Q. Hey Jordan,
I’m getting ready to move into a new place, and our landlord gave me one set of dimensions for the bedroom…but upon moving in we have found that it is actually a few feet smaller in both directions. I know you have experience with small living spaces, so I figured I’d see whether you have any tips for maximizing storage opportunities but still keeping the room inviting and not overcrowded.
A. You’re certainly right – while our present apartment (pictured above) has a fairly roomy bedroom by NYC standards, I have plenty of experience living in small spaces. In our last apartment (the one in Hell’s Kitchen), you had to actually sit on the bed in order to open either our dresser drawers or closet doors. That was fun.
And although right now our place looks like an episode of Hoarders, what with the boxes that I’m stockpiling for moving day (if it ever comes), baby stuff, and props and such for Jordan In The House, it…well, it usually doesn’t. I’m usually pretty good at keeping even the smallest spaces nice and orderly.
I’ll tell you!
1. First, every single piece of furniture must have drawers, or at least some kind of storage space. Do not buy adorable minimalist nightstands. Buy ones with drawers. Do not buy one of those very chic beds that sits right on the floor. Buy a nice high one that either has drawers you can leave exposed, or at least a space that you can stuff things underneath (packed away in soft bins) and then cover it all up with a (non-ruffly) dust ruffle.
2. Look for interesting storage solutions for every room in your home; the more space you have to keep things, the better. Rather than a coffee table, try an antique (or faux-antique) box that opens to store things like linens and extra pillows. And for extra seating, pick up one of those ottomans with storage space inside. (L to R: Home Decorators Storage Ottoman, Pottery Barn Nightstand, World Market Storage Coffee Table.)
3. De-clutter, but if you must clutter, clutter neatly. Display only what you must, and stash away all your extra bits and bobs in pretty boxes or trays.
4. Think outside-the-box. If you spend a lot of time in your bedroom and don’t want the bed to take up all the available space, a gorgeous day bed might be the perfect option for you.
5. Let no space go overlooked. I stack my luggage one inside the other so that the pieces don’t take up too much room, but make sure that even if you only have one large rolling bag, you use it as extra storage space (for things you don’t use often, like out-of-season clothing or bedding).
6. Make the most of your closet, adding a row of waist-level rods (so that shorter items can be hung on both levels), shoe organizers, and tiered racks for things like ties, scarves, and belts.
7. Don’t let that laundry pile up. I know, if you’re living in a city and need to cart your laundry down the block to get it done, it can be easy to let it go. But a huge heap of dirty clothes is the quickest way to make your room feel cluttered.
8. And when it comes to decor, try sticking to a simple, calming color scheme, and investing in a couple of pretty mirrors for your walls.