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15 Clever Ideas For Your Home

by Maxwell Tielman


If living in teeny-weeny living spaces over the past decade of my life has taught me anything, it’s that ingenuity and cleverness—at least when it comes to the home—can go a long way. From making the most of a small space to using unusual materials in a new way, a clever idea can save you money, brighten your life, and make your living space feel like a home. Over the years at Design*Sponge, we’ve shared hundreds of homes with you, many of which showcase some seriously brilliant ideas. Here are fifteen awesome ones we’ve pulled from the D*S archives. Check out 26 more here! —Max

Above: Looking for a quick way to get downstairs that also adds 100 points of fun to any space? Take a page from designer Alyn Carlson’s book and install a vintage fireman’s pole!

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Above: Rather than shelling out the big bucks for big built-ins, start a collection of vintage drawers. You can stack them on open shelving for easy, beautiful organization!


Above: Short on space? Follow Kay Wang’s lead and loft that bed!


Above: Highlight strange features in your home by adding a whimsical painted frame around them.


Above: Spruce up any bookshelf by adding a fresh coat of paint to the outside and inside of the shelves!


Above: Craft a charming and affordable display frame using box tops and ribbon.


Above: For an instant luxe look, paint a small space (like a bathroom) a dark color—you’ll be surprised at how much more spacious it looks!


Above: Craft a quick headboard using fabric stretched over plywood


Above: …or try your hand at a fabulous hand-painted headboard!


Above: Tuck away unsightly clothing, boxes, and “stuff” by adding curtains to your bookshelves.


Above: Spruce up humdrum cabinets by painting the fronts and pulls in contrasting colors.


Above: Instead of adding paint to your walls, try removing it, leaving the plaster exposed. The result is a warm, timeless, effortlessly beautiful look.


Above: Create a communal, casual vibe in your dining room by opting for long benches instead of chairs.


Above: Make your library a little more cohesive looking (and protect your books!) by adding custom craft paper covers.

Bradley Hunter apt,

Above: Turn your favorite collection into a work of art by taking it off the shelf and onto the wall!


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  • I love the bookshelf idea, really brightens up and changes a piece of old furniture! – Great ideas and helps as am about to move out into my own apartment so nice ideas! Thanks

  • I love so many of these! I’ve been thinking daily about doing those kraft paper book covers in my office. I currently have the books grouped by color and it’s really fun…but then the idea of soothing, monochromatic shelves is always so tempting. Decisions, decisions!

  • I used to have a black bathroom like the one shown. Awful apartment, bad neighborhood, but the bathroom WS cool.

  • I just love the bathroom. Who said dark colours make a space look smaller? I think the bathroom looks fabulous.