TV shows like Friends and Sex and the City didn’t just optimistically suggest that downtown rent-controlled apartments were easy to come by – they also hoodwinked us about the kind of space we could expect when we found them.
They may have sold us a dream of walk-in-wardrobes, kitchen islands and ‘al fresco’ dining on our balconies. But in reality we’re more likely to be sharing poky living rooms with less chairs than roommates, having to duck in places if you’re over 5’8″, and deal with overburdened kitchen cupboards that catapult glassware every time we open them.
But thanks to a combination of clever hacks, technology and engineering, there are plenty of ways to make your house feel like a home and not a hovel.
Due to the uniquely shaped or spatially challenged apartments we see a lot of in big cities, it’s not always possible to fit all the furniture we want into our living rooms. But if you’re getting tired of asking guests to ‘Bring Your Own Chair’ to your dinner parties, look no further than Bookniture, which squeezes some last-minute seating out of your bookcase.
If you can’t fit a lamp next to your couch but you’re lacking sufficient lighting, a desk lamp like this one from Lowe can be easily clipped onto your window frame or any shelving unit to illuminate things.
An ironing board takes up a lot of space and is annoying to keep carting in and out of the cupboard. But this magnetic ironing board cover from Amazon can transform any surface into one and can be folded and tucked away when it’s not being used.
Your sleek condo kitchens may have all the mod-cons and look pretty stylish. But that doesn’t help you much when your soft-close drawers are overflowing and your plates will only fit in your cupboards when the dishwasher is in use. Free some of the offending, frequent-use articles without cluttering up your counter tops with a rail and hooks to hang your utensils or a magnetic knife block.
If you don’t have a dishwasher, you don’t need to have a draining rack on your counter 24/7. Simply roll out this stainless steel rack from Bed Bath & Beyond when you need it and roll it away again once you’re done.
Keep your wine glasses handy instead of risking getting bashed about by other cups and plates in your cupboards by using a rack to hang them upside down from, like these ones from Amazon.
OK, you guys might have a point. Leaving our stuff EVERYWHERE is way worse than leaving the toilet seat up. But it’s hard when we have so many products. To avoid having shampoo, body wash and razors strewn across the bath/shower area, install an extra shower rod and hang some baskets so you can keep them organized and close at hand.
De-clutter the sink area by hanging your hairdryer, straighteners, curlers or electric razors from a hook inside the cabinet door if there’s too much stuff in there already to cram them in…
Floating shelves take up no extra floor space and they look very cool on your walls. You can use deeper ones to hold books or photo frames. If you just need somewhere to keep your trinkets, use smaller ones like these from Bed Bath & Beyond to display your odds and ends and keep clutter to a minimum.
Jewellery looks untidy when left on your dresser, but nobody has time to untangle the cluster of necklaces you pull out of your drawer in the morning. So re-purpose a coat hook or hat rack by mounting it on your wall and using it to hang and display pendants and statement pieces.
Storing things under the bed is a tried and tested way of hiding clutter – but throwing things under there is a great way to lose track of where all your belongings are. Keep things neat and tidy by refashioning old drawers into storage and put them on wheels to make rolling them out a breeze.
Summer is just around the corner, and if you’re lucky enough to have a balcony you’re going to want to make full use of it. Whether you’re #wfh and you feel like catching some rays or you want somewhere other than the floor to put your glass of wine while basking outside, this balcony desk is ideal.
And if you’re looking to spruce things up outside, or even grow your own vegetables, this planter from Rona slots neatly over your balcony railing.