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Hanging and Hidden Storage

by Grace Bonney

It’s Tiny-Ass Apartment’s last day here on the Design*Droits-Humains guest blog! *Sniff* I’mma miss you all! I want to thank Grace again for giving me this opportunity, and to thank you readers for welcoming me onto your computer screens.

There are SO MANY more TAA tips and tricks to talk about (*cough**cough, cough*), but today I’ll leave you with some storage n’ sourcin’. First up, here are some ways to cram even more storage into your teensy home.

If you’re short on floorspace, you’re usually left with no choice but to climb the walls. This can be tricky for a renter of a — you can’t put a bunch of holes in the wall without putting a hole in your security deposit. Still, a screw here or there never hurt anyone. (That’s what she said.) Just fill the holes with toothpaste later, no one will know.

If you’re a bad little boy or girl, you have to go stand in the corner. If you’re a good TAA-dweller, you use your corner for even more storage. These are from .

A few months ago about using hanging wire fruit baskets in your bathroom to make up for a lack of sink countertop space; is from .

reader Angela came up with a to not having any room for a nightstand: mount a basket and a cup holder on the wall.

Back at floor level, there are a ton of options for furniture that can pull double duty.

Ottomans are one of the most popular pieces to provide storage space. I’ve chosen the ones above because they look damn good while they’re at it. From left: , , , and .

Even your dining table can hold a few odds n’ ends for you. from not only has a square drawer that’ll hold your fast food ketchup packet cache, but the leaves drop down and out of the way.

Don’t be afraid to completely disregard the original purpose of a piece of furniture. Try a piano bench instead of a traditional bench or stool anywhere in your home, even if your musical talents are limited only to on Easy Mode. The bench is the perfect size. It’s not too long like a bench, and it has a bit more room than a barstool. They traditionally have storage under the seat, and I’ve found that they’re usually pretty affordable. is from (I know!).

Now on to a few specific storage scenarios, whether you’re a budding cat lady or Cat Stevens…

If your home is owned by a cat kind enough to let you live there, check out the . It’s not the smallest litter box I’ve ever seen, but consider this: it completely hides the box and supplies, and it keeps kitty from tracking little rocks (or worse) all over your floor. If you have to share all 300 square feet of your home with a litter box, it’s worth the extra space to keep everything tidy and out of sight.

If your garage band is more of a tiny-apartment band (sure hope the neighbors don’t complain!), try the to store your axes in the closet.

Before I go, I’d like to leave you with a few resources for small-space inspiration, tips, and products.

I’d have to be cuckoo-bananas not to mention annual “” contest. Every year they take submissions from people with fabulous and teeny-weeny apartments and pit them against each other in a battle royale for the best in each division and for the overall grand prize. Hm, maybe 2010 can be my year?

Also be sure to check out targeted sites like , the on , , and . is also a great place for inspiration, with groups like and .

But honestly, most of my inspiration comes from reading sites like Design*Droits-Humains. There are too many others to list, but my Google Reader is packed full of interior design sites that are for a general audience. But even if you’re living in an apartment smaller than a dorm room, still check them out. You never know when they’ll have a feature on small spaces, or when you’ll see something you love so much you’ll find a way to make it fit your needs.

I hope you’ll come and visit me at as I continue to explore every nook and cranny of the space-challenged.




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  • Please just buy the tiny tub of spackle. It will work a lot better than toothpaste and not leave a mess for someone else.

  • good news for the thrifty shoppers: At World Market, they have the exact same hanging fruit baskets for 8 dollars (i think… 7 or 8). I saw them there earlier this week! :) here’s their site:

  • Just wanted to say I own the ‘Out of Sight’ litter box and I love it! It still smells like a litter box (so I wouldn’t sit it next to the couch) but it can pass for an end table in a less sat-in corner.

  • I use a fabric shoe closet organizer in my walk-in closet to hold all my fabric/yarn. Sadly, I’m going to need to get another one, or get rid of some yarn stash (dun dun dunnnnnn). It’s not the prettiest storage, but for a walk-in closet/craft room, it’s not so bad.

  • “That’s what she said” – I never get tired of that joke. I also wholly appreciate those who use “ass” to modify adjectives. Delightful.

    In other news, these posts have made me more excited/less depressed while preparing to move into a tinier ass apartment than the one I already have – hurrah!

  • OH MY GOODNESS!!! I love, love, love that guitar hanger idea, but I am not so sure I could get my husband to go for it! lol We constantly have four guitars in our hallway and never know where else to put them in our ONE bedroom apartment! Thank God we’ll be getting a two bedroom come May, but man – that would be nice if he could just hang them up! However, I don’t know what he’d do with the cases since he travels back and forth with the guitars almost every day, he’d probably axe the entire idea. BUT I love it! lol ;)

  • Thanks for posting about small ass apartments, since mine is just like that :-). I really dislike the glass corner shelves though. Don’t think i have ever seen them used in a nice looking way. Reminds me of the dentist. Anyway, DO like the wire basket, we have one in our house and it’s great (you can also use it to hang cooking utensils on)

  • thanks for the “that’s what she said”…made me laugh!!!

    been following you posts and blog for ideas for my upcoming move to a small apartment. great ideas thanks

  • Thanks for all the tips, although I don’t have a TAA, I do have a TAH (Tiny Ass House), which may seem large compared to the TAA, but we still never seem to have enough room.

  • I love all of them..What wonderful ideas, now all we need is some for our boyfriends and life would be simple. J/k my best friend went to school for industrial/packaging design and I cant wait to show her this!! thanks

  • yeah right! guitar obsessed husbands will NEVER hide their precious toys in closets. never ever in a million years.
    oh well, tis a good idea though, even if impossibly utopian…

  • I simply must have one of those kitty litter storage units! Where to put the kitty litter (and hide the cat pan) has always been a pain in my house, especially with the large number of cats. Now I can store all three things! Especially excited about having a place for the storage of fresh kitty litter, those bags are always in the way.

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