13 Clever Built-Ins for Small Spaces

13 Clever Built-Ins for Small Spaces

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Nancy Mitchell
May 21, 2015

If you live in a little apartment (or house) and are lucky enough to own your place (or have a landlord who's quite lenient) built ins can be a real lifesaver. Clever built ins are a great way to incorporate storage, and other functionalities, without the cumbersomeness of furniture, and they're a great way to really get the most of of of your space. Here are 13 clever ideas for built ins that will help you make the best of your small space.

Above: These shelves that fit around a door, by Lauren Rubin Architecture, are a clever way to squeeze a little extra storage out of a small space, and they give the doorway a little extra presence.

(Image credit: Share Design)

A shelf above the radiator (as seen on Share Design) is a great place for art, tchotchkes, books — you name it. Bonus points for the built in wood bin.

(Image credit: Elle Decor Italia)

From Elle Decor Italia, a built in bookshelf above a door — really clever. In a modern house, I could see this working in front of a furr down for the A/C.

(Image credit: Leva & Bo)

From Leva & Bo, a stair landing that flips up to reveal a pretty substantial storage space.

Closets under the stairs can be a bit awkward — you're always trying to jam things into this weird little wedge of space (and always trying to retrieve things which, inevitably, always seem to be at the least reachable part of said wedge). So why not replace that sucker with some drawers? Photo by Tom Stringer Design Partners via Houzz.

(Image credit: Build Au)

Make the most of a hallway with some built-in shelving. From Build Au.

This is so clever and so great for a small space — a niche, recessed btween the wall studs, in lieu of a nightstand. From New York Cottages and Gardens. You can find instructions for DIYing something like this on this blog.

(Image credit: Design Sponge)

The slightly more ambitious could build an entire set of cabinets around their bed, as in this room from Design Sponge. I like the little nightstand ledge, which is tiny but eminently useful.

(Image credit: A + B Kasha)

Drawers under the bed are always nice, but even better when they're built into a little space. From A + B Kasha.

(Image credit: Oh Yes Blog)

Building a platform for the bed can serve a double purpose in a studio apartment. It's a great way to set the bed apart from the rest of the space, but also a great way to gain a ton of storage. This particular bed, believe it or not, was DIYed from a bunch of IKEA cabinets. You can read more about it on Oh Yes Blog.

(Image credit: Annixen)

A long, low console (or in this case, a bookshelf) under a window is a great way to make the most of a space. From Annixen.

(Image credit: Decor Demon)

Do you have one of those weird decorative niches in your house that builders were so fond of, but that seem to have no actual purpose? Turn it into a desk! Spotted on Decor Demon.

(Image credit: Luxe Interiors + Design)

And finally, from Luxe Interiors + Design, more shelves, because you can never have enough shelves. If you have a little niche that's going unused, or a dead spot in your hallway — turn that sucker into a library. You'll be glad you did.

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