The historic rowhomes and apartment buildings that line the streets of DC give the city a distinct historic feeling, unlike anywhere else. Dwellings in these buildings are often highly sought after – the more charm and character the better. The classic feel of these spaces however often come at the price of storage space.
One of the biggest challenges in these smaller spaces is creating enough storage for modern day living without sacrificing the timeless look and feel of the unique architectural details. Lets face it, plastic storage bins were great for college life or those shoes at the back of your closet, but don't add much to your living room decor. Entertaining in small living spaces is hard enough without feeling like your life is on display – hidden storage spaces can effectively maximize space and keep your guests attention where it should be.
Here are a few of my favorite secret storage solutions:
[The Murphy bed is the epitome of a secret storage furniture piece, and it seems to me that murphy beds may be making a comeback – for good reason. These versatile furniture pieces create multifunctional living spaces without sacrificing a guests comfort during an overnight visit. They come in a variety of styles and designs as well as price points. You can even find them at Costco – such as this queen bed option that retails for less than $1400.
Seating + Storage Plus Spacing Saving Design for Dining Areas
Bench style seating adds a warm and cozy feel to kitchen spaces without taking up as much space as would be needed for free standing chairs. The space under the seats is perfect for creating pull out drawers to store infrequently used kitchen items or linens.
Step Up Your Storage Under the Stairs
Often the space under the stairs can be a bit awkward for closet use due to the steeply sloping ceiling. Here are two options to maximize the space with easy to access storage that can blend into any decor.
Pull out cabinets are a great option for keeping entry and hallway clutter contained and every day items easily accessible.
For stairs have walls on both sides, another option is to create hidden drawers under each step – a perfect size for shoe storage.
Walls of Storage
Separating the different functions of a multi use space can be a challenge, using bookcases as dividers allows for permanent division of space while also creating functional storage space. Floor to ceiling options with baskets or bins that fit compartments are decorative and functional while also storing items that can be accessed from either side.
Extend Closet Space
Small closets can be a big challenge, and lets face it, people in the early half of the twentieth century must have not owned many outfits (not to mention accessories). I distinctly remember learning that the standard size closet in new homes is technically referred to as a "double closet" – single closets in older buildings are frequently a half or quarter of the size. Closet organizers are great and definitely a must have, but access can still be limited by the size of the closet door. Adding an additional door above the closet can allow access to unused space for extra shelves, great for seasonal items.
Above the Door Shelving
Bathroom storage can be very challenging in small bathrooms, where moving walls or replacing fixtures is a costly endeavor. One way to get a little extra storage space for towels or linens is a shelf above the door.
Dreaming of More Storage Space?
For many people, beds are one of the largest pieces of furniture, taking up 30 or more square feet of living space. With the right storage solutions, effectively utilizing the space between the mattress and the floor can make a huge difference. There are many different bed storage designs and options, one of my favorites is Lift & Stor beds which allow for easy access without having to crawl on the floor.
In a city where square footage is truly at a premium, implementing creative secret storage solutions can be a cost effective way to maximize your space and budget without sacrificing style and comfort.