Small Space Organizing Tips
We enlisted our own Style Director Heather Chadduck Hillegas to show us how to transform functional spaces into high-style moments.
At the Desk
The Space: If you don't have a dedicated home office, imitate the idea by carving out a small workspace in a sitting room or guest bedroom.
The Space Saver: A long, deep desk drawer stashes a laptop and keeps mail out of sight, making room for pretty desk accessories.
The Styling: Heather placed stationery in a clear glass box and employed decorative containers to hold pencils, stamps, paper clips, and other office supplies.
The Unexpected: A vintage garden stool ups the sophistication factor and offers additional surface space.
In the Linen Cabinet
The Space: A closet with tall shelves works best. The height keeps bedding in plain view.
The Space Saver: Increase your home's storage square footage with a freestanding linen closet.
The Styling: Color coordinating sheets to indicate size (royal blue for king, beige for queen, etc.) takes the guesswork out of searching for bedding. Assigning a shelf for each room also helps.
The Unexpected: Tired of folding fitted sheets? Wrap each one inside its coordinating flat sheet for crisp, finished stacks.
By the Back Door
The Space: Carve out an unused corner or nook at the top of your basement stairs for a convenient storage spot. Simple, flat molding adds interest to the interior when painted a crisp white.
The Space Saver: Baskets store out-of-season accessories.The lined wire baskets hide clutter and keep the space looking tidy.
The Styling: A leopard-print cushion and bold accent pillow create a cozy spot for taking off and putting on shoes.
The Unexpected: Try hanging photos of the children over the hooks to designate a space for each one's belongings.
Next to the Stove
The Space: First things first: Clear off those two tiny spaces flanking your stove so you can work with a clean slate.
The Space Saver: A countertop lazy Susan keeps cooking essentials under control and in one place.
The Styling: Choose your cooking staples wisely. Our Test Kitchen staffers, who suggest including sea salt, a pepper grinder, olive oil, plenty of wooden spoons, and a jar of your favorite herb.
The Unexpected: On the other side of the stove, everyday drinking glasses filled with water hold fresh herbs for easy picking. A wicker demijohn filled with oil provides convenient storage and also makes for a pretty decorative element.
On the Vanity
The Space: A dressing table is best, but any free surface—from a dresser to a nightstand to a small console table—will do.
The Space Saver: Start with a silver tray.. The tray's contained setting makes the mixed collection of glassware and dishes look more organized.
The Styling: Reinvent unused items as unique jewelry holders. Glass jars and a crystal decanter serve double duty as necklace and bracelet stands.
The Unexpected: We were thrilled to discover that a plastic water bottle fits perfectly inside a woven pencil holder! Let the rattan sleeve pretty up this basic item on your vanity or bedside.
By the Sink
The Space: A wide but shallow wall-mounted sink preserves square footage and doubles as a towel rack.
The Space Saver: Heather retrofitted this existing medicine cabinet, removing the wood shelves and adding glass ones for a cleaner look. She then substituted a larger mirror for the existing one.
The Styling: On the sink surface, try stacking both light and dark washcloths so you can wipe off makeup without leaving stains.
The Unexpected: A piano hinge, also known as a continuous hinge, lets the mirror lie flush against the wall.
In the Laundry Room
The Space: No laundry room? No problem. House a front-loading washer and dryer in a former coat closet. Painted louvered doors can close at any time to conceal the dirty work.
The Space Saver: A deep-set hanging rack and white cubed shelves take advantage of vertical space.
The Styling: Pour powdered detergent into a pretty glass jar, and add a silver scoop. The green pail is a handy catchall for dryer sheets and wayward socks.
The Unexpected: Imitate the look of a separate room by installing white subway tiles along the back wall.
By the Television
The Space: Lighten up an old wood armoire by painting the inside a soft blue (Lulworth Blue by Farrow & Ball) and mounting a TV at eye level.
The Space Saver: Swapping out the original wood shelves for custom-fit glass ones allows light to easily pass through, creating the illusion of space.
The Styling: To make the space feel less tech-focused, stack colorful books in orderly groupings. Other unsightly items are hidden away in pretty decorative boxes.
The Unexpected: Because most TV cabinet doors stay open all the time, Heather flipped hers so the fronts face the sitting area.
In the China Cabinet
The Space: Forever banish the rattling noise your china cabinet makes when someone walks through the room by upholstering the inside with fabric and a light batting underneath.
The Space Saver: Inexpensive acrylic plate stands empower platters and other large silver pieces to stand tall, making room on shelves for other wares.
The Styling: To create a balanced appearance that doesn't seem too staged, mix glass, silver, and china in various locations on each shelf.
The Unexpected: Stack extra fabric, left over from the upholstery, between china plates for further protection.
At the Front Door
The Space: To help a hallway hold its own, cover the walls in a blue-green jute grass cloth wallpaper.
The Space Saver: With its curvy, inviting edges, a demilune table bears plenty of surface space but also stays comfortably out of the way. A bamboo hat rack is petite yet practical, imparting a cool vintage touch.
The Styling: A hand-carved wooden box holds car and house keys. A table lamp illuminates the hallway at night, and a bamboo tray serves as a catchall for mail and other belongings.
The Unexpected: An umbrella stand might seem like a thing of the past, but here it adds whimsy and practical storage.