Like many, I have been fascinated by the tiny house craze that has taken America by storm. I watch my share of home improvement and home buying TV shows that feature tiny homes and wonder where I’d store all my shoes or sundresses. Making the best of small spaces is nothing new, though. People have been living large in big city cramped apartments for generations. Whether you’re pulling your house like an RV or in a fifth-floor walkup, compact furniture with great function and innovative storage is a must-have.
Seven Ways Furniture Can Do Double Duty
1. Expect more out of your dining room table: If you’re anything like me, the top of your dining room table has become a default storage area, piled with mail that needs responding or groceries waiting to be put away. Wouldn’t it be nice to use your table for storage and also have room to set the dishes for dinner every evening? It can be done with a table that has built-in storage under the table top.
Take the Amish Country Farm Dining Room Table, for example. A drawer is tucked away underneath for silverware, linens, or other kitchen storage.
Another ingenious solution is the Amish Beaumont Mission Table. With a storage cabinet for its pedestal and several height options, it could also serve as a kitchen island.
2. Skip the dining table altogether: Speaking of kitchen islands, if there is not enough space for both a dining table and kitchen island, combine the two. A kitchen island with a broad surface can provide plenty of room for chairs and serve as an eating table while still providing much-needed storage and space for preparing meals.
3. Learn from history: The secretary desk may have been around a long time, but it continues to be a great solution for combining work space with storage, especially in this day of compact laptops and tablets. With storage underneath and often on top as well, the secretary desk is likely the perfect piece of furniture for small spaces.
Secretary desks can provide an impressive appearance, such as the Amish Grand Secretary Desk.
Or they can be so unobtrusive as to be tucked away in a corner or hallway, like the Amish Small Pine Secretary Desk.
4. Combine storage with seating: If your bedroom is small, don’t bother with a bedside bench. A chest or trunk provides storage as well as a place to sit. If you need to pack away pillows and blankets, try a hope chest or traditional trunk. Hope chests are available in a variety of styles from the well-known cedar chest to shaker and contemporary styles.
Some chests, like the Amish Rustic Pine Hope Chest with Drawers, can provide several areas of storage.
If you’re running out of closet space, you can tuck shoes away in unexpected places, like the Amish Oak Wood Shoe Storage Chest.
5. Demand more from the longstanding solutions: A Murphy bed is always a great space saving idea when you don’t have enough room for a designated guest space or need to tuck a bed away during the day in a studio apartment or tiny house. But why can’t a Murphy bed serve other purposes as well? The Amish Vertical Wall Murphy Bed with Desk is the ultimate in space saving solutions: a work space by day and a sleeping space at night.
6. Go horizontal: Storage beds, like platform beds with drawers, are always a helpful solution for small spaces, but there is furniturte that takes this concept to a new level. Take advantage of the height of a room if the width is tight by placing the entire dresser under a bed. With the Amish Sweet Dreams Storage Loft Bed you have room for clothes and books while your child sleeps soundly on top. And it doesn’t mean you need to skimp on taste, with the paneled ends and raised drawer fronts.
7. Don’t forget Fido: Many dog breeds are recommended for apartment living, but that’s not always true of all of the gear that comes with owning a dog. Dog crates may be great for training but they can take up a lot of space. I love this dog crate that also serves as a side table. It’s perfect for next to a sofa or bed, so Fido can be comfortable, and you still have a place to set your cup of coffee or bedtime reading material.