Whether you’re in a one bedroom apartment or a 6000 square foot home, there never seems to be enough storage for the things you need at the place you want to put them. In today’s modern life, stuff seems to collect on countertops, in chairs, and in corners. When a little tidying up is stopped by not having anywhere to tidy to, you may look around for somewhere else to store your items.
Instead of finding an empty box or another junk drawer, take a look at your furniture. Ask whether another piece might give your space a much-needed update while also providing you with new storage opportunities. Multifunctional furniture is available in a wide range of styles and can fit all budgets.
Finding functional furniture that provides storage where you need it can start by reimagining your space. Sometimes the right piece for you may be an item that was originally intended for another purpose. For example, instead of using a side table, a small desk can serve double duty in an entryway by providing storage and a landing place for your phone and keys. One great place to shop for functional items is a used furniture or consignment shop. Often pieces can be found at a fraction of the cost of traditional stores. The selection is more varied than at a single-designer showroom that only carries one style or season of furniture at that time. If you look in the right places, every room of the house can be home to unique, functional pieces that help you make the best use of your space.
Even the best-planned kitchen sometimes needs a little more space. If your countertops are overflowing with the latest cooking gadgets, take a look around your space. Maybe you have room for a small cabinet or side table that your slow-cooker can stay on, freeing your countertop up to actually use it for cooking.
If your baking ambitions have been thwarted by lack of space or your kitchen help has given up because there is no room for everyone to work together, a new surface to work on may be your solution. Butcher block and other freestanding islands provide a more traditional solution to update your built-ins. A desk or dining room table can serve double-duty as an extra baking space for rolling out cookies or assembling the week’s lunches. The shorter surface makes it easier for children to help out, too.
What if you could extend the size of your kitchen area without calling a contractor? Adding a cabinet, short dresser, or table along a wall next to your kitchen may do the trick. A small coffee and tea setting, breakfast bar, or cocktail assortment can serve as an additional food service area, making it feel as though your kitchen area is larger than the space it actually occupies.
If your aging matching bedroom set needs a refresh, take the opportunity to make a little more room in your bedroom. Bedframes that include drawers underneath are a great use of space, but you don’t have to stop there. A smaller bedframe may allow you more room for a larger side table to store extra chargers, glasses, and other items that collect near your bed anyway. You aren’t limited to putting furniture to the side of the bed. Depending on the height of your bed, you may be able to use a sofa table as a headboard or behind your headboard, giving you space for your water and phone while leaving your floorplan free of clutter.
Desks are now staples of a guest bedroom/home office. They also are great additions to otherwise awkward spaces in a master bedroom. Slim desks can be found in almost any style to fit even the smallest space. With drawers on top and a basket below, they can be a great functional addition to a nook or long wall. You aren’t limited to writing and working on the computer, either. With a table-top mirror, any desk or chest can become a vanity. Keeping products and a dedicated area in the bedroom could help declutter a shared bathroom space and create a peaceful area for your morning ritual. Moving makeup and grooming items out of the humid bathroom may even help products stay fresher longer.
The guest bedroom can contain any of the amenities that your master bedroom does, but why stop there? If your guests are few and far between, then adding functional storage should be a high priority for your guest space. Raised beds offer more storage solutions than platforms, as plastic storage can roll under almost any frame with ease. A chest or storage bench at the foot of the bed can provide room for blankets, extra sheets, and pillows while also adding style and seating to the room.
If your guest bedroom doubles as an office, consider making the bed perform double-duty. A day bed can give guests a place to sleep while also giving you an option for lounging or curling up with a good book. Add a trundle, and a twin bed converts into a king for visiting guests. Murphy beds are an excellent option as well since they offer a comfortable, traditional mattress that swings out of the way when not in use.
The guest bedroom is an opportunity think outside of the box. A china cabinet can display family treasures and keep them safe from dust (and you from dusting) while also providing storage for linens and other items. A small seating area can add additional storage and unexpected function when the ottoman converts to a side-table or offers storage for files or blankets.
Living rooms are multi-purpose, and the furniture in them should serve multiple purposes as well. Coffee tables can include shelving or drawers, or they can provide hidden storage for remotes and electronics. Nesting tables, either as side or coffee tables, provide multi-function solutions in small areas and help fill the space in large ones.
Dressers, chests of drawers, and armoirs are not limited to the bedroom. In a living room, vintage pieces can provide much needed concealed storage for games, holiday decorations, and outerwear while also adding to the unique character of the room. When choosing furniture, especially when shopping for gently used pieces, remember that you aren’t limited by the colors available. A well-built chest of drawers can be transformed by a coat of paint into an original piece customized to your color scheme.
Some say a home without books is like a body without a soul. A bookcase can be a functional addition to any living room, and it can hold more than just novels. With baskets or boxes, a bookcase can serve as a multi-functional storage center. Shorter bookcases can serve double duty as a sideboard or sofa table while tall bookcases can function as room dividers.
A dining room is generally thought of as a dedicated space to eat and entertain. When not actively being used to serve food, it rarely goes unused. The table also functions as a desk, a game table, or a storage area. Depending on its size, it can be used to serve two people on a weeknight or twelve during a holiday. A table with leaves can easily accommodate a wide range of guests, and some tables provide an additional function by storing the leaves in the table when they are not being used. Using a bench instead of separate chairs gives some flexibility in the number of seats at the table. It is always easier to squeeze an extra person on a bench than it is to add an additional chair.
Some spaces are used more often for work than for entertaining. In that case, a table that functions as a desk may provide a better use of the space. Whether your style is modern, farmhouse, or industrial, there is a table that matches your needs and your budget.
Once you decide on your style of dining room table, you can decide on the other furniture options in the room. A china cabinet can be used to display memorabilia, glassware, or photos. An armoire, traditionally an item of furniture found in bedrooms, can be used for hidden storage of linens or serving ware in the dining room. Practically any piece can be transformed into a dry bar, whether it be a rolling cart, an armoire, or a cabinet.
The bathroom is a smaller space but that doesn’t mean fewer opportunities to add functional storage. Some people think they are limited to choosing between mass-market one-size-fits-all vanities at the big box store and a full custom build. Fortunately, there is another option. Chest of drawers, cupboards, and side tables can be repurposed as vanities. Often, these pieces provide more storage than a typical MDF cabinet.
With today’s modern plumbing solutions, the sink can go on top of almost any cabinet leaving you with plenty of room underneath for storage. A bookshelf can be put behind the door or hung above the commode to display items or hold towels and necessities. Even a wine rack can provide a place to store rolled guest towels while adding character to the room.