If there’s one thing in which IKEA reigns supreme, it’s small spaces. Go into any of their stores, and you’ll probably find a model of an apartment no bigger than 250 square feet which is undeniably better set up than your 700 square-foot townhouse. But the magic of IKEA furniture is that, even if you’re not living in such a confined space, you can still use the idea of space-saving furniture to maximize what you do have.
We tend to find ourselves obsessively perusing their website for ideas and inspiration, seeing how we can transition our bedrooms into a storage oasis that has all the hygge of a Swedish cottage without the mess of toddler’s playpen. So we decided to round up our top favorite space-saving finds for every room of the home: from the perfect hidden bed for your guest bedroom to the one shoe rack we actually use. Keep on reading, and get ready to optimize your space.
Popular with tiny homes, gate-leg tables are the solution for small spaces. Each side flips up to reveal a surface for working or dining. Use one side for one or two people, or extend both sides at the same time for a potluck. The best part? The NORDEN has storage in the very center where you can put mugs or cutlery for easy, hidden access.
In an increasingly wellness-focused world, it’s not surprising that standing desks are having their moment. Think of this one as the healthy version of a writing desk: it has drawers, hooks and shelves for plenty of storage, and the slim desk top is the ideal surface for standing laptop work.
Clothing racks, while fun and aesthetically pleasing, tend to take up way too much room. If you want the look of an Insta-worthy rack without the limited space, go for the NIKKEBY. The newer design combines railings going both front to back and side to side. Plus, there are slim shelves for shoes, sweaters or bags that might otherwise not have a home.
Yes, this is just a rail, but don’t judge a book by its cover. The entire KUNGSFORS line maximizes kitchen storage with rails and hanging accessories that take up wall space rather than limited counter space. It’s especially handy if you lack cabinets. Our best suggestion: pair the railing with s-hooks for unlimited hanging options. (Trust us, you won’t believe what you can store on an s-hook).
Couches take up a lot of room. If you’re adamant about choosing a corner style or sectional, you might as well make it work in your favor. This style is a 3-in-1 sofa with options to sit, sleep and store extra linens (in its sneaky underneath storage). Win, win, win.
Drying racks tend to take up a lot of room: when they’re in use, they block off at least 3 feet and when they’re folded up, it’s hard to find a space where you can put them (behind the couch works — sometimes). This drying rack eliminates the problem entirely. The unit is built to fit right behind a washer or dryer with adjustable shelves the hang delicate air-dry clothing.
Even if you have a spare bedroom in your apartment or house, it’s rare to reserve for only guest use. Oftentimes it turns into a secondary TV room, a craft room, a playroom or, in an ideal world, a meditation suite. If you still want to have the guest-room capabilities without putting a massive bed in the middle of your zen den, the solution is this handy ottoman. By day, it’s an upholstered ottoman for seating and propping up feet, but by night, it folds out into the size of a twin bed for spur-of-the-moment guests.
Small bathrooms can be a big inconvenience — especially if you’re the ind of person who likes to hoard beauty products or store excess cleaning products within hand’s reach. But this little shelf unit ensures that small square footage is no issue. The slim profile fits easily next to a toilet or by the shower, and the multiple shelves provide perfect access for spare toilet paper, hot tools or grooming products.
If you’re a fan of IKEA furniture, you’ve probably heard of their KALLAX system: their simple modular cube storage. This little basket is made specifically to fit right into a cube, perfect for storing important papers, loose bits and bobs or charging cables.
You don’t have to have a KALLAX unit to use it: slide it onto a closet shelf for additional shelving, or hang it off a vanity for easy eyeshadow palette access.
IKEA might call the TJUSIG a “hanger” but we prefer the term “wall wonder.” Is it a coat rack? Yes. Is it a wall hook? Definitely. Is it everything you’ve ever needed in life? Possibly. This wall wonder installs directly onto the wall (so you don’t have to sacrifice any of your precious floor space), and it’s sturdy enough to hold jackets during the fall, scarves during the winter and umbrellas during the spring.
Our biggest qualm with front hallways is that, more often than not, they become overpopulated with shoes. Shoes tend to spill off of shoe racks, away from doormats and into the middle of the walkway (where we always trip over them). That’s why we love this genius solution. The shoe cabinet holds a minimum of 12 pairs of shoes in a slim, 2-compartment unit. It easily tucks off to the side of the front door, where you can use the top to hold keys and sunglasses for easy grab-and-go access.
If you’re one of the few lucky enough to have an outdoor space, be it a patio, balcony or backyard, you know just how hard it is to find furniture that is easily stowable for the off-season. The ASKHOLMEN set is just what we asked for. The half moon table is just the right size for a morning coffee break without taking up too much space. Plus, once it gets too cold outside, you can easily fold both the table and chair for compact storage.
Trust us, there's always a need for more surface space: whether you're hosting a dinner party with 5 friends or going solo on a jigsaw puzzle. But usually more surfaces take up more space — and if you're running low on space, that's a big no-no. These 3 nesting tables give you plenty of blank surface to work with, but at the end of the day, they all nestle up underneath each other as one single side table. Genius? Basically.
Up next: these IKEA hacks couldn't be chicer or easier to pull off.