Building storage behind walls is a surefire way to decrease clutter. In the bathroom of a tiny Chelsea co-op, towel racks pull down to reveal hampers hidden behind the blue-tiled wall.
Multifunctional furniture can be more than just space-saving. In a Brooklyn apartment, a fold-down dining table also conceals bookshelves when in its upright and locked position.
The space beneath a staircase is particularly well suited to serve as an unobtrusive storage area. A couple devised a minimal solution for stashing kitchen ephemera under the main stairwell of their Brooklyn apartment.
Japanese architect Kotaro Anzai took a slightly different approach to under-stair storage with a custom-built staircase cabinet, in which each step contains individual drawers and cupboards.
Convertible furniture units offer clever options for keeping a space clean and tidy. Woodworkers Benjamin Klebba of Phloem Studi, and Bren Reis of Earthbound Industries created custom furniture for a compact Portland home, including a sofa that transforms into a bed and contains a hidden compartment for linens.
If custom, origami-like storage contraptions seem too complicated, simple sliding panels can be equally effective camouflaging solutions. In a compact Echo Park apartment, a pair of architects disguised an entire wall of storage with a ceiling-mounted sliding wall, which doubles as a projection screen.
Large swathes of fabric are even more simple and easy to install as storage-concealing elements. In a converted water tower in Belgium, floor-to-ceiling curtains hide all of the storage in the open space of a guest bedroom-bathroom-office.