Even though house prices are skyrocketing, homes in Singapore only seem to be going down – meaning every precious square foot you can free up counts. In such small spaces, it’s too easy for furniture and knick-knacks to pile up, cluttering up the stylish home you envisioned in your head.
Still, it is possible to combine the best of style and storage with a little smart planning. From beds with hidden corners to innovative shelving, here are some interior design tips to maximize space in your home.
In the living room
Turn your sofa into storage
Having a compartment hidden in your couch may sound like a detective story in the making, but it’s also quite handy. Such versatile sofas can be opened up to reveal plenty of storage nooks under their cushions, turning a bulky piece of furniture into one that saves you space.
It’s a neat place to hide any clutter you don’t need to use frequently: extra cushions, old magazines, prosecution… the list goes on.
For inspiration: BedandBasics’ Massimo Multifunction Sofa Bed with Storage ($ 499) turns space-saving design into an art form.
This sofa set contains drawers hidden under the cushions and an armrest with built-in shelves, not to mention an accompanying storage ottoman. For economical options, FortyTwo’s range of storage sofa beds can easily be folded down for guests who are also sleeping.
Double with a room divider
If you have an open plan living space, here is a tip for partitioning your space while increasing your storage options. Modular shelving – especially those with open, backless designs – also serve as an airy room divider, creating cozy nooks while still allowing light to flow throughout the room.
Install your divider between the living room and the dining room, or use it to separate the TV corner from the rest of the room.
ALSO READ: 8 Discreet Ways To Increase Your Storage Needs Around Your Home
For inspiration: to transform your storage into a centerpiece, Urban Mood has just what you need.
There’s the modern Cynara modular display ($ 40) with its avant-garde rows of tilted cubes; for a touch of glamor, the modern GALLERY display with gold accents ($ 310) is a real eye-catcher.
In the kitchen
Get an extendable dining table
This is the big table conundrum for people who like to entertain at home: you need a large table to accommodate guests, but it takes up too much kitchen space in your everyday life.
Enter the extendable dining tables, that is, the versatile table tops with integrated extension folds. Pull them out to create more room for guests, then fold them up into a compact number for your everyday dinners.
For inspiration: let Scandinavians take minimalism to new heights. Danish Design Co offers a huge range (no pun intended) of extendable dining tables, from elegant lacquered tiles to round tables with ingenious folds.
Or check out Spaceman for tables with telescoping extensions that can easily accommodate up to ten people.
Hang your shelves
Too often a kitchen ends up looking cluttered because there is too much floor space – cabinets, shelves, etc. To free up walkways while still retaining sufficient storage space, it’s time to think vertical.
Shelves suspended above your kitchen island are not only sophisticated, but they are also a smart way to make the most of your vertical space. Take the opportunity to show off your shiny dinnerware and fancy wine glasses, and add a potted plant or two to elevate the chic factor.
For inspiration: A ceiling mounted rack requires professional installation, but here are some ideas to get you started. This Nordic-style shelving unit pairs pale wood with industrial-chic iron accents, while this Sorbus pot and pan rack features hooks to organize your kitchenware collection.
Maximize your cabinet space
There isn’t a lot you can stack on your cabinet shelves, but add a few hangers to create a few inches of extra storage space in the blink of an eye.
Organizers or hooks on your cabinets – inside and out – are a simple fix to those junk you’d otherwise leave lying around on the counter. Think aprons, spare towels, gloves, cutting boards, etc.
ALSO READ: Designs on Asia: A tropical chic condo mixing rattan and marble in Balmeg Hill
For inspiration: Style Degree’s practical collection of hanging organizers is designed to take your storage game to new levels. Stock up on towel rails under cabinets, rows of hooks for your cabinets, and even slim storage bins designed to mount under the sink.
In the bedroom
Storage under the bed
You might already be used to sweeping your bedroom clutter out of sight under the bed, but here’s a more organized way to do it.
Bed frames with storage come in two types: you can usually lift them up to reveal the recesses under the mattress, or slide the built-in drawers into a raised platform. This extra storage is handy for your bulky items, from fitness equipment to spare bags.
For inspiration: Specialist in custom upholstered furniture, Blåfink offers sofas and storage beds with customizable dimensions. There’s nothing better than the convenience of their Storage Bed with Lift Assist and Drawers ($ 1,315), which includes under-mattress storage as well as easy-access drawers for your small essentials.
Alternatively, BedandBasics is a go-to for wallet-friendly storage beds – you’ll find everything from Japanese-style wooden frames to chic velvet numbers.
Work smart with a fold-out desk
Thanks to the pandemic, we are all used to working from home. But if you’re strapped for space or confined to home only half the time, you might not want to invest in a full-size office – and that’s where Murphy desks come in.
Also known as floating desks, these wall-mounted figures can fold up when not in use, freeing up space when your work is done. Since they’re typically smaller and thinner than freestanding desks, they also fit neatly into unused corners.
For inspiration: Set up your home office with a Willingham Wall Mount Folding Laptop Desk from SEI Furniture ($ 682).
This elegant mahogany case contains four impressive compartments, a drawer, as well as a cork board, and looks like an antique case when folded. Or go basic with this simple wooden number – it’s small enough to double as a nightstand as well.
When we need exhibition space, we usually turn to large racks and cabinets, but these fill your walls and leave them overcrowded. Rather than filling up your wall space, one way to keep your room airy is to move storage above eye level.
Think of long wall shelves that run around the perimeter of your room above your head, creating plenty of room to display your books, figurines, and photos while leaving your walls uncluttered.
For inspiration: there is no better than Ikea for sleek, minimalist wall shelves of all kinds. For a touch of fun, check out HipVan for decorative shelves ranging from cubist to original.
This article first appeared in Nomads of the city.