The $20 Home Depot Staple You’ll Use in Every Room

published Nov 28, 2023
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Credit: Katie Currid

There are a few tried-and-true tricks for making the most of small spaces. Take advantage of vertical space, for one, and use multi-purpose items whenever possible — a bookshelf can be a room divider, a desk can be a nightstand, and an ottoman can be both extra seating and extra storage, if you play your cards right. But one of my favorite small-space tricks is one that you can pull off with the assistance of an under-$20 hardware store buy: Use casters to make furniture mobile.

Adding casters to furniture feet is a super easy way to give your furnishings the adaptability that’s crucial in small spaces — when you need them, they can be front and center; when you don’t, they can be tucked out of the way to clear up floor space.

The tactic is perfect for utilitarian pieces that you only use part-time. Want proof? You can see the hack in use in a couple of the Small/Cool 2023 spaces.

Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe ; Prop Stylist: Sophie Strangio
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Casters turn an ordinary desk into a mobile workstation.

First up: a workspace that I designed with functionality top-of-mind. (The theme, fittingly, is A DIY-Buy Paradise.) While there are plenty of DIY touches in this space (hello, wallpaper details!), one of my favorites is the ultra-practical addition of casters to the feet of the wood desk. The wheels make it easy to fit a home office almost anywhere: You can move the desk to an open area during the workday, then move it out of the way once the clock hits 5 p.m.

The casters I used come in at just under $9 for a pack of two, meaning you can do the whole project for under $20. All you’ll need is a drill fitted with a bit that’s the size of your caster’s threaded stem. Drill a hole directly into the bottom of each leg of your desk, then thread the wheels in until they fit snugly. If you want an extra secure, extra permanent hold, you can add glue as well.

Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe ; Prop Stylist: Sophie Strangio

Wheels make a small island even more functional.

Another smart place to use casters is in the kitchen, where you can turn a plain island into a rolling prep space. Take inspiration from this small rolling island that Drew Barrymore used in her Sunny Style kitchen.

Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe ; Prop Stylist: Sophie Strangio

While the island Drew used comes fitted with wheels already (you can pick it up from Urban Outfitters), adding wheels to something you already own couldn’t be easier. Follow the same steps you’d use for the desk: Flip the cart over, drill one hole into the bottom of each leg, and then screw in the threaded casters. In the matter of minutes, you’ll have created a rolling kitchen island that’s perfect for meal prep, added storage, and even seating in a pinch.

What else can you put on wheels? Well, just about anything that doesn’t present a tipping hazard: storage bins and baskets, planters, and even low shelves. If threaded casters won’t work, you can always use plate casters, which have a flat base that you screw into the item you’re hacking; these are a great pick for anything with a wide yet shallow base. For anything you can’t safely drill into, like ceramic or terracotta, you can always attach the casters using strong-hold glue.

Buy: Everbilt Caster Set (2-Pack), $9.33