Our closet expert offers tips for a small condo, from how to maxmize closet storage to why a Murphy bed might be worth considering.
The closet experts at Closet America want everyone to find the perfect closet solution for their home. In our Ask a Closet Expert series, we answer questions from local DC-area residents about their storage issues, providing insight from our years in the industry.
Today, we answer a question from Celeste in Dale City, Virginia. She says:
“House prices are crazy around here, so I bought a condo. It’s great, but it is on the small side. What can I do to get more storage and make it feel like a larger space?”
Thanks for reaching out, Celeste! Rising house prices over the last decade or so have definitely led to an increase in condo development, especially in larger cities. This means storage concerns are a pretty common issue.
The two major points I’ll focus on here are getting the most out of your closet and minimizing the amount of furniture you have in the rest of your living space. Using these two principles, there’s actually a lot you can do to make a condo feel roomy.
Maximize Your Closet’s Potential
When it comes to maximizing storage in a condo, the solution is usually less about adding on and more about utilizing what’s already there. My first suggestion would be to upgrade your closets.
If you’ve got a standard closet layout with a single hanging rod and shelf, for instance, there’s a lot of empty wall space that’s not being used. You might install adjustable shelving that can be spaced more closely together and add a set of double hanging rods, or even a wardrobe lift to take advantage of high-up sections of your closet. You’ll also want to make sure that the balance between shelving and hanging rods is as efficient as possible—shelving tends to let you fit more clothes into your closet, but you’ll want to save hanging space for fabrics that don’t fold well or for items that you wear frequently.
The right closet design can also help you eliminate the need for other furniture. By adding sufficient drawers or even a small island, for instance, you might be able to do away with a dresser entirely, opening up more floor space in your bedroom.
If your closet is too small to act as the one-stop-shop for all your clothes, you can also achieve a space-saving effect by adding an external storage unit that takes the place of multiple pieces of furniture. For example, a separate dresser, bookshelf, and TV cabinet in a bedroom could be combined into a single multifunctional media cabinet.
The Single Biggest Space Saver: The Murphy Bed
One of the largest pieces of furniture in most homes is the bed; the ability to remove it would effectively add an additional room to your home. A Murphy bed allows you to do this. What was once just a bedroom can also be used as an office, TV room, or exercise space.
A well-made Murphy bed offers essentially the same comfort level as a typical bed, but it can be tucked out of the way when you aren’t sleeping. You can add shelving to act as a bookcase and display area and use drawers along the sides for more dresser space. With a shelf above the drawers, you can create a nightstand, and built-in directional lighting makes it a great place to read. And with an easy foot-fold mechanism, it is a snap to put your bed away.
If you’re feeling cramped but only want to make one major change to your condo, I would honestly suggest a Murphy Bed. It lets you sleep in comfort, gives you lots of additional shelving and drawer space, and still allows you to completely convert the room for other uses.
Consult with a Design Expert for More Ideas
Getting the most out of your closet and the use of a wall bed are two ways to make a condo feel larger. But, depending on your home’s layout, you may have other needs and other options. Consider scheduling a free design consultation to explore all your options. With a bit of help and some creativity, you can make even a small Dale City condo feel like a larger home.
Lead Image Credit: Flickr uer Jim (CC BY 2.0)