooks

A DIY bookcase in a tiny apartment's exposed brick nook is a prime example of a cool book storage hack.

Unless it’s a micro-apartment designed by MKCA, every tiny apartment in the world comes with some unusable space. Whether it’s a niche in the wall where a chair wouldn’t fit or an out-of-the-way corner, a bookshelf could use the space well.

The beauty of bookshelves is how they come in all shapes and sizes, and they’re relatively easy to DIY if you’re feeling handy one weekend. Walk through your apartment and pay attention to the areas where you don’t walk or store anything already. Chances are, some bookshelves would fit in and benefit those nooks and crannies.

Book Storage Hack #8: Stash-away stacks

A fireplace used as an easy book storage hack in a 250 sq ft tiny apartment in NYC.
Apartment Therapy

Books are basically tiny, rectangular storage boxes in and of themselves. When there isn’t room under your bed for an IKEA SKUBB box full of Harry Potter books, your wizardry books will still fit in short stacks.

Often deemed the college room solution, stacks of books can enhance your space, bringing color and personality to your corners, end tables, and the space beneath your couch. Stash books anywhere and everywhere. As long as you don’t reach hoarding-level heights, you won’t risk turning into the Collyer brothers.

Book Storage Hack #9: An eReader

A Kindle Paperwhite ebook reader is a cheap book storage hack because it lets you store thousands of novels in a small apartment.

The simplest and most efficient book storage hack is transitioning to digital, at least for as long as you’re living in a small apartment. Both the Kindle Paperwhite and the NOOK GlowLight Plus can store thousands of books. This means you can have all of your favorite tomes on hand, or rather “in hand,” taking up the space of a paperback.

An eReader isn’t the most creative storage hack for books, but if you only have space for a few hardcovers, pack up the rest of your physical library and store it in MakeSpace. You can always display your real collection later in your next, bigger apartment.

Top image via Marc Koehler Architects

This article was written by David Michael McFarlane, a writer from Texas and Oregon who lives in New York and loves smart design and organization.

11 Easy Ways To Divide Your Studio Apartment Into Multiple Rooms

After a long commute on the subway, standing between a grandmother with shopping bags and a burly guy playing Threes!, all you want is a place to relax. Unfortunately, if you live in a studio where your sleeping, eating, and working spaces overlap, your home can feel as crowded as public transit. Especially if you live with your significant other (by the way, here’s how to live happily with your S.O. in a tiny apartment).

One of the biggest challenges of studio apartments is deciding how to multiply rooms when you only have one. You could hire an incredible design firm to build a levitating bed, vanishing dining room, and pop-out kitchen like YO! Home’s.

Or you could implement a few of these simpler, cheaper tricks to create multiple living areas in your studio apartment. As much as we’d love to see a video of your YO! Home, we recommend the latter.

1. Envision your floor plan, and don’t forget to include “doors.”

A floor plan of a studio apartment divided into multiple rooms.
Home Designing

Before you even think about dividers, you should know the space you want to create. Decide which corners and areas of your studio will become your bedroom, living room, dining room, and kitchen.

Once you map this out mentally, begin grouping (or planning to buy) furniture that fits both the space and function of each area, and remember to include entryways. It may all begin in your head, but like any floor plan, it has to remain as accessible as possible.

2. Think outside the wall with bookshelves.

A bookshelf is one of many ways to divide a studio apartment.

When one of your goals is to maximize space, the more practical a solution is, the better. Set bookshelves perpendicular to a wall to divide living areas and add valuable storage space in your small apartment. The bookshelves don’t have to stretch to the ceiling, but for the sake of illusion and the extra room, go tall.

3. Think thin walls, as in curtains.

A curtain is one of many ways to section off a studio apartment.
Country Living

In a studio, like in any tiny apartment, every square inch counts. So if you want to physically separate your sleeping quarters, choose curtains.

When extended, curtains give you plenty of privacy yet take up millimeters of space. When you’re ready to get out of bed and expand the room, all you have to do is slide them out of your way with one hand.

Oh, and if you lack carpentry skills, don’t worry. A rod and fabric couldn’t be easier to hang.

4. For movie buffs: Install a projector screen.

A movie projector screen is an easy way to separate a studio apartment.
Apartment Therapy

When most people think of essential living spaces, they probably list dining area, bedroom, and study or lounge. Houstonite Chris Nguyen, however, wanted a personal home theater, so he added a projection screen to the foot of his bed. The installation is simpler than you might expect, and the sheer panel allows light to pass through, keeping the small area open.

5. Color-coordinate each living area.

How to turn a living room into a bedroom: add a platform bed with storage for tonal separation.
Tiny Homes Magazine

Whether or not you add physical dividers, every living area in your studio needs tonal separation. Your mind should sense some distinction between sleeping and dining areas, and color accents can do the trick.

For each separate space in your apartment, choose a subtle color and theme to make it psychologically distinct. As a whole, your apartment should flow together, but even little choices, like pairing a blue throw blanket on the couch with a ceramic bluebird on your coffee table, can separate each living area.

6. Hang pendant lamps.

Hanging pendant lamps is a creative way to separate a studio apartment.

Because you need a well-lit apartment anyway, invest in some hanging pendant lamps to create another division. Not only do they save floor space because they hang from the ceiling, but pendant lamps are also easy to DIY.

Hang two or three strands of light to create an understated and practical barrier that separates your kitchen and dining area from your couch or bed.

7. Buy a bar cart.

A marble top bar cart is divides a kitchen in a studio apartment.

You don’t need a separate room for your kitchen to create a separated kitchen. Use a bar cart to divide the area organically and add valuable counter and storage space for your baking and boiling endeavors.

A bar cart is also an economical solution in every sense of the word. Many bar carts only occupy a couple square feet, and you can find inexpensive options just about anywhere. Including at IKEA, which sells a $29.99 RÅSKOG utility cart that you can easily hack into a bar cart.

8. Create a floating closet.

A floating closet helps to separate living areas in a studio apartment.
Brit + Co

Unless you’re renting that rare unicorn of a studio apartment with four closets, you need a place to store your clothes as much as any other living area.

While you can send seasonal clothes off to storage, you still need to make space for the rest, and we suggest building a floating closet. Like the brilliant design above, floating closets can maximize storage space while adding a unique magical element to your tiny home.

9. Put your couch at the foot of your bed.

Putting a couch at the foot of a bed helps to divide a studio apartment into separate living areas.
Living in a shoebox

Separating your living areas doesn’t get easier than this trick, which works for almost any studio apartment. Set your couch at the foot of your bed so that your back faces your sleeping area whenever you’re seated. With or without an additional physical barrier, the psychological division is clear.

10. Invest in a space-saving bed.

Architect Tim Seggerman's Nakashima-inspired studio apartment in NYC has a loft bed.

Maybe the best way to separate your sleeping quarters is by tucking them away, either against the wall with a Murphy bed or up near the ceiling with a loft bed. Both space-saving beds have their pros and cons, but either one would free up floor space for a living or dining area. Another plus: They can be ridiculously beautiful.

11. Clear out the clutter.

Nickelson Wooster's NYC Storage Solution
Style icon Nick Wooster uses MakeSpace as an infinite closet.

Fitting multiple living areas into one room is a tall order for anyone. The best designs and floor plans won’t amount to much if your studio is brimming with books, coats, and shoeboxes of old photos (here’s how to store old photographs without ruining them) and letters.

So as you plan how to divide your studio into separate rooms, be sure to also organize your apartment. Keep things that you need and/or make you happy; put the stuff that you love but don’t need right away in storage; and throw out, recycle, donate, sell, or gift the rest.

The result: a clean studio apartment with multiple customizable rooms in which you’re only surrounded by the objects that make you happy. And who wouldn’t want that?

This article was written by David Michael McFarlane, a writer from Texas and Oregon who lives in New York and loves smart design and organization.

10 Amazing IKEA Hacks Your Pet Will Absolutely Love

On their own, pets don’t take up too much room. But their beds, bowls, leashes, coats, treats, and toys can. Which is why we’re excited to bring you these 10 IKEA hacks that will help your best friend in the whole wide world live the most spacious life/nine lives possible.

1. The Secret Litter Box

A creative IKEA hack is repurposing a STUVA BETSAD into a DIY kitty litter box cover/end table.
Bella Pop

Brandy Frank of Bella Pop created this lovely, handy workaround to the worst part of owning a cat: the litter box. Unless you’ve trained your Felis catus to use the toilet, you have to find a place for his litter, ideally out of sight and smell. Brandy’s solution? The STUVA BETSAD from IKEA, with a hole cut in the back with a jigsaw. Mischief (and litter scattered around the box) managed.

2. A Dual-Purpose Dog Crate

A Gulliver changing table used as a dog crate and nightstand is an easy IKEA hack.
IKEA Hackers

Most dog owners have to to deal with finding a place to put their pup’s crate, which isn’t easy in small apartments. Enter the GULLIVER changing table. Cheaper than dog crate furniture, this multipurpose piece can serve as a nice nightstand while hiding a pied-à-terre for your dog. Remove the middle shelf, and add a small tension curtain rod with fabric, and it’s ready for your best friend to hang out in. But only sometimes, because we all know that your dog’s primary residence is your bed.

3. A Space-Saving Cat Tree

A DIY kitty litter box/IKEA hack consisting of Lack shelves, Ekby Mans brackets, and an Ådum rug.
Tatiana’s Delights

Regardless of how  long they’ve lived inside and away from their natural forest habitats, cats still love climbing. You might cater to this by buying carpeted cat trees, but don’t forget, they still take up precious floor space .

When Tatiana Vandersluis‘ kittens outgrew their tree, she didn’t have space for the adult model. So she decided to build her own, on her walls. Using LACK shelves, brackets, and an off-white IKEA rug, she built platforms around a corner for her cats to climb. The quick hack freed up floor space and still catered to her cats’ natural instincts.

4. The Guinea Pig Paddock

IKEA hack 5 LACK coffee tables into a big guinea pig cage.
IKEA Hackers

Do you have a dozen guinea pigs and nowhere to keep them? Probably not, since there can’t be more than one of those people, but the principle of this design is great.

Doubling as an entertainment stand, this guinea pig aficionado used LACK tables to create what we can only describe as a paddock. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be nearly so large, and it would work for any small pet. (We’re looking at you, rabbit and ferret owners.)

5. Rock Carpet-Climbing Wall for Your Cat

A cat is climbing on a climbing wall/IKEA HACK made of an OSTED rug attached to the wall.
IKEA Hackers

This hack isn’t beautiful, but it may be the simplest on our list: hang an OSTED rug from the ceiling to create a climbing wall for your cats. The construction only requires a few minor tools and a few minutes of your time, and it only takes up about half an inch of space on your wall. It also serves as both a scratching post and cat tree.

If the tiered shelving trick intimidates you, this is a nice compromise and appeals just as much to your cat’s bouldering needs.

6. Window Watching Shelf

A window shelf for a dog made of Fabian shelves is a creative IKEA hack.
IKEA Hackers

Dogs like windows. Dogs like sunlight. Dogs like staring at your neighbors. Whatever floor you live on, chances are your furry best friend would like to see more of the outdoors. Since you can’t take him outside every hour, you can build a sightseeing platform with a FABIAN shelf. This design only works for small breeds, but it works well, and your cat would appreciate it too.

7. Double-Tier Cat Bed

A DUKTIG IKEA hack that serves as cat beds for two cats.
Flickr/Hanna Ollila

Two cats does not a crazy cat lady make, but it does mean double the toys and beds around your apartment. Flickr user Hanna Ollila solved that issue by creating a bunk bed for her cats with the TRENDIG tray table. Unfortunately, that nifty piece is no longer available, but stacking the DUKTIG doll bed produces the same space-saving effect. Oh, and we’ve heard that pugs like it too.

8. Storage Playroom

An IKEA hack/cat apartment/storage shelves made of KALLAX shelving.
IKEA Hackers

That said, devoting an entire room in your apartment to your cat does a crazy cat lady make, but we’re here to free up space for you, not to judge. If your cat has to have a full playroom to herself, try to include some storage in there for you too. The room above used EXPEDIT units, which IKEA sadly discontinued. Fortunately, their KALLAX shelving works just as well, and your cat won’t notice the difference.

9. Pet Food Stations

IKEA Hackers

Does this save space? Maybe not a ton, but it does add extra shelving for you to store your pet food on top, and it keeps the food bowls all in one place. Whether you own a dog, cat, or domesticated pig, this little TROFAST food station hack would work well for your pets.

10. Floating Rat Cage

IKEA Hackers

Did we save the best for last? Kind of. This hanging rat cage is made out of a BESTÅ cabinet, creating multiple levels and pipe tunnels for your busy little rodents. It looks sleek, even charming, something few rat cages could claim. Nicest of all is that floor space underneath, removing the clutter that too often comes with owning pets.

This article was written by David Michael McFarlane, a writer from Texas and Oregon who lives in New York and loves smart design and organization.

Loft Bed, Murphy Bed, or Storage Bed? Here’s How To Decide

You’ve moved into a tiny apartment and need to make more space. So you watch videos of collapsible apartments that turn 150 square feet into 600. In reality, though, the solutions to create more space are simpler, and they often begin with your bed.

If you’ve lived in a big city for any amount of time, or browsed the MakeSpace blog, you’ve seen these three types of beds: a loft bed, a Murphy bed, and a storage bed.

All claim to accomplish the same thing, which is creating more space so you can enjoy your small apartment more. Structurally, financially, and practically, they are certainly not all the same, but all do have some benefits (and detriments) to consider. If you’re planning to buy a space-saving bed, this guide should help you decide between loft beds, Murphy beds, and storage beds.

First things first: the cost

A wooden loft bed in a tiny apartment.

If budget is your biggest concern, go ahead and narrow your choices down to two types of space-saving beds: a loft bed or a bed with storage. Each of these beds has inexpensive options, some as cheap as $150 for a new twin frame, or even less if you’re willing to buy second-hand on Craigslist.

Of course, at those price points you’re getting what you pay for. The cheapest lofts are made of flimsy metal while the cheapest storage beds are likely made of particleboard, which means they’re probably not as secure as you’d like to feel at night.  And since Murphy beds have to fold up into the wall, they need to be much sturdier, making it harder to find a new Murphy bed for less than $1,000.

Beautiful lofts like the custom-built bed above come with a much higher price tag, as will any antique storage bed that’s full of character.

If you’re willing to pay more and focus on the aesthetics, the sky’s the limit, especially for loft beds and Murphy beds. Designers and space-saving furniture companies like Resource Furniture and Clei sell incredible pieces for an incredible price. Realize, though, even in a city where space-saving beds are in high demand, these beds are hard to resell (and harder to move).

In the event of moving

A man is pulling down a bed from the ceiling in a small apartment.

Obviously you can’t see into the future, but given your lease, location, and job, ask yourself, “Do I plan to live here for awhile?”

Ruling out the $150 loft beds and storage beds, which are basically disposable after a year, any bed that saves you space comes with some degree of hassle. Most good loft beds require more construction than a regular bed, and depending on their material, storage beds can be as heavy and bulky as a piano. Murphy beds certainly are. If you live in a walk-up, you won’t want to move Murphy or storage beds twice in 12 months. If you expect to live in your small apartment indefinitely, it’s less of a problem.

In terms of resale value, storage beds are the most practical of the bunch, popular in city apartments of every size, and in suburban homes beyond. There won’t be as many potential buyers for loft beds, and even fewer who would want a used Murphy bed. Given their size and cost, they’re long-term investments, usually purchased by small-apartment dwellers who don’t plan to move anytime soon.

Which bed creates more space?

A lofted bed with a ladder in a tiny apartment.

No reason to drag this point out: loft beds create more space.

Yes, you could argue that Murphy beds are the actual winner, since they make the whole bed disappear into a box that juts out from the wall less than a mount of antlers. Still, loft beds legitimately create space in your apartment, essentially adding a second floor to your studio. If you live in a tiny, tiny place like Grayson Altenberg’s 100 square foot apartment, a loft bed would double the livable area, while a Murphy bed would require you to stack everything you own against the wall each night. (And, spoiler alert, it wouldn’t have room to fold down anyway.)

Storage beds aren’t even a contender in this fight. They do supplement or replace the storage of a dresser, but if that’s all you’re after, boxes under your bed might be more effective. Then again, you should be sending that stuff to storage because according to feng shui, you’re not supposed to put things underneath your bed in the first place.But hey, that’s entirely up to you.

Feng shui, and other things to consider

A Nuovoliola murphy bed from Resource Furniture that includes a sofa and storage shelf.
Resource Furniture

One of the primary principles of feng shui is allowing energy to flow under your bed. Translation: you can’t store anything there. So if you want to practice this ancient philosophy, forget about storage beds, and maybe lofts too, because you probably can’t resist the sudden expanse of floor space that would be perfect for a table or couch.

Other considerations, like the height of your ceilings, amount of entertaining you expect to do, and how much time you spend in your apartment should also guide you through the buying process.

Wait. What about futons?

A blue futon folded up onto a brown DIY wood pallet chair.
Mary Place Gallery

All right, so we didn’t include maybe the most popular space-saving bed: the futon, or sleeper sofa. Sure, you can find these throughout any city, and many people do sleep on them every night, but most are made for guests or as a last resort, not regular use.

The best futons in the world can give you at least one great night of sleep. The worst will twist a crick in your neck as soon as you’ve switched off the light. Truth be told, we love any piece of furniture that saves space through dual use, but night after night we’ll take a real mattress and a different space-saving bed.

Good luck choosing yours!

This article was written by David Michael McFarlane, a writer from Texas and Oregon who lives in New York and loves smart design and organization.