If living in Brooklyn has taught me anything, it’s how to make room out of nothing. Matchbox-sized rooms; windowless, code-violating basement closets; hallways with a kitchen at the end of them—you name the crummy, overpriced apartment living situation, and chances are, some New Yorker has braved it. There are numerous ways to make do with these rathole-sized abodes, but one of the most effective is as old as time itself: shelving. Yeah, I know. Like, duh. Still, although shelving might seem like the most obvious space-saving technique out there, once you break the concept down, the options (and ideas!) are seemingly endless. From crates lined with wallpaper and mounted to a wall to a revolutionary way of looking at magazine holders, we’ve got fifteen of our favorite and most beautiful shelving ideas to keep you—and your teenie apartment—organized and happy. What are your favorite space-saving shelving techniques? We’d love to hear them! —Max
1. Turn wooden wine crates into decorative, wall-mounted shelves to display books and mementoes. Full project here.
2. Use pegs to create a creative storage space on a large, unused wall. Full project here.
3. Use rope to create a simple and effective shelving system. Full project here.
4. Vintage leather belts + salvaged wood = one snazzy storage solution! Full project here.
5. Turn a discarded drawer into a shelf/reading light. Perfect for reading nooks! Full project here.
6. Wooden pallets make for awesome shelving frames. Full project here.
7. Next time you see some beautiful driftwood, take it home and turn it into a beautiful shelf! Full project here.
8. Shelves need not be symmetrical, or even fully horizontal! Use recycled wood to experiment with different shapes and sizes! Full story here.
9. The spaces above windows and doors are often under-utilized. They make for great storage spaces! Full story here.
10. Mix mass-market brackets with recycled or salvaged wood for a lovely custom look. Full project here.
11. Create a custom framed shadow box to add some elegant flair to your storage. Full project here.
12. Craft a glamorous, deceptively simple shelf using beads and plexiglass. Full project here.
13. Finding an attractive and functional way to store teas and coffee can be difficult. This DIY shelf is a perfect solution! Full project here.
14. Vintage ladders are easy to come by at flea markets and make for stunning shelves. Full story here.
15. Transform a magazine organizer into a handy-dandy storage unit. Full project here.