Space Savers

It seems we are all trying to live more efficiently in our homes.  With the economy still below it's norm of a few years ago, I think it's so smart to use your space effectively.  Here are several tricks to provide great storage while not sacrificing on style.

Bedside Shelf 
I've completed a couple of design jobs as of late for homes with very efficient bedrooms.  This seems to be a trend in new construction.  And it makes sense - after all, we are (hopefully) asleep the majority of the time we are in these rooms.

In a tight bedroom, one idea I love is using a shelf mounted to the wall as a bedside table.  They have clean lines and work in spots where an ordinary bedside table might not work.  

Also, since shelving is available almost everywhere, it's easy to find a style that compliments your specific taste. 

Notice the sleek modern vibe of this one (coupled with my second space saving trick - a swing arm lamp which I am discussing next).

This is a great example of how a shelf can make a small space feel visually larger while not compromising on storage.  Side note: at first glance the bedding below reminds me of Schumacher's  Betwixt Fabric which I love.  

Remember, you don't have to place the shelf on the same wall as the headboard.  In this example, they have made great use of a tiny spot!  

Swing Arm Lamps
When you have a bedroom that is a bit larger than the one mentioned above and you are able to fit in a shallow bedside table, you don't want the entire table to be taken up with a lamp base.  So, swing arm lamps are the perfect solution.  

These allow you to use the bedside table for necessary items while not compromising on lighting.  

Multi-Functional Furnishings
Simple Idea, but it's just not used as often as you think.  When you are limited on space, each piece you select should be well thought out and should always play at least a dual role(if not triple role). You want the space to look pretty but also function for your needs.  Side Note: The ability to make this trick work also relies heavily on the functionality of the furniture layout of your space.

Here are just a few examples of this concept.

This clever homeowner has placed a dresser next to the bed so it's working as a bedside table and dresser for storing clothes.  Super smart when you are short on space.

It's a bar. It's a place to store blankets.  It's an accent chest.  All rolled into one!  Not sure where this piece is located in the home, but if it were by the front door it would even be a entryway table (with the mirror) for a last minute "makeup check" before leaving for the day! (sorry this picture is so grainy, but hopefully you get the idea).

This is actually a photograph from a catalog.  But it's such clever styling, I had to include it.  By using this piece as a sofa table, you create a spot for extra books while providing a table top for a few pretty accessories. 

Here's an armoire placed in a dining room.  It's being used as a bar, as glassware storage and for table linens below.  Keeps everything at your fingertips for setting a pretty table and for an after dinner libation. 
Go Vertical
This is super great in older homes with those amazing high ceilings.  Remember: the space above you head is a major commodity and should not be overlooked. 

I love this image.  The built-ins create a wonderful niche for the bed while taking advantage of the wall space for storage.  Also notice the "ledge style" headboard acting as a bedside table.  I am also totally digging those pillows with the blue trim and the chocolate walls (and the mirrors on the doors).  It's all good, people.

Great idea for all the space above your bed (not to mention the under the bed storage).

Built-ins also are an easy way to take advantage of vertical space.

This example is taking advantage of a corner when usually this space goes untouched.

Clutter is a No No
This one sounds so obvious; yet I continue to transform small spaces by simply editing accessories and unnecessary items from the room.  My clients think I have worked a miracle when really I just de-cluttered.

This is a beautifully appointed room with a clean de-cluttered look.

Another image of a multipurpose space that is clean without any unnecessary accessories.

Find Unused Space
(wherever it may be)
Many times we have more space than we realize.  There are so many spots that are easily adapted if you take the time to consider them.

One of the most common examples which I know many of you have seen time and time again is the space under a staircase.  You're crazy not to take advantage of it.   

But have you seen this . . . 

This is such a smart solution for the space that is near the bottom of the stairwell.  How great is this when you don't want to take your kids shoes up to their rooms for the 100th time?

For a bathroom short on space, this is a simple idea (now granted, the items you place here will have to be styled or it will look terrible), but still a spot you might not ordinarily think about. 

OK, you're probably wondering why I included the picture below.
One question:  Would you think to fill up the entire space between the bed and the wall on the right or would you use a traditional bedside table and have all that dead space in the corner?

Look at this clever shelf for bedside books.  

There is space inside that low privacy wall, if you think to access it.

Everybody knows a trundle bed is a great space saver, but . . . 

Have you ever thought about a deeper headboard for storage?

For a basement pantry, if your stairwell is wide enough to accommodate shelving, why not?!

Think about the space between the studs in a wall.  They do it with traditional medicine cabinets all the time.  Why not translate this to the kitchen in the form of a spice rack behind a painting.

OK, I admit this is a bit unusual, but who knew?!

Lastly, I think this one is my favorite -  such a great idea and so pretty too.
Do you have a small rise under your kitchen cabinets?!

Enjoy your day! M. 


  1. Cool solutions, Mandi! I think my fave are the drawers in the stairs. :)
    Heidi @ Show Some Decor

  2. Holy crap...this is the motherload of post! So many great ideas, my head is spinning.....Thanks!

  3. Cool ideas!!! Amazing! Kisses

  4. Such clever ideas! Once again, great post! Those stair drawers threw me for a loop! Neat!


Thank you for thoughts on my post! M.