Small Space Organizing Tips

Wooden Desk with Blue Striped Chair
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

We enlisted our own Style Director Heather Chadduck Hillegas to show us how to transform functional spaces into high-style moments.

01 of 10

At the Desk

Wooden Desk with Blue Striped Chair
Laurey W. Glenn

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.

02 of 10

In the Linen Cabinet

Stocked Wooden Linen Cabinet
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

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.

03 of 10

By the Back Door

Mudroom with Leopard Cushion
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

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.

04 of 10

Next to the Stove

Stove with Blue Pot
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

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.

05 of 10

On the Vanity

Chinese Chippendale Table
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

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.

06 of 10

By the Sink

Wall-Mounted White Sink
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

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.

07 of 10

In the Laundry Room

Laundry Room with Blue Doors
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

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.

08 of 10

By the Television

Wooden Armoire with Glass Shelves
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

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.

09 of 10

In the China Cabinet

China Cabinet with Striped Fabric
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

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.

10 of 10

At the Front Door

Font Door with Demilune Entry Table
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

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.

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