5 ways to create more storage space in your home - you'll squeeze the most out of every last inch

Find out how interior experts maximize efficient storage space in every room

a modern kitchen with a ribbed rounded kitchen island
(Image credit: Sharon Litchfield. Design: Nako Design)

Having enough storage space is the key to a calm and comfortable home. It doesn't matter what style you're drawn to. If your home lacks sufficient storage, it will be harder to enjoy it. Thankfully, the ways to create more storage space in your home can be simple. 

A beautiful material chosen for a surface can be appreciated far more when it's not covered with clutter. Likewise, your favorite flooring and furniture.

Interior designers are aware of this, and a good one will be as savvy with spatial planning and storage as they are with aesthetics and balancing budgets. Creating a stylish modern home is about making your space work for you and reflecting your personal style.

So what are the ways to create more storage space in your home? Here's what designers do.

1. Opt for multi-purpose pieces in a living room

white living room with velvet rust sofa by Marie Flanigan

(Image credit: Marie Flanigan Interiors/Julie Soefer)

It's easy enough to create extra living room storage with a little forethought and a few simple swaps. Most living rooms have a coffee table, so look for one with drawers or shelves beneath the surface. Instead of a footstool or pouffe for extra seating, consider an upholstered ottoman with an inner compartment, or switch a tv stand for a sideboard.  

'Versatile, dual purpose furniture pieces like coffee tables or ottomans with hidden drawers and compartments are a great way to incorporate more storage in a living room,' says Cassandra Friedrich, designer at Spacejoy.

'Pieces like these can store away items like remote controls, books, or blankets to keep the room clutter-free. This helps combine functionality with aesthetics by blending storage solutions into the room’s overall layout.'

'A statement sideboard for the living room is the oldest storage trick in the book,' says Heather Goerzen, design director at Havenly. 'Whether as a stand alone piece or anchored below your tv as a media console, going for bigger, better pieces can anchor a design scene and create a powerful moment in a room. Not to mention, the valuable storage. 

'For those who want more of a styled vignette to showcase books, family artifacts, and pretty decor, opt for glass doors or open shelving. You can weave in a couple baskets to corral little pieces like kid or pet toys. 

'For those looking to hide more practical things (charging cords etc), opt for solid doors.'

2. Install pull-out or open shelving in the kitchen

Rustic white kitchen with open shelving used as pan storage

(Image credit: Jersey Ice Cream Co.)

Storage space isn't just about the size or volume of the area. Whatever is stored needs to be accessible too. 

Most of us have things we've forgotten about languishing at the back of kitchen cupboards. Whether it's favorite glassware or out-of-date food packets, it's not ideal. For this reason, Cassandra Friedrich, designer at Spacejoy is a fan of pull-out shelves, while Heather Goerzen at Havenly favors open shelving.

'Installing pull-out shelves in kitchen cabinets provides additional storage for dried goods, spices, utensils or other items that you might need quick and easy access to while cooking,' says Cassandra.

'Pull-out shelves make it easy to find what you’re looking for and keep the kitchen organized. I love this idea because it maximizes storage capacity and makes meal preparation and cooking efficient.'

'There’s a lot of debate in the design world as to whether exposed kitchen shelving is in or out, but I’m personally in the “pro” camp,' says Heather. 'Open shelving can be such a useful way to create a visual moment in a space while maximizing storage potential. 

'Use it as an opportunity to display your more design-forward pieces, like pretty plates and glassware, or larger serving bowls and dishes. Cookbooks and cutting boards, as well as baskets filled with fresh produce, can be a nice addition for a more layered look.'

3. Use vertical space in a bathroom

bathroom with cubby hole storage in an alcove

(Image credit: Future / Anna Stathaki)

In a smaller space like a bathroom, using the wall area or a skinny alcove is a favored method for designers to create extra storage required. Without good spatial planning these spaces can easily be wasted, so look at the vertical space for bathroom storage

'Using vertical space in a bathroom is an effective way to create more storage,' says Cassandra at Spacejoy. 'By mounting shelves or cabinets on the walls, you can store necessities like toiletries, towels, or other essentials. 

'This provides easy access to anything you or a guest may need while using the bathroom. It also helps declutter any countertops and creates a clean, calm atmosphere.'

'A tried-and-true storage trick that interior designers large swear by is: when in doubt, draw the eye up,' says Heather at Havenly. 'Floor-to-ceiling shelves can create a lovely design vignette in just about any room.

'Arrange with pretty artifacts, like books, picture frames, sculptural pieces, heirlooms, and even plants. You can also incorporate folded towels, throws or table linens in a pretty way for a soft touch.'

4. Add a bench to the entryway

a mudroom entryway with checkered floor tiles

(Image credit: Nate Sheets. Design: Kobel + Co)

The entryway is an area that gets easily congested in most homes. Good storage and organisation is key to prevent a pile up every time you head in or out.

'My favorite way to create more entryway storage is by incorporating a storage bench,' says Cassandra. 'This provides an extra place to sit while putting on or taking off shoes, as well as providing storage for those shoes, plus umbrellas, or bags. 

'This idea combines seating and storage and helps to keep the first place you see when you enter the house organized and welcoming for any guests.'

'First impressions matter,' says Heather. 'Strategically arranged storage ottomans in your entryway to stash gloves and scarves, hats, and shoes is an easy way to create a sense of order and visual calm upon walking into your space.'

5. Choose chests for nightstands

bedroom with chest of drawers as a nightstand

(Image credit: Future / Mary Wadsworth)

Nightstands come in various shapes and sizes but sometimes the best nightstands come with incorporated storage, or they can be switched for pieces with larger storage areas. 

'This one is as simple as it sounds,' says Heather. 'Rather than opting for a dainty nightstand, go all in on a larger storage chest with multiple drawers. 

'It will add visual weight to your bedroom scene, while optimizing storage for your bedtime routine necessities – from your latest on-deck read to sleep masks and more. You can also use it as a convenient spot to stash extra blankets or pjs.'

Jacky Parker is a London-based freelance journalist and content creator, specialising in interiors, travel and food. From buying guides and real home case studies to shopping and news pages, she produces a wide range of features for national magazines and SEO content for websites

A long-time contributor to Livingetc, as a member of the team, she regularly reports on the latest trends, speaking to experts and discovering the latest tips. Jacky has also written  for other publications such as Homes and Gardens, Ideal Home, Red, Grand Designs, Sunday Times Style and AD, Country Homes and Interiors and ELLE Decoration.