NTS Tips and Tricks

Floor-To-Ceiling Storage Ideas for your Small Home

When thinking about the design of your small home, looking at different ways to implement storage is crucial. Floor-to-ceiling storage is an efficient way to make the most out of your vertical space or awkward hard-to-reach places while also providing a place to display items that showcase your style and personality.

Keep reading to see some of our favourite floor-to-ceiling storage solutions, with some help from expertly designed small homes featured on our channel.

1. Disguise built-in storage through material consistency

If budget and space allow, custom joinery can be designed to blend with the walls and interior, providing a discreet yet expansive storage facility. When designing Rattan in Concrete Jungle, design studio Absence from Island decided to make full use of every nook and cranny in the small apartment; to best cater to the needs of the growing family of four.

At the apartment’s entrance are large cabinets stretching the entire height of the apartment. Apart from providing much-needed storage space, they cleverly concealed furniture such as the dining table, folded away in a slat in between cupboards, and integrated a lower cabinet at the entrance that also served as a seat for shoe removal. All the wall panels are covered in wood and rattan, creating a clean, cohesive look and a light organic feel that softens the space. Rattan is also durable, easy to maintain and highly resistant to moisture, which makes it an ideal material choice for humid climates and environments.

2. Create storage in your staircase

Take your storage game to another level by making use of your staircase — not only can you use void space underneath for storing infrequently used items, but you can also turn each step into individual blocks of storage. In Camden Loft, a staircase is cleverly integrated into a large structure that showcases an exceptional example of open floor-to-ceiling shelving. The entire structure is divided into small shelves that interlock like a jigsaw puzzle, displaying colourful personal items that lend it a quasi-gallery feel.

3. Make the most out of your high ceilings with tall shelving units

Having tall and long units can make a space feel larger as it elevates your eyeline and makes the walls seem higher, regardless if they’re full of personal belongings or not. Architect Caterina Pilar Palumbo used full-height shelving in Il Cubotto, making the most of the double-height ceilings with a stepladder to access hard-to-reach top shelves. However, the true genius lies in the break of the shelving adding an even greater sense of openness that would have been lost had the shelving continued up the entire wall.

4. Use a curtain to cover up open shelving

Architect Micheal Roper was constrained with a 23sqm/247sqft floorplan in Cairo Flat, leading him to integrate bookshelves, drawers for his clothes, a hanging rail, shoe storage, and his Murphy bed into a full-height storage wall along one side of his apartment. A theatrical floor-to-ceiling curtain wraps around the wall and provides flexibility for the studio’s different purposes. During the day, the curtain hides away any mess or busyness of the open shelving, while at night, it blocks light from the expansive windows for evening privacy.

For more thoughtfully designed Australian small homes, check out Micro-Apartments in Australia.

5. Add in a gap for a break in continuity (and for a cat nap spot!)

The colourful Billinghurst is filled with multiple vibrant hues and a full-height built-in storage wall made up of pink cabinets is no exception. However, the designers purposely left a gap to separate the storage wall into two parts, calculated so that the lower cabinets would be the same height as the door and the upper cabinets accessed by a mobile staircase on wheels. The gap was created as a play area for their cat, which also allows for a break in the continuous pink wall, making the whole apartment look more open and spacious.

For more small home design ideas, check out our Book + Essential Guide to Your Living Room bundle (use the code “SlowNovember” at checkout for 25% off!)