Style expert reveals her clever storage solutions for tiny spaces
December 18, 2008
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Build in flexibility
Cubbies are ideal for storage and display―and are easy to stack and rearrange. Cubes $60 and $80 from Stumasa. Office Basics accordion-style organizer $36; seejanework.com.
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Put furniture to work
Multipurpose furniture is a must. “We don’t have an entryway closet, so this storage bench holds anything I need to unload,” says Maybelle. Westport storage bench $379 and baskets $15 each from Stumasa.
Bonus tip: Forget folding chairs ― move the bench for extra seating.
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Maximize wall space
“Freestanding wall units can be much less expensive than built-ins,” says Maybelle. Custom wall unit $3,800 and wire baskets $29 each from Stumasa. Chalkboard by notNeutral, $36; seejanework.com
Bonus tip: Create a niche in the unit for a workstation to add even more function.
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Access what you often need
Open shelves are all about easy access, but they force you to edit. “When it’s in plain sight, you know what you’ve got,” says designer Maybelle Imasa-Stukuls. “You forget about things behind cupboard doors.” Oaktown cubby unit ($399) was from Stumasa.
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Hide what you rarely use
Any unused space is fair game for storage. Drawers on casters conceal seldom-used items under the bed. They also work well for storing toys in a cramped kid’s room. Under-bed drawers $75 from Stumasa.
Bonus tip: Use garment bags to keep dust out of stored linens.
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Maybelle on minimalism
Designer, illustrator, and calligrapher Maybelle Imasa-Stukuls shares a one-closet, 740-square-foot home with her woodworker husband, Greg Stukuls, and their dog, Kiki. Both Maybelle and Greg design for Stumasa, a furniture store in San Francisco. Her advice for living minimally:
Think ahead If you don’t love it or need it, don’t bring it in the house.
Continually edit Especially your book collection and your closet. Maybelle keeps a “to donate” bag in her car for regular clothing purges.
Recycle magazines Tear favorite ideas and recipes from magazines and store in folders.