Ty’s Tips: How to Find Extra Space in Every Room
By: Ty Pennington
Wish you had a little more space? Who doesn’t! Here are my tried-and-true tricks for making the most of what you’ve got.
DO plan ahead. Grab a pad of paper and walk around the house with a fresh eye, noting where you might be able to add storage you hadn’t thought of before.
DON’T hold onto the past. If you haven’t used it, needed it, or admired it in the last 12 months, say adios!
DO take advantage of ledges and alcoves. Often wasted, these spaces are perfect for adding cubbies or shelving. You can also build niches in the area between wall studs.
DON’T lose sight of the windows. If you’re lucky enough to have the space for a window seat, install one with storage bins or drawers underneath.
DO look under the rafters. If you’ve got a knee wall (the short wall beneath the ceiling in finished attics and upstairs rooms), talk to a contractor about installing stock cabinets to amp up storage.
DON’T forget to look up, especially in narrow closets or pantries. Shelves or wire racks can store plenty of off-season stuff way up and out of the way.
DO a wheelie. Nesting tables and benches are great options for small kitchens, dining areas and living rooms. Tuck them under each other to give yourself some breathing room, then separate them when needed. And coffee tables on wheels can act as additional storage or seating.
DO put your feet up. The hidden compartment in a storage ottoman can hide a blanket and pillow, or hold games, videos or seasonal gear. Bonus ideas: Place three together under a window for an instant bench, or put two in front of a sofa for a snazzy upholstered coffee table.
DON’T miss a step. The underside of a staircase is often overlooked, but it’s perfect for shelves or a half-closet. You may even be able to create a powder room.
DO double your drawer space with a sliding organizer that gives you two levels of accessible storage.
DON’T limit your thinking. Let your home office double as a guest bedroom. A trundle bed is a great way to add a sleeping spot for visitors. Comfy chairs that tip out into twin beds, slender futons and even a new generation of Murphy beds are all ways to conserve space in a home office.
DON’T be afraid of heights. Take advantage of vertical space by installing an extra-tall freestanding bookcase or cabinet (be sure to follow instructions and anchor it properly to the wall).
DON’T stifle your creativity. Come up with ways to display pretty things that take up drawer or shelf space so you can make room for less attractive items. Mounting and framing your family photos could free up a couple feet of space eaten up by albums. Display your vintage necklaces on the wall above your bureau to make way for more socks and underwear in your top drawer.
DON’T ignore the space under your bed. Get a sturdy cardboard under-bed box for a few bucks, or upgrade to shallow plastic bins with wheels and hinged lids.
DO use a grid system. A more versatile take on peg board, vinyl-covered steel grids fit anywhere—behind a door, above the washer and dryer, on a pantry wall. Hooks and baskets that attach easily are tailored for everyday items.
DO open doors, and hang up a canvas or plastic shoe rack. Besides shoes, they’re great for craft supplies, socks, small toiletries—anything that needs a place to call home.
For more great space-saving tips and general design advice, check out TyPennington.com.