The Art of “Storing” in Plain Sight

There are lots of pros to living in a small space:

  1. It keeps you from accumulating unnecessary things.
  2. It’s (relatively) easy to keep track of everything you own, and where to find it when you need it, i.e. it’s hard to lose things.
  3. It’s easier to keep clean.
  4. It can keep utility bills low.
  5. Smaller furniture costs less.

And so on, and so on…

The most obvious con? Less space!

Having less space forces you to really take stock of what you own, and often choose quality over quantity when deciding what to keep. It also forces you to get creative with your storage techniques.

The key for me, when I was decorating my 500 sq. ft. apartment, was to “store” as much as possible out in the open, in plain site. I am a collector of trinkets and curio, and I have lots of souvenirs from my travels. But it’s not exactly revolutionary to put these sorts of things on display. The real challenge was curating my less interesting belongings in a way that made them interesting, and not an eyesore.

I started in my own apartment by creating an ‘entryway’ where there really was none. This is where I keep all of those things one shucks as soon as you walk in the door; for me, that’s always my shoes. I strategically placed a couple of nails in the wall so that I could keep my favorite hats on display. My keys, wallet, bike and sunglasses also live here.

 

entryway1

entryway-detail

Stag head hook and “key” hook: Anthropologie (SOLD OUT) / Leather catch-all: Target (SOLD OUT – similar here) / Metal locker: Urban Outfitters (SOLD OUT)

 

One of my best purchases to date has been this bike rack. I really wanted to be able to store my bike up off of the floor, and this rack is not only sturdy, but affordable.

 

bike-rack

 

I am also a collector of books, and I long ago discovered creative ways to store the multitudes that I own. I am a huge fan of these invisible floating bookshelves. I have several throughout the apartment. These book shelves (ha!) not only hold books, but also create extra space to show off trinkets and knick-knacks. I also like to find ways to incorporate books into other vignettes throughout my space.

 

 

Everyone loves a smartly styled bar cart. While I don’t have a ‘cart’ per se, I did create a place on top of one of my bookcases to display spirits and other cocktail accoutrements. The bottles themselves rest on a vintage silver tray that I found at Goodwill. The mirror was a thrift store find. I use mirrors all over my space to maximize the very little natural light my apartment receives.

 

 

Perhaps to hardest room to organize was the kitchen. In this endeavor to looked to Ikea. This little birchwood cart provided much needed extra counter surface in addition to storage space. I also installed hook rails and magnetic racks to keep the exactly 2 kitchen drawers from getting too cluttered.

 

 

Throughout most of my apartment, I also use baskets to create visual interest that doubles as extra storage. I have paints, scrap leather and craft supplies stored in the bottom basket, for which I paid $1.50 at a yard sale. The top basket holds things like board games and hackey sacks. I also have a basket in my bedroom that holds purses and wallets, and smaller baskets in the bathroom that hide away cosmetics and toiletry back-ups.

 

baskets

 

Also in my bathroom, I have this fabulous over the door metal basket, which holds those cosmetic and skincare items with the nice enough packaging to be displayed.

 

bathroom-rackOver-the-door metal hanging rack: Urban Outfitters (SOLD OUT – similar here)

 

In the hallway to my bathroom, there happens to be a strange empty space, a nook of sorts. In order to maximize space in my bedroom, and to keep this area from going to waste, I decided to put my dresser here. A few more strategically placed nails and a couple of whimsical jewelry storage pieces, and this is now one of my favorite little nooks in the whole apartment.

 

dresser1

dresser2Square mirror: Anthropologie / Little Birch jewelry tree: Urban Outfitters (SOLD OUT – similar here) / Box Turtle Box: Areaware

 

If you’re looking for ways to decorate your own tiny home, while also maximizing space, these are my main take-aways:

  • Invest in aesthetically pleasing storage pieces — baskets, hooks, shelving, etc. — so that your storage becomes part of the decor. Treat storage pieces like art.
  • Interesting storage pieces don’t have to be investments! Some of my favorite pieces were thrifted, found and/or repurposed. Think of alternative ways to use interesting looking trays, bins, books and baskets.
  • Get things off of the floor. If your landlord allows, don’t be afraid to hang things on the wall. Make gallery walls out of every day objects. Books, hats, mirrors… even bikes!
  • Don’t hide your pretty things! Out of site storage should be reserved for the truly ugly and uninteresting necessities of life. Like tupperware. If anyone thinks of a creative way to display tupperware, please let me know.

 

Hope you guys enjoyed this little look into my own small space. Good luck!

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