Interior Storage

10 Space-Saving Ideas to Steal from Houseboats

We all complain about being short on space but imagine squeezing your life into a tiny space, then heading out to sea! Houseboat dwellers can teach all of us a thing or two about capitalizing on every square inch. Here are just a handful of creative ideas you can borrow, build on, or copy wholesale—whatever floats your boat!

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Folding Furniture

Unless your guests are fine with sitting on the floor, you’ll need ample seating for entertaining. However, that doesn’t mean extra furniture needs to be on display at all times. Invest in a few folding pieces that you can set up when company calls, and then fold away once they’re gone. Customize folding furniture by adding a colorful cushion or a touch of spray paint.

Related: Buy or DIY—8 Instant Seating Ideas for a Full House

Storage Where You Sleep

Headboards are a great finishing touch for the bedroom. But in a small space it just makes sense to choose one that doubles as a storage solution. Making the most of the vertical space behind the bed also cuts clutter by eliminating the need for nightstands while keeping nighttime reading and a glass of water just within reach.

Related: Make Your Bed—9 Easy DIY Headboards

Add a Storage Bench

It’s easy to make your storage solutions pull double duty. Turn a DIY storage bench into a comfy seat by adding a cushion, and use the inside to stow anything from linens to board games. This hardworking furniture is a pro at eliminating visual clutter, keeping it tucked away until you really need it.

Related: Double Duty Furniture—9 Affordable Favorites That Save Space

Glass Doors and Mirrors

Optical illusions are your best friend in a tiny living space. That’s where glass cabinets and sliding doors work wonders. Instead of creating visual roadblocks, these handy helpers trick your eye into thinking the room is bigger than its square footage. Similarly, mirrors open up your space by bringing light into cramped quarters.

Related: Mirror Magic—10 Ways of Using Mirrors to Your Design Advantage

Make Corners Functional

Don’t let an awkward corner eat up precious space. You might think that leaving them clear will make your space feel larger, but in fact the opposite is often true. Carve out a corner for a distinct purpose to add to your useable space. For instance add a small corner desk to create a tiny home office, or add a bench and small table to build a breakfast nook.

Related: 10 Ingenious Alternatives to a Traditional Home Office

Face the Best View

If your small space is blessed with great natural light or a postcard-worthy view, capitalize on it. Make those rooms the focal point of your living space. Choose window treatments that won’t obscure the outdoors and keep clutter to a minimum to keep the room airy and open. With the right decor, family and friends are sure to gravitate to the best room in the house.

Related: Don’t Make These 7 Mistakes in Small Spaces

Platform Bed for Pullout Storage

Your bed takes up a lot of necessary space, which is fine when you’re sound asleep. But during daylight hours, you may need it to work a bit harder. That’s where a storage-friendly bed frame will do the trick. A platform bed with built-in storage lets you tuck away off-season clothes, extra pillows, or anything else that simply won’t fit in the closet.

Related: The Space-Saving Loft Bed—8 Inspirations for Cramped Quarters

Keep Only What You Need in the Bathroom

If every surface of your bathroom is covered in bottles, bars, and tubes, it’s time to take stock. Here’s a helpful hint: go through and determine which products you actually use every single day. Keep those out. Store items you need occasionally out of plain sight. Finally, say goodbye to any products you don’t actually use. See? It feels so much better!

Related: 8 Unusual Tips for Your Cleanest Bathroom Ever

Banquette Seating

These comfy seats aren’t just for restaurants. Banquette seating is perfect for seating a crowd and allows you to fit more in a tight space. Unlike a chair, a banquette doesn’t need to be pulled out to sit, plus you can store essentials under the seat if need be. When the table is not in use, a banquette can even be turned into a sofa with the addition of cushions and pillows.

Related: 11 Inspiring Kitchens That Defy Their Small Size

Clever Built-Ins

Built-ins got a bad rap for a spell, but they’re finally regaining popularity again. If you’re considering custom built-ins, think about how you actually use your space. With a little imagination you can create custom storage that works for you. Whether you build shelves into a staircase or sink a bookcase into a wall is entirely up to you. Throw out the rules and go nuts!

Related: The Best 9 Storage Spots You Aren’t Already Using