Armoire Apartment Hacks

With closet space at a premium in small apartments, urban home owners tend to think outside of the box when it comes to organizing their homes. Whatever built-in closet space apartments have are usually used for storing clothes, linens, and bedding – which doesn’t leave much room for other odds and ends. To combat this issue, many apartment owners opt for a closet system including armoires to increase storage capacity. However, an armoire can be used for more than just storing clothing and accessories. Here are a few apartment hacks that can be used to turn your armoire into a multi-purpose storage unit.

Cleaning Cabinet
An armoire makes the perfect cleaning cabinet. You can keep a vacuum (either canister or upright) in an armoire complete with all of the accessories. Mounting hooks on the back of the closet doors allows for storage of brooms, static dust mops, and other floor cleaning items. Place a hanging shoe organizer on the hanging rod and use the pockets to store all of your cleaning solutions. You can even store laundry detergent and extra paper towels and/or toilet paper on the built in shelf. These modifications allow you to have a complete on-stop shop for all of your house cleaning needs.

Holiday Cabinet
If your apartment is lacking in built in storage space and you don’t have any other storage options such as access to a basement, what do you do with all of your seasonal holiday stuff? Why not make a dedicated holiday cabinet out of an armoire? Holiday lights and decorations can be neatly stacked and organized on shelves in an armoire, fragile ornaments can be tucked away in drawers, and you can even store wrapping paper and other gift items all in one place. Organizing seasonal decorations in an armoire provides you with easy access at any time, even if it isn’t the season. You can even keep some non-holiday items such as birthday wrapping paper, gift bags, and greeting cards in the same closet.

Sewing and Craft Cabinet
Are you or someone you live with a rising fashion designer? Even if this isn’t the case, a lot of people work with fabrics and other craft items. Some homeowners are lucky to have a designated sewing room in their house, however not all of us have the luxury of turning a spare bedroom into a crafter’s paradise. An armoire is a great place to store all of your crafting needs. Place yarn, thread, and other sewing accessories in drawers. Hang your fabric in the closet on a hanging rod. You can even store your sewing machine, hot glue guns, and other crafting devices in the closet.

These are just a few of the many different uses for your closet system. We’d love to hear what you have turned your external storage units into. Feel free to leave a comment below!

4 Different Uses for a Bookcase

Bookcases are very versatile furniture. Like the name implies, bookcases are primarily used to hold and/or display books. Many homeowners also use bookcases to store DVDs, CDs, and Vinyl Records as well as a way to show off decorative items. However a bookcase can be used for more than just media storage. With some creative thinking and a DIY attitude, a bookcase can be reconfigured in many different ways. Here are four different ways you can use a bookcase.

Cover Up
A bookcase is the perfect object to cover up a wall that is a little worse for wear. Perhaps you live in an apartment that has a “no paint” policy, but one of the walls has some discoloration. Or perhaps there is a small dent in the wall or even a hole left over from a light fixture that used to be installed there. Rather than spending money on repairing and repainting the wall, you can use a bookcase to cover up the spot. Bookcases come in all shapes and sizes, so you are bound to find one that is tall or wide enough to cover up the mark on the wall.  The benefit here is that this quick fix isn’t permanent. You can always move and re-purpose the unit if you decide to repaint the whole room.

Closet Organizer
You can use a bookcase as a way to organize a walk in closet. You can add wicker or fabric baskets to the shelves to hold shoes or small items such as socks, scarves, and gloves. Or you can fold sweaters and sweatshirts and stack them neatly on the shelves. A solid wood unit is even sturdy enough to hold multiple pairs of jeans. Is there a room in your home that has a small alcove you don’t know what to do with? Turn it into a makeshift closet! You can stack items on the shelf, and install a few small hooks for items that need to be hung.

Desk
A pair of small bookcases can double as a fantastic desk. You can take two or three shelf bookcases and lay a board across the top to create a workspace.  The bookcases play two roles here. They act as the “legs” of the desk, but also double as storage. You can keep office supplies, software, and printer paper neatly organized on the shelves. Plus with the open shelve design of the bookcases; you can keep an eye on when you are running low on items.

Room Divider
A bookcase can also double as a room divider. Large open spaces are easily broken up into separate “sections” by placing a bookcase perpendicular to a wall. When using a bookcase as a room divider, you will have to take one extra step to make sure you have a finished back for the unit. A bookcase room divider is ideal for studio apartment owners who want to break up the large room into smaller sections, and add a little bit more privacy. It is also ideal for large family rooms that want to set up a separate area to watch televisions from the area where the kids play.

4 First Apartment Furniture Must Haves

Moving into your first apartment? While the possibilities may seem endless, there are a few furniture bases you need to make sure are covered before moving day. Before you start deciding where the tiki bar is going to fit, make sure you have these four first apartment furniture must haves ready to go. Everything else can come in the second moving truck!

1. Sleeper sofa
Is it a sofa? Is it a bed? It’s the best of both worlds! A sleeper sofa (aka pull out bed) is a great choice for your first apartment’s couch. Obviously if you ever plan on having guests over, (or even just want to watch TV comfortably by yourself!) a good couch for your living room is a must have. What makes a sleeper sofa so great is that you don’t have to worry about where your guests (friends, family or otherwise) are going to spend the night. It’s double duty furniture! Sleeper sofas are also great if your first apartment happens to be a studio, which means that you living and sleeping area in one and the same.

2. Drop leaf table
Drop leaf tables are versatile and great for smaller spaces and eat-in kitchens. They can be pretty compact, making them a great choice for narrow kitchens so common in first apartments, but if you ever want to have a few friends over for dinner they open right up and provide plenty of additional table space! You could even pull your drop leaf table into your living room to give everyone a little bit more elbow room. Drop leaf tables also work great under windows or in hallways.

3. Ottomans
An ottoman may not be high on the top of most first apartment furniture lists, but it should be! Ottomans really are the jack of all trades in the furniture kingdom. Not only do they work great as coffee tables, they can also provide a little extra storage! Ottomans are a great place to store extra blankets, pillows or other non-essentials. Ottomans can also be turned into a seating option when necessary, meaning you can invite even more people over for dinner!

4. Bookshelf
Even if you don’t have a lot of books, a good bookshelf is a first apartment essential. Store your DVDs and CDs, magazines, photo albums and framed pictures, paperwork, decorative trinkets and more! You can even get a bookshelf that is deep enough to hold several cardboard boxes as everyone first apartment owner needs more storage space!

How big your first apartment is will have a dramatic impact on the kind of furniture you get to buy. Make sure you have everything you need, and that it all fits, before you start buying the fun pieces.

Save Money and Space with Double Duty Furniture

For furniture shoppers that are tight on budget and floor space, double duty furniture is the perfect solution. These multi-purpose pieces of furniture mean you don’t have to sacrifice on storage space or function, and you aren’t trying to cram more furniture into a room than can comfortably fit. Double duty furniture also gives you twice the furniture for your money, which is great for furniture buyers looking to furnish their first apartment (meaning they need everything!) but don’t want to break the bank.

Here are three pieces of furniture that are more than they seem!

Beds and Dressers
For small apartment dwellers (or anyone with a bedroom that is short on floor space) a storage bed is both a great bed AND full dresser! Some storage bed designs have 8 different drawers (4 drawers at the foot of the bed, 2 drawers and one cabinet door on either side of the base) so you have plenty of storage space. If you don’t need the full 8 drawers you can always opt for a 4 drawer or 2 drawer storage bed design. The 2 drawer storage bed is great for beds that are going to be flush against a wall as both of the drawers are on one side so you have easy access to all your clothes.

Headboards and Bookcases
Bookcase headboards are perfect for storing books, clocks and radios, your phone or whatever else you like. While they aren’t as large as a regular bookcase (usually you only get one or two shelves) bookcase headboards are a great way to get little things off the floor or your bedside table.

Benches and Storage
Benches are really a universal seating option. They can be simple and plain, perfect for entryways or mudrooms, or they can be sleek and sophisticated for even the most modern of living room designs. But what makes double duty benches even more useful is they are also a well concealed storage option! Storage benches and ottomans in living rooms are the perfect place to store extra blankets and pillows; in kids’ rooms they make great toy storage options and are a great place to store things like sports equipment, umbrellas and so forth. Storage benches can be even used as a coffee table or a filing cabinet if need be.

Furnishing a room with the necessary pieces can be costly. By going with double duty furniture, you can drastically reduce your furniture costs without sacrificing storage space or function!

4 Tips for Decorating a Studio Apartment

Gothic Cabinet Craft is based in New York City, so we know our way around a studio apartment pretty well. We understand that living in a studio apartment comes with certain design and functionality challenges. Limited floor space, limited room for storage and a limited budget (the main reason someone lives in a studio apartment!) all mean that decorating a studio apartment is no easy feat. In order to decorate your studio apartment without sacrificing functionality, it’s important to remember the following tips:

Be discerning with your design ideas
There is not a lot of room in your studio apartment for design, and too many ideas can make a small space feel even smaller and more cluttered. While there is nothing wrong with mixing prints, patterns and colors, you don’t want to go overboard. You also want to think carefully about what the focal point of your studio apartment is going to be. Maybe you have a really cool love seat with a funky patter you want to show off, or a fantastic view you’re proud off; maybe it’s just a fun poster. Whatever the focal point is, build you studio apartment around that.

Invest in multi-use furniture
When is a bed not a bed? When it’s also a dresser! Multi-purpose furniture like a Captains Bed is a great way to maximize your limited floor space and de-clutter your studio apartment by removing bulky pieces. A secretary desk with drawers gives you plenty of space to work and compartmentalize your office, plus it’s easy to close up and hide any mess when guests come over! You could also get a bookcase that pulls double duty as a headboard or turn a radiator cover into a small shelf.

Create “rooms”
So living in a studio apartment negates the physical presence of rooms, but that doesn’t mean you can’t create the allusion of rooms! You can use dividers (easy to move as needed), bookcases or dressers to physically separate the living/sleeping areas from the dining area, or just arrange your furniture so you have a space for sleeping, a space for cooking and space for relaxing.

Make sure there is plenty of light
Nothing makes a small space feel smaller than no light. If you’re studio apartment isn’t blessed with a lot of natural light, invest in some great (and fun looking!) light fixtures to brighten up the space. You can also position mirrors across from windows or other light sources to help reflect the light and make the room feel bigger. Using a lighter color on your walls will also help reflect any light.

These are just a few tips for decorating a studio apartment. Just remember, just because you live in small space that doesn’t mean you can’t love the way your apartment looks and feels! It just takes a few easy design choices to make a studio apartment feel like home.

3 Easy Ways to Make a Small Space Feel Bigger

Small spaces are just a fact of life for most urban apartment dwellers. Many apartment owners struggle to find ways to make the small space look and feel bigger, but don’t want to do anything that will clutter up what little space they do have. Visually expanding a room can be hard to do, but that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible!

If you are looking for way to make your small space feel bigger, here are three easy tips that won’t break your decorating budget:

1. Keep the wall color consistent
One way to help make your small apartment look and feel bigger is to use the same wall color throughout multiple rooms. This tricks the eye into thinking that the space is much bigger because the line between rooms isn’t broken by different colored walls. Contrary to what most people believe, dark colored walls don’t automatically make a space feel smaller. In fact, a dark wall with light molding makes the wall feel farther back, once again creating the illusion of more space.

2. Don’t hang everything at eye level
A good photographer knows that when it comes to mounting their work, there should always be a little extra space below the image compared to above it. This helps keep the picture from looking like its being pushed down and squished. The same holds true for your artwork and other wall decorations! Hanging everything at eye level will make your space feel short, and when you’re already trying to combat small you don’t want anything to look like it’s shrinking! Hang things a little above eye level, or even try a few low pieces, to keep the eye moving.

If you one of the lucky few that have vaulted ceilings (even if it means you still don’t have the floor space), draw the eyes up by hanging art work high and investing in tall bookcases. It may not be as easy to clean, but it will help you take advantage of the height in your apartment.

3. Invest in mirrors
Mirrors are a small apartment owner’s best friend. Large mirrors, or even a cluster of small mirrors, can really help open up a space. Putting a mirror across from a window will help reflect limited natural light, which can also help make a room feel more open and bright. If you live in a basement apartment and don’t have windows in your room, hang up a large mirror and add curtains to give the look and feel of a window.

When trying to make a small space feel bigger, it’s important to not go overboard. You don’t have to use every trick in the book to make your apartment look and feel bigger. Sometimes just one or two things, provided they are the right things, can make all the difference.