19 Ridiculously Smart Space-Saving Items for Small Homes — At Every Budget

published Nov 17, 2023
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Running out of space to work with in your home is never fun. Sometimes the only solution is to create more — out of thin air — with smart products that offer you twice as much room without taking up a larger footprint. Products like these are space-saving superheroes in small homes, and finding the right one for your space can really be an instant game-changer. Whether you’re in need of more vertical storage or better ways to enhance cabinet and corner space you already have, there was a product solution for every dilemma at Apartment Therapy’s 2023 Small/Cool NYC decor pop up installation, where we challenged 18 designers to bring 18 trends to life — in small (but flexible!) spaces.

We rounded up some of the smartest space-saving products we found there, and there’s one for every budget and need — promise.

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Urban Outfitters

Spotted in Drew Barrymore’s Sunny Style kitchen design, this bamboo rolling kitchen cart holds an entire cabinet’s worth of kitchen tools and accessories — all in one small footprint. It also features a handy cutting board for food prep, slats for storing pots and pans, and a serving tray that lifts out for convenience, among its many other smart, built-in features.

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If you’ve run out of kitchen cabinet and drawer space but not little items to place in them, there is a solution. A slim rolling cart will get the job done every single time. This one will turn any tight, unused space into handy extra storage. (It’s perfect for renters too, and that annoying gap between your cabinets and refrigerator.)

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The Citizenry

In interior designer Anita Yokota’s Off-Beat and Beautiful bedroom design, we spotted this multi-use wooden ladder that can solve for many common bedroom storage problems. It’s made with Hinoki cypress in a fair-trade workshop in Okawa, Japan. Use it in your bedroom or bathroom to hang towels or blankets with ease.

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Pottery Barn

Solve every bedroom dilemma you have all at once with this convenient plug-in sconce. It provides diffused light, and it has a catchall tray and a built-in USB port for charging. It’s one hard-working sconce, and you’ll appreciate having it instantly.

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This modular pegboard organization system is designed for kids’ spaces but can truly function anywhere in your home. It features hooks, shelves, and baskets that can be rearranged as needed to store anything vertically. With sleek wood construction and design, it’s the rare storage solution that you will want to keep on display.

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Apartment Therapy’s Executive Home Director, Danielle Blundell, brought the trend Wild Instincts to life with a cozy book nook design to remember. A highlight from the space is this HEMNES storage daybed from IKEA. It has three spacious drawers, which can double any bedroom’s storage space, and a very affordable price tag. Note: It does not come with a mattress.

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Ballard Designs

If you’re out of counter space, look up — at this show-stopping acrylic shelf. The waterfall bracket is a sophisticated touch that doesn’t go unnoticed. Design Kevin Francis O’Gara used it to display a decorative statue just above his headboard in his Restful Retreat themed design.

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Designer Maitri Mody brought a creative and colorful kitchen design to life at Small/Cool NYC and there we spotted this hidden storage gem. Free up some counter space and give your paper towels a lift with this under-shelf paper towel holder that’s designed to rest discreetly on just about any shelf.

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Open Spaces

Shelf risers add instant space to an already crowded kitchen cabinet or desktop. Keep things tidy by stacking what you need to store on top, then tuck away any extra items underneath. It’s like magic!

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Urban Outfitters

If you’re looking to add a little pop of color and more storage to a space, this folding, stackable storage crate will be your new best friend. Use it to store water bottles, snacks, canned goods, or spices and then just collapse and store it when you don’t need the bonus space.

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In Apartment Therapy Style Editor Blair Donovan’s modern take on dorm living, The Dorm-Transformed, she brought today’s top small-space storage trends to life. This popular IKEA storage cart — that’s famous for working to store anything, anywhere — was a standout moment once again. The three-tiered design frees up plenty of storage space, plus it's easily transportable, thanks to built-in wheels.

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An empty bedside or sofa is just calling for IKEA’s two-in-one OLSERÖD side table with a fabric pouch. It’s C-shape design ensures it nestles perfectly under furniture. Use it as a nightstand or rotate it into a coffee table with a sliding tabletop.

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In interior designer Dala Al-Fuwaires Soulful Space, we spotted these brass standoff screws which can allow you to hang your favorite items on the wall in style. It will add an instant touch of glamour to any wall hanging and help you keep things off the floors and out of the drawers.

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Create easy and stylish storage for your long-handled cleaning tools with this wall-mounted mop and broom organizer that features a bamboo baseplate with foam pegs that will look lovely on any wall.

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Made of sleek, durable metal, these wall-mounted baskets — sold in brass, black, or white — are an easy way to keep reusable cleaning bottles and supplies within arm's reach when you need them, without taking up any extra cabinet or shelf space.

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Bags, hats, and umbrellas — oh my! If it feels like there are never enough hooks for your stuff, you need this elegant white and gold iron wall hook set. You'll never misplace your favorite scarf again.

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Room & Board

Add a minimalist feel to your walls (and extra storage space) with these versatile handcrafted shelves that come in a range of soft colors. They're surprisingly deep and feature turned-up edges to hold all your favorite decor safely in place.

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Be honest: Is your kitchen spice situation under control? (We didn't think so.) Having a set of sturdy magnetic spice tins to organize your go-tos is a game-changer. Stick 'em to the refrigerator or mount 'em on the wall, and you'll be amazed what a difference it makes.

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In interior designer Kim White’s House of Hacks, this wall-mounted desk pulled double duty. Use it as a desk for working on studying, then fold it back up into the wall as a cabinet and use it to display a piece of art. (No one will ever know it’s a desk!)