My Small Home: Claire's Small Space Solutions

My husband and I have lived in the same 600 square foot London flat for four years and each year it seems we start to outgrow one space or another. Here is a year-by-year look at how we have outgrown our space and the solutions we came up with to continue living small.

Year 1
Problem: Bathroom with no storage
Solution: Install small shelf for necessities
Our powder room or water closet as the Brits like to call it was the tiniest bathroom I had ever seen and it was literally a room with just a sink and toilet (missing its lid). How were guests expected to wash their hands with soap and dry them? Thank you IKEA for selling this slim glass shelf that was simple to install.

Year 2
Problem: No holiday decoration storage
Solution: IKEA Kassett boxes above cabinets
Decorating for Christmas is one of my favorite parts of the holidays and naturally with 14' high ceilings I demanded the tallest Christmas tree on Columbia Road, coming in at 9' tall. All of this tree required a hefty amount of ornaments of which I inherited many from a mother who changes her holiday decor yearly. I chose to purchase IKEA KASSETT boxes for stacking on top of kitchen cabinets. These now store holiday ornaments and craft supplies.

Year 3
Problem: No bedroom storage
Solution: Get nightstand with storage
As the years add up so do fashion and tech accessories that often need a safe home that is easily accessible. As much as I love open side tables used as nightstands, when I looked at the reality of our bedroom we were is desperate need of more storage. In came IKEA yet again with one of their Hemnes nightstands. To set it apart from other Hemnes nightstands, I switched out the knobs for some stylish ones from Anthropologie. For my side of the bed this triple shelf cabinet holds items such as small clutch bags, camera accessories, headphones, gloves, etc.

Year 4
Problem: Too many books, not enough shelf space
Solution: Go vertical with a book shelf
I am a book hoarder, especially when it comes to large gorgeous coffee table books. The problem is I only have one coffee table! During year 1, I purchased the stylish and popular leaning bookshelf from Conran. Unfortunately most of the shelves are not that deep, so as my substantial collection of design books expanded, I needed a shelf to grow with it and slip into a small corner. The Sapiens bookshelf from DWR was my savior. I have even bought another one for the future!

(Image credits: Claire Bock)