21 Ways to Fake More Space Around the House

If you're like most homeowners, there's at least one corner of your house where you could use a little extra space. Whether you're looking for a few more inches (or feet) in the closet, the kitchen cabinets, the bedroom, or even the garden, some ingenious person has probably already come up with a solution. Take a look to see how bloggers have solved some of the most common household space problems, and see which ideas might work in your own home.

Flat-Pack Drying Rack

DIY Laundry Drying Rack

If you have a spacious, dedicated laundry room, congratulations: You're a rare breed. For everyone else whose washer and dryer live in a small or multifunctional room, the goal is space efficiency. A drop-down drying rack like this one is perfect for tiny quarters. It flips open and shut as needed, and because it's designed to hang from a door, you don't even need to sacrifice wall space for it.  

Related: The 10 Best Things You Can Buy for Your Laundry Room (for Under $50)


Store and Roll

Rolling Kitchen Island

Installing a kitchen island is a smart move to increase work space and storage capacity. If your kitchen is large enough that it can accommodate a standard kitchen island, you're best off choosing a stationary model—perhaps even one with a built-in sink or appliances. But if you require more flexibility, consider a portable island like this one. Pivot it into place when prepping a big meal, then wipe it down and roll it next to a wall to serve as a drink or dessert station. 

Related: 12 Kitchen Trends That Will Take Over in 2018


Hidden Treasure

Hidden TV Storage

There seem to be two kinds of people: those who want their TV to be the focal point of the room, and those who would rather not draw attention to it. If you don’t want your TV to be the main attraction, there are ways to keep it hidden. Alison at Deuce Cities Henhouse kept hers under wraps by revamping an old chest of drawers to store the flat-screen when it's not in use. When the chest is closed, no one would ever guess that there’s a TV in the room.

Related: Finally! 10 Solutions for Your Hard-to-Store Household Items


Clipped and Clean

DIY Freezer Clips

A full freezer is the sign of a prepared home cook. But if yours is filled to the brim with frozen fruits, meats, vegetables, and TV dinners, try freeing up extra space with smarter storage tricks. Here’s an idea: Use binder clips to hang bags of food from wire freezer racks. This vertical setup is more efficient than stacking items, and it allows you to see everything in your freezer—no more digging through the icy chamber for that half bag of peas!

Related: 10 Low-Cost Cures for an Overstuffed Fridge


Space-Smart Door Rack

Vertical Bathroom Storage

Cluttered counters make a tiny bathroom seem even smaller. Here, Rachel Denbow from A Beautiful Mess transforms a Satsumas plant stand from IKEA into a clever vertical storage solution. Each pot holds the toiletries for a different member of the family, with the youngest on bottom and oldest on top. Not only does the rack streamline the bathroom, it also prevents youngsters from reaching off-limits items that may be stored in the uppermost pots.

Related: 25 Tiny Bathrooms We Love


Strategic Furniture

Nesting tables

Removing or downsizing furniture is a great way to free up space and gain some breathing room. Yet it's not always a foolproof or practical solution—sometimes, you need the extra surface space. Nesting tables (like these dressed-up versions of the IKEA Rissna) offer almost twice the amount of work surface without making you commit to the square footage. Keep one tucked tidily under the other until you need an extra surface for spreading out work, resting coffee cups, or setting out a serving platter for guests.

Related: 14 New IKEA Hacks to Try in 2018


Underbed Wonder

DIY Platform Bed

Think about it for a moment: If your queen-size mattress is currently low to the ground, elevating it by even 10 inches opens up a little more than 33 square feet of unused storage space. Bed risers can add some height, but do-it-yourselfers with basic woodworking skills can do better than that by building a seamless frame with integrated storage. Cubbies like the ones on this DIY platform bed developed by Chatfield Court's blogger, Kristi, can hold anything from baskets of shoes to a collection of books.

Related: 7 Mistakes Everyone Makes When Shopping for Furniture


Keeping Tabs

DIY Hanger Hack

No matter how big your closet is, you could always use a little extra space. One of the smartest ways to maximize storage in a tiny closet is to expand vertically. You could pay to install a fancy storage system that implements this philosophy, or you can create your own using soda tabs. Simply slide the hook of a hanger through one hole of a soda tab, then slip another hanger through the bottom hole. Voilà—you just doubled your storage space! If you need even more space, you can even add a tab to the lower hanger. 

Related: 21 Big Ideas for Small Closets

YouTube via HackCollege

Stow Away

Storage Bench Seat

If your home lacks storage space, chances are it's also tight on square footage. So, even if you brought in an extra bookcase or chest to hold your stuff, the new piece probably wouldn't fit in the room. If that's the case, or if you simply prefer a more minimalist aesthetic, look for double-duty furniture that can provide seating and storage in one unit. Alternatively, you can make your own, as did the blogger at Melodrama. By turning a Kallax shelf into a comfortable seat, she created a no-brainer bench for the entryway or the perfect banquette for the breakfast nook.

Related: The Best Organizers to Buy for Under $5, $15, and $25


Seeing Double

Mirror Bedroom

Will it add any actual space or storage to your room? No. But simply putting up a mirror will trick the eye into thinking the space is bigger by reflecting light around the room. Assemble a gallery wall by hanging several mirrors, or prop a large one up against a wall to create the illusion of depth in a tiny room.

Related: 10 Small Bedrooms with Huge Amounts of Style


Rack It Up

Pot Storage Rack

If your kitchen cabinets are crammed, look up for extra storage. You may just find the perfect spot to hang a DIY pot rack from the ceiling, with simple S-hooks to hold cookware. The benefit is twofold: The rack keeps pots and pans within easy reach and frees up cabinets to hold other kitchenware.

Related: 8 Brilliant Ways to Get More Space—Without Moving


Hook 'Em

Pot Lid Holders

You know you have a lid for that pot—somewhere. You've got two choices: You can continue to dig around for it in a dark cabinet, or you can improve your storage system and clear out that crowded cabinet. The latter can be easily accomplished by sticking removable hooks to the interiors of cabinet doors to hang lids. That way you'll always know where to find each lid and where to put it back.

Related: Why Didn't I Think of That? 18 Clever Tricks to Simplify Your Life

Instructables via Jayefuu

The Great Indoors

Large Sliding Glass Doors

Large windows and glass doors are amazing for making a small space seem larger than it actually is. Of course, if your home doesn't currently have large windows and doors, you'll need to do some construction to get that airy look. If you'd rather not attempt a major renovation, consider addressing only the front or back doors by adding a glass storm door over your existing wood or fiberglass door. When you need a little extra visual space, open your front door, leaving the storm door closed, and let the light shine in.

Related: 10 Ways to Buy Better Curb Appeal for Under $50


Sneaky Spaces

Rolling Craft Cart

Narrow gaps, like those between the fridge and the wall, waste precious space in the home. Although they may seem like dead space, even the slimmest spots can be put to good use. To take advantage of every nook and cranny, create custom storage to perfectly fit your unique situation, as Simply Designing did with this skinny craft cart.

Related: 18 Clever Storage Ideas You Can DIY for Free


Just Around the Corner

Corner Shelves

Even awkward corners can be capitalized on to create more storage space. Although they pose a decorating challenge—few furniture pieces are made to fit into the corner—they're a natural place to make a statement, as the bloggers at A Beautiful Mess prove with these simple floating shelves.

Related: 11 Clever Ways to Capitalize On Awkward Corners


A Different Door

Pocket Door Bathroom

Even when it's open, a standard interior door can block the flow of a room and create clutter. For truly tight quarters, homeowners should consider alternatives to the traditional door, such as pocket doors. These sliding doors offer flexibility by rolling open and shut and concealing neatly within the wall when open.

Related: 18 Big Storage Ideas to Steal from Tiny Homes

Zillow Digs home in Baltimore, MD

At the Ready

Kitchen Pegboard

If you have a small kitchen, you may not have as much cabinet or counter space as you'd like, but if you have some spare wall space, you can carve out more storage with pegboard. Hang a pegboard on a kitchen wall, then add hooks and shelves to create a custom organizer for your most frequently used items.

Related: 15 Ideas to Steal from Real People's Kitchens


Growing Up

Gutter Garden

Even if your home doesn't sit on acres of land, there’s no reason why you shouldn't have the garden you want. A yard with little space or soil can still accommodate a vertical garden like this one, made of repurposed lengths of gutters. Add as many levels as your vertical space will allow for a flower or herb garden that can rival anything grown in a traditional bed or planter box. 

Related: The Invincible Yard: 17 Ideas for Lazy Landscaping


Double Up

DIY Storage Bench

Streamline furniture to create more space in a room. The area will inevitably feel less crowded if you rely on pieces that have multiple purposes. Case in point: This DIY bench from A Beautiful Mess keeps stored items out of sight while also providing a place to sit and read or tie your shoes.

Related: The 9 Most Unconventional Ways to Use an IKEA Shelf


Hide and Seek

Wall-mounted liquor cabinet

Freeing up floor space and eliminating visual clutter—these are central tenets of faking space, and this one clever cabinet succeeds in both. The unit mounts directly to the wall, and in true space-saving fashion, it extends just inches into the living area. Meanwhile, it offers plenty of shelf space, and everything stays hidden when the door is closed. Even better, you don't need much to build your own: just basic tools, stock lumber, and experience using a chop saw.

Related: 17 DIY Mini Bars to Mix Up Your Home Decor


Countertop Cover-Up

Laundry Room Countertop

If you don't love the look of your laundry area—and if you hate not having a suitable work surface for separating and folding clothes—get a load of this. Simply by adding a butcher-block countertop, Kristine of The Painted Hive managed to convert a disjointed, impractical dead zone into a picture-perfect example of space-smart efficiency. The pièce de résistance? Concealing the washer behind a set of decorative mini barn doors. To find out exactly how she did it, and why—click here.

Related: 20 Instant Updates for a Laundry Room You Can Love


Bigger and Better

Bigger and Better

No matter the room in your house, these clever ideas will clear the clutter from your home making it feel more spacious.


Don't Miss!


Clever project ideas and step-by-step tutorials delivered right to your inbox each and every Saturday morning—sign up today for the Weekend DIY Club newsletter!