Space savers

Space-Saving Furniture

In Retreat, September 2015, Stuff by Sarah FallowsLeave a Comment

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Feeling cramped? Check out these space-saving furniture solutions in different prices ranges.

Bring a “dead” space back to life

Adding a window seat with storage utilizes that dead space, making it functional.

Problem . . .

Raleigh resident Molly Logan was concerned about kitchen storage as well as her kids always banging the kitchen chairs into the walls and windows.


Nisbet and Logan came up with the idea to add bench seating to the corner of the kitchen. Nisbet had custom cushions made with Teflon-coated fabric to repel spills. Later, Logan added tile to the wall to prevent sticky fingerprints, and Nisbet incorporated soft-close doors to the extra storage compartments.

Indoor/outdoor pillows from Ballard Designs add a nice touch, made with a sturdy fabric that’s easy to clean. A wood pedestal table from Greenfront Interiors adds a different texture to the space. Mixing custom-made items with store-bought creates both interest and depth.


Built in window seat (pictured above)

Designer: Kate Nisbet

Materials/labor: $1,300

Custom cushions: $1,200

Throw pillows: $200

Sticker price: $2,700


Bed1 A stow-away bed for guests

A bed that folds down out of the wall? Of course; remember Mork & Mindy? But Murphy Beds aren’t just for Hollywood. It’s a great way to have a fully functional space for your daily life and still accommodate guests when needed. Think of it as a room-swap without moving any furniture. Our own Retreat section editor Sarah Fallows figured it out.

Problem . . .

After having a second baby, Fallows had to give up her guest room, but she and husband Eric hated not being able to have a designated space for guests. They had a playroom for the kids and considered trying to fit a bed but it felt cramped.


By adding a Murphy Bed (they found the spring mechanism online), they now have the best of Bed2 both worlds. “The room still doubles as our playroom and guest room,” says Fallows. “We’re really surprised at how it just blends into the wall and doesn’t take up much space at all.”


Murphy bed mechanism (

Vertical mount hardware kit: $350

Materials: $250

Labor: $600-$2,000 (DIY vs. hired labor)

Sticker price: $1,200-2,600


T.J. Maxx storage ottoman Storage ottoman

Storage ottomans are the perfect solution for stashing those things you can’t ever seem to find a spot for—books, magazines, blankets and toys (or dog bones!). Most tops lift up or come completely off, making it easy to store things out of sight. They do double duty as footrests and coffee tables. Another idea: Corner shelving.

Corner shelves, bookcases and cabinets build up instead of out. Find them in all price ranges at yard sales, flea markets, boutiques and antique stores.

Storage ottoman

From: T.J. Maxx

Sticker price: $39.99


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