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How to make a small home feel bigger

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IStock/Andersen Ross

Big city life comes with certain advantages, but the big money required for a spacious home isn’t one of them. If you’re a cramped city dweller who always seems to be running out of room, here are some innovative solutions to make your place seem more spacious.

Hunting for Extra Storage Space

You probably have more storage room than you think. Wasted space abounds in even the most cramped homes, and the key is to start using this space better. One clever company came up with the idea of transforming a stair case into a set of drawers, allowing something functional in the home to do double duty as a storage space.

By using vacuum compression bags, you can significantly shrink fluffy items like extra pillows, towels and clothes, and then stash them below a bed or sofa, taking advantage of low-lying space that often goes unused.

Once you’ve exhausted all your storage space down below, it’s time to look up.

- Adam Verwymeren

Once you’ve exhausted all your storage space down below, it’s time to look up. With a few plastic crates and a simple frame system, you can create a DIY overhead storage space, a perfect solution for the perpetually cluttered garage.

A Modern Murphy Bed

Murphy beds went out of style around the same time as doing the Charleston, which is too bad, because a fold-up bed that tucks away into the wall is a great way save some room. Modern Murphy bed makers are trying to bring back these old fashioned space savers with stylish new designs. While it might be too much of a hassle for some people to fold up their bed every morning, a Murphy bed is a great way to use your home office or living room as a guest room.

Cutting Kitchen Clutter

By using more of your vertical space you can make your kitchen seem more spacious. A hanging pot and pan rack allows you to move bulky cookware out of your cupboards, while keeping it conveniently at the ready for when you need it. Similarly, a magnetic knife stripe can free up a little bit of drawer space by putting your walls to work for you.

Movable kitchen islands and folding tables are also great ways to expand counter space when needed, and then can be stowed away neatly when you’re finished.

While Entertaining

Maybe you have enough space for yourself, but when guests show up things start to feel cramped. With a set of nested end tables, like CB2’s Lucent tables, your party guests will always have a place to rest their drinks. When the party is over, the tables stack together after the guests all go home.

If you’re always running out of space during dinner parties, consider a convertible coffee table. When it’s time to eat, these transforming tables shed their low-slung profile, popping up to become a full-sized dinner table.

The Not So Great Outdoors

If you’ve always longed for a verdant growing garden, but are stuck with a small patch of concrete, worry not; there are ways to get greenery growing in just about any space.

The Woolly Pocket is an innovative gardening solution that allows you to hang a garden off a fence or even the side of a wall. The Pocket’s synthetic fiber felt wicks water down to the roots, and is waterproof enough that you can hang one indoors if you want.

Another option is a set of stacking planters. These multi-tiered flower boxes allow you to build a towering garden. Each layer is offset, allowing plants to poke through while giving the roots plants of space to grow down below.