5 Ingenious Ways This NYC Renter Created Hidden Storage in a Small Home

published May 9, 2023
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dining area in apartment with antiqued mirror, rustic wood table, black banquette, hide rug. Closet with gold doors across the hall
Credit: Erin Derby

Living in a small space requires two things: a little (or a lot of!) creativity and multi-functional furniture. Luckily, designer Kim White, who rents a 600-square-foot Brooklyn apartment, has both. Unsurprisingly, she’s found stylish and clever ways to store her belongings — she had a lot of practice in her last home, which was only 296 square feet. 

“While I loved my little nest on the third floor, I couldn’t help but daydream about spreading my wings, clearing out the junk and weeds, and creating a space to host family and friends below. During the height of the pandemic, my neighbor relocated, and I was able to snag her full-floor garden apartment,” White writes.

Even though White upgraded the square feet that she calls home, finding ways to get the most use of every furniture piece was still necessary. As a self-proclaimed “sucker for storage,” White’s hacks serve as a great starting point for anyone looking for inspiration on maximizing their furnishings. Here are just some of the pieces that have a double purpose in her splendid apartment.

Credit: Erin Derby

The sectional in her living room has storage areas inside of it.

Believe it or not, White’s fabulous living room sectional is made of banquettes. When imagining the space, she struggled to find small sectionals that wouldn’t take up the entire floor space. “With the help of my good friend Holly, I saved quite a bit of money by finding secondhand breakfast banquettes and using them instead,” White says. “We created a line of custom slip covers that totally transformed their look.”

Another bonus: The banquettes double as hidden storage space (similar to these traditional sectionals!). The middle of the couch is hollow so that she can store items in their base. If she ever needs to access the toys or towels she keeps there, all she has to do is remove the cover and lift the cushion.

Credit: Erin Derby

The circular coffee table’s hollow center is perfect for hiding living room accessories.

When White and her mom found the coffee table at T.J. Maxx, she knew she had to have it. So when she saw a person rolling that same table to the checkout area, she had to intervene quickly. And it’s a good thing she did — the table’s hollow center is a great place to store blankets. But if you’re looking for a coffee table that doubles as a storage area, check out these great options.

Credit: Erin Derby

The banquettes in her lounge area were the optimal space to store tools.

Banquettes are a standard and stylish storage solution in White’s apartment. To match the moodiness of the surrounding space, White and her business partner custom-created the darker fabric that covers the banquettes in her dining area. Now, she can entertain several guests while being able to easily grab the light bulbs, tools, and other hardware stored inside of them.

Credit: Erin Derby

IKEA’s MALM bed helps the apartment’s limited closet space.

White likely purchased IKEA’s MALM storage bed because she only has narrow closet space in her apartment. Instead of purchasing storage bins to go underneath her bed, all she has to do is pull a strap to lift her mattress and grab her clothing underneath.

Credit: Erin Derby

You’ll never believe what’s hidden underneath the console table in her guest bedroom and home gym.

Behind the sleeper sofa in what doubles as her guest bedroom and workout area sits a narrow console table. It’s deceptively hard to tell, but White hid an entire exercise trampoline underneath the table. But that’s not the only area she cleverly hides workout equipment — another console table’s shelves are home to woven baskets that house exercise gear.

These storage tips aren’t the only hacks that White’s space has to offer. If you want to learn more about her rental and budget-friendly solutions, check out the complete home tour