Living in a small space doesn’t necessarily mean you have less stuff than everyone else. Of course, if you’re into minimalist decor, then maybe you like to keep your list of things to a minimum to let a simple layout shine. But if you’re like many people, your collection of keepsakes doesn’t diminish with time. They’re part of who you are, so wanting to hold onto your favourite artwork and other items makes you happy, and that's a good thing. At west elm, we know that living in a small space doesn’t stifle your creative flair at all. How can you put your signature design touch on a cosy apartment and have enough room for everything at the same time? Our small space storage can help. Here are a few tips and ideas to inspire you.
One way to keep a lot of items close by and still look awesome is with shelves and bookcases. What makes them so practical for small spaces? For one thing, they take advantage of wall area and leave your floor space open for other things. If you want more spots to put decor, photos or even extra throws and blankets when it’s cold outside, arranging two or three narrow shelves vertically above your bedside table adds a lot to your bedroom but takes up the same amount of floor space as before.
Thinking vertically in this way is a big help in almost any cosy room: your office, living room and dining room – just to name a few – all benefit since it frees up more total area for you to play around with. The best part is that tall bookcases hold almost identical amounts of items as a coffee table, but leave you with plenty of room to add another chair to your conversation space. Of course, if you want to use a coffee table for style, definitely go for it. Budgeting your space lets you do just that: save room in noncritical areas so you can spend it where it counts, on furniture or decor that makes a big impression.
Another tip for maximising storage in small spaces is to let your furniture multitask. Some desks have integrated shelves or cabinets. You can use them to keep any kind of office supplies, documents and reference materials that you want. But that’s not all; If you have a desk in your combination kitchen and dining room, you can use shelves to store place settings and the like. Bookcases are great multipurpose decor.
How many items can you put on each shelf? Is there a limit? That depends completely on your personality and design vision. In a minimalist arrangement, having only a few items highlights simplicity. White and neutral colours make a room feel very spacious. If you’re going for a warm and personal vibe – showing off your travels and experiences – there’s nothing wrong with layering lots of stuff together, like photos, lamps, books and other room accents.