When I first took a virtual tour of the charming prefab homes from the Swedish company LEVA Husfabrik, almost every room had an element that made me think, "Hey, I could make that!" Not only did the ideas seem doable, but also beautiful, minimal and supremely functional for small spaces. When you're debating your next DIY project, scroll through these homes for inspiration, or choose one of the five projects on my wish list.
Inside the minimalist kitchen, we spotted a brilliant storage idea: Attach towel bars to the front of the cabinet doors, so that each one can serve as an extra spot to stash dishtowels or pot holders. By seamlessly incorporating storage solutions right into features that already exist, every inch of available space works harder.
Make It Your Own: You can DIY your own bars using pipes from the hardware store and spray-painting them matte black, or buy short black towel bars, like the 12-inch bar above ($20).
Turn the Tables
When decorating a small space, any piece that folds up or stows away is an instant winner. The dining table above is a combination of trestle legs and a wooden top, so when dinner's over, the legs can fold into a closet and the top can lean against the wall.
Make It Your Own: Pair any trestle legs capable of bearing the weight of the tabletop with a wooden slab or even an acrylic sheet. IKEA, being the small-space-furnishing superstar that it is, offers plenty of options for both the base and the top. I'm a fan of the FINNVARD trestle legs ($40), which can be painted any color you like, and the GERTON beech wood table top ($90).
If you think you don't have room for guests to sleep over in your tiny space, consider this funky solution: An indoor hammock. By installing heavy-duty hooks securely into the wall (use a stud finder first), you have the option to set up the hammock whenever friends stop by, or any time you could use a nap.
Make It Your Own: The most important thing is to make sure that the hooks are attached to the wall securely. Use a stud finder to locate a sturdy spot, and follow the tutorial on The Ultimate Hang. For the hammock itself, I'm thinking this pretty two-tone rope one from Design Milk.
Embrace Shaker Style
We've discussed before how Shaker style offers some smart organizing ideas for small homes, including the peg rail. In the kitchen above, a long horizontal peg rail that runs the length of the countertop holds tools, while a vertical one stores pans.
Make It Your Own: A simple peg rail is just a board of wood, combined with cheap wooden dowels from the hardware store. You don't need to have woodworking skills to craft your own, just follow the tutorial for the coat rack pictured above, and adjust the dimensions to fit your space.
Bench seating that runs along the wall is one of the most space-efficient seating options. LEVA Husfabrik lined theirs with a cushion to make the hard wooden bench a cozy spot to linger. Place a table in front of the bench so it can serve as a dining area, or take the table away and replace it with chairs to create an intimate living room.
Make It Your Own: Translate the instructions for the plywood storage bench above from Kotoisin, customizing the length to fit the size of your space. Top it with comfy seat cushions and a pile of throw pillows.
Want more handmade projects for small homes? Check out these 25 smart and chic ideas.