When you’ve been living in an apartment day in and day out, it’s sometimes hard to see the place with fresh eyes. Looking for extra storage space is therefore typically a fruitless task—because if it were there, you’d have noticed it, right? But the following five locations are strangely evasive despite being relatively common. Your apartment probably has one or two of them; you just might not have realized you can stow something there at all. Go forth and maximize your storage options without having to move into a bigger place.
Above the Kitchen Cabinets
Though difficult to know what to do with, that shelf of open space abovethe kitchen cabinets should be utilized—and not just to stash the party platters you use only once a year. Here are our favorite creative ways to optimize that shelf (think: a big beautiful basket that hides six extra paper towel rolls).
In the kitchen of a Connecticut farmhouse, gold-leafed weather vanes top white custom-made cabinetry. William Abranowicz
Inside a Windowsill
If you’re lucky enough to have a window with deep casements, you can prop up a floating shelf or two inside that recess. Prop them out with potted plants and ginger jars or go the more utilitarian route: A collection of glassware is a doubly appealing set to display because the light will stream right through it.
Dodie Thayer lettuceware enlivens a shelf in a Hudson Valley, New York, kitchen. William Waldron
By screwing a hook into a ceiling joist, you’re halfway to the hanging storage solution of your dreams. (For lighter loads, you can use a butterfly bolt to affix a hook to the drywall ceiling.) Hang bikes, shelves, or even seating—and free up the floor space underneath it.
At Patrick and Jillian Dempsey’s Malibu home, Ginger, a family dog, rests in the master bedroom, where a Teak Nichols Design bed is accented with Deborah Sharpe Linens pillows and a throw from Monc XIII; the mirror and the hanging chair are 1960s, and the table lamp is by Blackman Cruz. Roger Davies
Behind the Couch
If your couch is up against a wall, bump it out six inches and stash extra folding chairs back there ready for when guests come over. If it’s in the middle of a room, rest a console along the back of it and stash it with extra dishware, linens, or kids’ toys.
The family room of a farmhouse in Dutchess County, New York, contains a chesterfield sofa designed by architect Gil Schafer and upholstered in a Nancy Corzine velvet; the suzani throw is from Yellow Church Antiques. Eric Piasecki
Inside the Shower
If you don’t have the luxury of a linen closet but do have a few extra square feet in a standing shower, find a roomy stool and place it as far away from the nozzle as possible—then stack the bench high with the plushest bath towels you can find.