Clever Ways to Make the Most of a Small Space

Think there's no more room? See how contractor Chip Wade, host of HGTV's Elbow Room finds solutions to make everything magically fit.

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November 25, 2014
By: Liz Gray

Hidden Storage

This family's tiny kitchen entryway was cluttered with everything from bottles of wine to coats to soccer cleats. Chip's solution? Install back-to-back storage units that slide out when you need them, then magically disappear into the wall. Clutter, meet your match.

Party-Ready Seating

You don’t need a huge dining area to host a great dinner party. Banquette seating on both sides of this family’s small dining room holds 10-12 guests in the same space as a dining table for a group half that size. Plus, it’s comfortable enough that guests will linger here after the meal.

Room With a View

Building cabinets that are flush with the ceiling provides ample storage space for dishes while still allowing room for an open wall overlooking the entryway. This creates the illusion of extra space.

Now You See it, Now You Don't

In a multipurpose room, a coffee table can be a space-hogging nuisance. Chip made it easy to adapt this combination lounge and workout room by installing a built-in coffee table that retracts into the floor at a touch of the button. Plus, the durable surface material means that the homeowners don’t have to worry about scratching the tabletop while they hit the treadmill.

A New Take on the Trundle Bed

Instead of stuffing an extra mattress beneath this daybed, Chip built a full-size mattress into the wall. Pull it out and it's a ready-to-go guest bed.

Double-Duty Doors

These custom glass bookshelves look great against the wall in this converted attic space, but can double as doors to provide overnight guests with extra privacy.

Study Space

Demolishing most of the walls in this living space created room for a homework nook for this family's middle-school daughter. It's private enough to allow for concentration, but open enough that she can still interact with the rest of the family.

Double-Duty Drawer

To make it simpler for this family to reach the ceiling-level kitchen cabinets, Chip transformed one of the drawers into a super-strong step stool. The slip-proof cover rolls up when the family needs to reach for extra dishes, and back when they want to access the drawer below.

Odds and Ends

Baskets and jars on open shelves keep toys, crayons and other odds and ends accessible but organized.

Swing-Arm Desk

This living room's sleek, custom workspace can be used two ways: as a traditional wall-facing desk or as a swivel-arm desk for two. The desktops swing out, then tuck back into the wall when computer work is done.

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