Hanging and Hidden Storage

by Grace Bonney

It’s Tiny-Ass Apartment’s last day here on the Design*Sponge guest blog! *Sniff* I’mma miss you all! I want to thank Grace again for giving me this opportunity, and to thank you readers for welcoming me onto your computer screens.

There are SO MANY more TAA tips and tricks to talk about (*cough*Visitmysite!*cough, cough*), but today I’ll leave you with some storage n’ sourcin’. First up, here are some ways to cram even more storage into your teensy home.

If you’re short on floorspace, you’re usually left with no choice but to climb the walls. This can be tricky for a renter of a TAA — you can’t put a bunch of holes in the wall without putting a hole in your security deposit. Still, a screw here or there never hurt anyone. (That’s what she said.) Just fill the holes with toothpaste later, no one will know.

If you’re a bad little boy or girl, you have to go stand in the corner. If you’re a good TAA-dweller, you use your corner for even more storage. These glass shelves are from The Container Store.

A few months ago I posted about using hanging wire fruit baskets in your bathroom to make up for a lack of sink countertop space; this basket is from Target.

IKEA Hacker reader Angela came up with a clever solution to not having any room for a nightstand: mount a basket and a cup holder on the wall.

Back at floor level, there are a ton of options for furniture that can pull double duty.

Ottomans are one of the most popular pieces to provide storage space. I’ve chosen the ones above because they look damn good while they’re at it. From left: The P’Kolino Ottoman from Clever Tomato, the Round Water Hyacinth Stool from Supermarket, the Dwell Storage Bench from Target, and the Canary Nail Button Storage Ottoman from Target.

Even your dining table can hold a few odds n’ ends for you. This one from Velocity not only has a square drawer that’ll hold your fast food ketchup packet cache, but the leaves drop down and out of the way.

Don’t be afraid to completely disregard the original purpose of a piece of furniture. Try a piano bench instead of a traditional bench or stool anywhere in your home, even if your musical talents are limited only to Rock Band on Easy Mode. The bench is the perfect size. It’s not too long like a bench, and it has a bit more room than a barstool. They traditionally have storage under the seat, and I’ve found that they’re usually pretty affordable. The one above is from Wal-Mart (I know!).

Now on to a few specific storage scenarios, whether you’re a budding cat lady or Cat Stevens…

If your home is owned by a cat kind enough to let you live there, check out the Out of Sight litter box. It’s not the smallest litter box I’ve ever seen, but consider this: it completely hides the box and supplies, and it keeps kitty from tracking little rocks (or worse) all over your floor. If you have to share all 300 square feet of your home with a litter box, it’s worth the extra space to keep everything tidy and out of sight.

If your garage band is more of a tiny-apartment band (sure hope the neighbors don’t complain!), try the Guitar Hanger to store your axes in the closet.

Before I go, I’d like to leave you with a few resources for small-space inspiration, tips, and products.

I’d have to be cuckoo-bananas not to mention Apartment Therapy’s annual “Smallest, Coolest” contest. Every year they take submissions from people with fabulous and teeny-weeny apartments and pit them against each other in a battle royale for the best in each division and for the overall grand prize. Hm, maybe 2010 can be my year?

Also be sure to check out targeted sites like Small Furnish, the Microliving community on LiveJournal, The Compact House, and Unclutterer. Flickr is also a great place for inspiration, with groups like Small Apartment Living and Small Spaces – Innovative Solutions.

But honestly, most of my inspiration comes from reading sites like Design*Sponge. There are too many others to list, but my Google Reader is packed full of interior design sites that are for a general audience. But even if you’re living in an apartment smaller than a dorm room, still check them out. You never know when they’ll have a feature on small spaces, or when you’ll see something you love so much you’ll find a way to make it fit your needs.

I hope you’ll come and visit me at Tiny-Ass Apartment as I continue to explore every nook and cranny of the space-challenged.



Tiny-Ass Apartment

Twitter: TinyAssApt

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