10 Clever Ways to Sneak Storage Into Your Renovation

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By Jennifer Baum Lagdameo / Published by Dwell
If you're aiming to live a minimalist lifestyle, hidden storage is an absolute must.

If you're planning on renovating, take it as an opportunity to optimize your space and build some custom storage options that are both sleek and valuable. Here are 10 thoughtful ways to squeeze in some extra storage without sacrificing your vision.


Staircase Cabinets

For this project in Fukushima Prefecture, Japanese architect Kotaro Anzai took inspiration from a centuries-old design concept—creating a custom-built kaidan dansu, or staircase cabinet, to connect the living room to the second story of this 1,078-square-foot home. 

A Wall of Storage

Designer Vicki Simon’s gut renovation of a 912-foot vacation loft in Lake Tahoe’s Squaw Valley resulted in a bright, airy, and lighthearted space that’s filled with smart built-in storage elements. 

A "Box" Divider With Hidden Storage

The Islington Maisonette is a minimal home located in London and was designed by Larissa Johnston Architects. The large, open-plan living, kitchen, and dining area on the lower floor was carefully designed with a linear plywood ‘box’ inserted into the main space—containing the kitchen, stairs, and a series of storage units and shelves. 

A Raised Platform of Storage

Reminiscent of under-the-bed storage, this Japanese home was designed with  a raised platform offering ample storage space.

Angled Storage wall

With clever storage and a retractable skylight, this London apartment feels much larger than its 576 square feet.

Go Vertical

In New York City, space is at a premium—so when this couple decided to stay in their existing 620-square-foot one-bedroom apartment and renovate to accommodate their growing family instead of moving, they gave their children the one bedroom, turning their main living space into both their bedroom and family room. The redesign by Ferda Kolatan and Erich Schoenenberger of su11 architecture+design included many clever storage solutions.

Streamline Everything

This San Francisco renovation by architect Cary Bernstein is full of smart storage solutions, which keep the home clutter-free and let the structure shine. 

A Hidden Bar

If you can squeeze it in, a hidden bar can be your secret weapon when  entertaining. 

Entryway Shoe Storage

Generous shoe storage can be the key to an uncluttered setup in your entryway.

10 Clever Ways to Sneak Storage Into Your Renovation - Photo 9 of 10 - The base of the stairwell includes a hidden compartment to conveniently store shoes.

The base of the stairwell includes a hidden compartment to conveniently store shoes.

Unexpected Bathroom Storage

Fitting hidden storage into a bathroom renovation couldn’t be more convenient. Instead of storing towels in a hall closet that can be used for something else, check if there's any unused space in the bathroom walls. Carly Moeller of Unpatterned realized there was some depth left from an old linen storage that she could implement into the new medicine cabinet.