In Europe there's a long and proud tradition of tiny apartment living, so it's no surprise that the folks at IKEA have a few tricks up their sleeves when it comes to living in little spaces. We've compiled a short list of some of the handiest and most versatile IKEA products for small space living.
Forget tea for two, you can comfortable fit four or even six once you extend this table to its full size, a task even one person can do easily.
RÅSKOG utility cart, $24.99 (black, beige, red/brown)
The helpful RÅSKOG has three spots to stash things, wheels to move around wherever you need it, and doesn't take up a lot of space. What more could you want? Use it as a bar cart, for book storage, for a nightstand, for all three if you can't make up your mind.
BEKVÄM stepladder, $39.99
If you're living in a little space, you're probably going to find yourself wanting to store things up high. And unless you've seven feet tall, you will probably need a stepladder to get those things down. Enter the BEKVÄM. Besides being useful as a ladder, this little guy can also serve as an extra seat when you have company over — and when you don't need it you can fold it and hang it up on the wall with a special bracket, which is included.
Utaker Stackable Bed, $129
How smart is this? Two beds, taking up the space of one until you need it — then simply unstack and use side-by-side or take one into another room. Suddenly having houseguests is a do-able proposition.
Arkelstorp Coffee Table, $149
One of my favorite dinner parties took place huddled around a coffee table so don't let a small home stop you from entertaining. This coffee table has a small drawer for storage and then extends on both sides when you need the space.
Nordrana Hanging Storage, $19.99
Hanging storage of any kind is a small space dweller's friend. The Nordrana is so versatile — use it in the bathroom to hold small towels and shampoo, hang it in a utility closet to store cleaning supplies, hang it inside a coat closet to house hats, mittens and scarves. You get the idea.
Even the tiniest kitchen can be an eat-in with this two-seater table. Need more floor space? Just fold it down to regain space in the room.
GRUNDTAL kitchen rail, starting at $6.99
Show me a tiny kitchen, and I'll show you a flustered cook desperate for drawer space. But you know what's a surprisingly good substitute for drawer space? A rail with hooks where you can hang up all your tools and utensils. IKEA's GRUNDTAL has a nice modern look, and you can purchase all kinds of accessories for it — hooks, drying racks, caddies for holding silverware. It's also handy pretty much anywhere you have things you want to hang up and access often.
Stocksund Storage Bench (6 color options, $249
If you have room for a bench, it may as well be a storage bench. Use it to hold linens in your bedroom or off season coats in an entryway. If the Stocksund is too big, perhaps you have room for the Kivik ottoman with storage which can also serve as a coffee table of sorts.
TRONES shoe storage cabinets, $39.99 for 3
Wall-mounted storage is essential for small spaces, and these shoe storage boxes are good for far more than just storing shoes. They're only seven inches deep, so you can fit them practically anywhere. You can also stash things on the top of the box, or tesselate them to create mega-storage combinations.
BEKVÄM spice rack, $3.99
Even if you don't have a ton of spices, these little guys can be tremendously useful for storing small things all around the house. Use them to create extra storage in unlikely places — on the side of cabinets, on the bathroom wall — and keep tiny things corralled.
I've already spent plenty of time singing the praises of wall mounted shelving for small spaces, and IKEA's ALGOT is a great budget-priced solution. You can mount these shelves above a dresser or a desk or wherever you have a little wall space, to maximize your storage, or build clothes storage into a closet-deficient apartment with their closet components.
Nordli Storage Bed, $349/queen
If your place is small, you're most likely going to store things under the bed so why not make it official with a storage bed that will maximize that space and keep your belongings dust-free. IKEA has several storage beds (Brimnes, Malm, Hemnes, and the new Slakt twin) worth checking out, the Nordli being my favorite for its clean lines and streamlined look.
IKEA sells several sets of nesting tables, but the Ypperlig are the most clever as each one holds the other. Leave them stacked for yourself and then pull them out when guests arrive for an extra place to put down a drink.
Which products have you found to be a lifesaver in a little space?