4 Ways To Make The Most Of Tiny Spaces

02/25/2015 09:02 am ET | Updated Mar 02, 2015

Interior designers share simple fixes that make even the most petite rooms feel spacious.

By Joann Pan

  • 1 The $40 Storage Solution For Your Nonexistent Entryway
    Courtesy of Studio Revolution
    Prevent an overflow of shoes near the front door by hanging barely noticeable storage cabinets to house your gym sneakers and work wedges. Jemy Massie and Emily Ellis, the San Francisco-based co-founders of Studio Revolution, used stackable 7-inches-deep IKEA units to declutter a client's narrow hallway. "We mounted six bins, or two sets of three, each at a height of 36 inches, which is the standard counter height," Massie says. The cabinets' skinny ledge offers a place for placing keys, cards and other items to remember to bring with you. To make the most of the limited space, try hanging hooks for purses, a mirror (for last-minute touch-ups) or art -- in this case, the designers hung a client's collection of magnets above the shoe cabinets.
  • 2 The Easy Way A Pegboard Can Organize Your Pots
    Killy Scheer
    Hang a slab of pegboard that you can easily reach -- meaning away from the stove to avoid hard-to-clean grease stains -- and hang the cookware you use the most. "Even utilitarian work horses can look great when they're hung well... as in, not too sparsely or densely," says Killy Scheer, the founder of Scheer & Co., who suspends Le Creuset French ovens in her kitchen.

    Lay out the cookware on the floor, or on a large table, to help determine what size pegboard you need (pegboards typically come in 2-by-4-feet, 4-by-8-feet and 4-by-4-feet pieces). Secure the wood to the wall using screws and anchors placed every 6 to 8 inches along the perimeter of the wall. Paint the perforated wood the same color as the wall. Scheer recommends high-gloss paint for a clean, wipeable finish. Hang items with pegboard hooks. "I used Diamond Life Gear's 5/8-inch curved hook for pots and pans and the 1.5-inch curved hooks for lids -- two on the bottom of the lid, one on the top to stabilize," she says. Adhere small rubber feet, which act as little bumpers for the pot-and-pan edges to land on.
  • 3 The 10-Minute DIY Project That Keeps Your Bathroom Clutter-Free
    Courtesy of The Merrythought
    Small magnets (or strips of magnetic tape) placed inside the medicine cabinet can corral the items that tend to land on every bathroom surface. First, clean out your junk, throwing away everything you haven't used in a while, from goopy bottles of nail polish to questionable shades of eye shadow. Second, collect any larger or nonmetallic objects in small jars, old candle holders and/or copper tumblers and arrange those on the shelves. Then create crafty magnets, a la The Merrythought, to hold bobby pins, nail clippers, tweezers and lash curlers. Simply cover heavy-duty ceramic magnets with fabric or washi tape. The Merrythought blogger Caitlin McGrath suggests hot-gluing a magnet onto a vintage spool to help keep hairbands off the floor and out of the shower.
  • 4 The Micro Office Every Tiny Apartment Should Have
    Thomas Kuoh/Studio Revolution
    Here's proof that small interiors can have it all — including a calm, inspiring creative space. In the photo, designers Massie and Ellis have incorporated a compact office into a family-room nook meant for a closet. Follow their lead and throw a desk into a spare closet (no need for a spacious walk-in). A space that's at least 29 to 30 inches high, 36 inches wide and 24 inches deep is ideal, say the designers.

    Unhinge the closet doors to create more space. For a desk that perfectly fits the width of the closet, opt for a built-in model built by your local lumber store for a precut or made-to-order slab of wood (this allows you to adjust your desk to your preferred height). Table legs and brackets are available on homeware websites including Etsy, IKEA and/or Rejuvenation. You can make the most of closet space by putting shelves up above. If you can, install an electrical outlet for plugging in your computer and lights; if that's not possible, attach battery-operated LED strips to the underside of the shelves.

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