There’s a challenge that every property owner has faced at one point or another: the tiny room. What do you do with a tiny, awkwardly sized room? Do you use it for storage? For drying laundry? Can you stick a mattress in there and try to pass it off as a bedroom?
When designing a small room, one of the biggest roadblocks is finding enough storage space. This can be a particularly difficult problem for purpose rooms that require specific furniture, like a bedroom or an office. However, maximising your storage is not too difficult, even in a tiny room, providing you know how to properly judge and make use of your space! With a few adjustments, you could surprise yourself with the amount of storage space you never knew you had.Creating storage for a tiny room can be a chore, which is why it is a good idea to seek help from a professional. A good local furniture specialist can help you source and choose ideal pieces for your home, and their expertise can be a valuable asset; they may be able to find pieces that aren’t available anywhere else yet! Filling nooks and alcoves with bespoke furniture is a great way to make use of a tiny room, so speak to a qualified carpenter about your options.
As long as you think of your room in a purely traditional way, you may find it difficult to realise just how much space you have available. To start with, try to think of ‘space’ in terms of available surfaces rather than just your floor: do you have a lot of bare space on your walls? What about awkward corners or alcoves?
One of the best ways to make use of 'unusable' space is with floating storage, which attaches to a wall and does not take up floor room. You would be surprised at where these can go: a popular trick is to place a shelf around the perimeter of your room, about 12 inches from the ceiling. This space might not be too convenient to reach, but that can make it ideal for your less-used belongings, or even just for decorations.
Corners are another good source of space, simply because most traditional furniture is designed to only go against a flat wall. Because of this, it can be easy to forget about this space, but there are more options than you might realise. Why not a corner hanging rack, or a corner-backed cabinet?
Windows are another often overlooked area, largely because people find it hard to imagine intentionally ruining their views. However, a thin window shelf could provide just the amount of space that you need, without depriving your room of natural light or completely blocking you off the scenery.
One final place worth mentioning is the ceiling. That's right, you've got to aim high! A ceiling cupboard might not seem too practical (and you'd be right), but hanging storage is an avenue that many designers are having fun exploring. For example, a hanging fruit basket can be a great place to store everyday or easy-access objects like socks, wallets or keys. Alternatively, the top of your room could be the perfect place for a drying rack!
A more common way of maximising storage in a tiny room is to find multi-purpose furniture. Economical multi-use furniture has been another popular point of focus for designers, and not just for storage purposes; reduce the amount of furniture you need elsewhere, and you have more room to give yourself all of the storage that you need.
Most types of furniture can now come either with pre-attached storage or with enough space on hand for your to add it yourself. Sofas and chairs can have plenty of room for hidden storage, while unused space under a bed can give you room for drawers.
Do not focus entirely on storage solutions, of course. Multi-purpose furniture can also free up space elsewhere. Have you ever had a bed with a desk attachment, or a fold up desk that becomes a notice board?
When space is a luxury, you have to get as much use out of what you have as possible. Do you have any small, seemingly useless spaces, such as an alcove or a thin space between two walls? You could get a surprising amount of use from such a space by installing fitted furniture.
Shelving, cabinets and desks are some of most common pieces of furniture that can be fitted into such a space. A carpenter can simply measure the area and let you know what your options are. Alternatively, you could always go for a DIY solution: did you know that a tension rod between two walls makes an ideal clothes rack?
Of course, something else that every property owner should be familiar with is the value of a good home hack! These nuggets of wisdom, passed down from one home to the next, can completely turn a problem on its head, even when it comes to finding storage!
Recycling and upcycling are becoming increasingly popular for creating home storage solutions. It would take too long to list all of your options here, but websites like Pinterest are teeming with examples. Have you thought about creating a Lego board to store your keys? Magazine racks seem to be particularly versatile, with people using them to store everything from hair dryers to onions!
However, the most useful hack for maximising your storage space will be deciding on an efficient filing system. Organise the space you have, and you'll find that you have more of it than you realised. Why not try creating your own drawer divider?