10 Homes With Clever Storage Solutions

10 Homes With Clever Storage Solutions

By Michele Koh Morollo
Need to free up space in your home? Here are some helpful storage ideas that may be quite unexpected.

Each day, we accumulate more and more possessions, all of which need to be stored away somehow. This is an even bigger challenge as families expand and sections of the home need to be set aside for the children’s things. In many cities, the size of apartments and houses are getting smaller, and many of us are choosing to live small because of the benefits the lifestyle offers. All of these factors mean one thing: storage space is prime real estate. 

Here, we look at how creative homeowners and architects have maximized storage spaces in their homes with smart solutions. 

Storage Under a Raised Mezzanine Floor

This San Francisco renovation by architect Cary Bernstein is designed with a streamlined built-in cabinet system with built-in speakers, niches for artwork, and drawers tucked under the entryway mezzanine.

The sleek, storage-packed "kitchen-studio" in this minimalist Japanese-inspired home in Toronto is wrapped floor-to-ceiling with custom rift-cut white oak cabinetry to ensure clutter-free living.

Space-savers in this 640-square-foot walk-up apartment in Manhattan's East Village include a dining table that disappears into a vertical space and a child’s bedroom study desk that transforms into a bed.

When renovating his home in Emeryville, California, architect Peter Benoit of Melander Architects custom-designed a 16-by-17-by-10-foot wooden box that accommodates a bedroom within, a dressing room mezzanine above, and a bookcase on one of its sides.

Using a centuries-old Japanese carpentry concept of "kaidan dansu" (mobile storage cabinetry), this home in Koriyama, Japan, by architect Kotaro Anzai has a modern staircase cabinet made of linden plywood that connects the ground floor living room to the upper level of the house.

Joiner Roger Hynam designed and built a cabinet system under the stairs of this 576-square-foot London apartment with a drawer that slides out from beneath the bottom step.

The empty nesters who own this house on Lake Wenatchee in Washington wanted a home that could accommodate their college-aged kids and their friends when they visit. Architect John Deforest created a secret media room hidden behind a door with a bookshelf in the front, giving the couple a place to keep their books, as well as their visiting children and guests.

Inspired by nautical sheds, New Zealand architect Davor Popadich designed the living and dining pavilion of his Auckland home as a double-height space with high cubbies for extra storage.

Architect Andrew Maynard’s Melbourne home, which also doubles up as the office of his practice Austin Maynard Architects, includes a bright yellow staircase with opening slots in the front that serve as storage shelves.

For this family loft in Florence, Italy, architecture practice Fabbricanove created an almost sci-fi-like, 26-foot-tall storage structure with drawers and shelves that organize everything associated with the various aspects of living in the loft.


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