Let’s be honest – we’re all short on storage space.
No matter how small or airy your bedroom, there is always that one item you simply don’t have any room for, or that doesn’t fit in with your otherwise perfect storage concept.
And that’s the best-case scenario! Things become even more complicated (and pressing) when you find yourself moving into that wonderfully perfect new home, but suddenly realise that your old dresser doesn’t fit the room, the design, or just really should find a new home (possibly at the landfill) since it has stuck with your for the last decade or two (or three, or…) and it really shows.
But never fear! We’ve collected the best alternatives to dressers, checked them for DIY potential, and compiled a through list of ideas and inspiration that will make you want to start (re-) decorating your bedroom right now!
Table of Contents
Bed Frame with Drawers
Obviously, a bed is the most important furniture in a bedroom. So why not make use of the one must-have item in order to save space?
Bed frames with drawers are the simplest ways of creating storage space without having to sacrifice living space for it.
Generally speaking you can chose between open and closed storage space, in other words drawers and shelves. While shelves (possibly with baskets to reduce clutter) definitely give a more airy feeling, drawers have the distinct advantage of giving to opportunity to house clothing, accessories, books, and whatever else you need to have at hand out of sight and (relatively) dust free.
Bed frames with drawers come in a sheer endless variety of styles and sizes, as can be seen in the pictures above. Many of the beds combine with elaborate headboards that offer additional storage space.
Under-Bed Storage Container
Under-bed storage containers are a cheaper, and readily available alternative to upgrading your bed frame to one with drawers.
There are a whole plethora of different types of storage containers available in stores near you, as well as your own creativity.
Plastic or fabric storage containers are the most commonly used types. The fabric bags are oftentimes easily foldable and therefore perfectly suited to be bought in bulk. Simply store the currently unused ones in another bag, or somewhere around the house until you need it. Fabric bags are also particularly well-suited to house off-season clothing or those clothes you don’t need to dig out frequently.
Plastic storage boxes, on the other hand, come in many colours, sizes and various degrees of sturdiness. Depending on what you plan on storing in them, it might be a good idea to invest in plastic boxed with wheels for easier access. Plastic boxes oftentimes do not close as tightly as their fabric counterparts, so you might not want to store valuable or sensitive clothes in there. On the upside, though, plastic storage containers deal remarkably well will heavy items, such as books for example.
If the look of both fabric and plastic containers doesn’t appeal to you or doesn’t fit your interior design, woven baskets might be the way to go. These boxes typically come with a lid, and usually have a fabric padding, so storing everything from books to clothes is possible.
Should you find yourself inclined to tackle some DIY, there are tons of wonderful ideas and tutorials for under-bed storage options available. We personally love the idea of outfitting old drawers with wheels, if you don’t need a lid for your storage option.
Treasure Chest / Trunk
Treasure chests and/or trunks are a wonderful way to create additional storage space in style.
The available range of chests and trunks is enormous, and subsequently makes finding the right one for your bedroom easy once you have an idea in which direction you want to go with it.
As our examples show, trunks and chests can most often be found at the foot of a bed. Not only is this location easily accessible (at least if your bed is the centre of the room, instead of tucked into a corner), a foot-of-the-bed trunk offers the additional option of using it as either seating or temporary home for discarded clothes, dressing gowns, magazines, bed spreads, etc.
Generally speaking, chests and trunks look their absolute best if they are in some way matched to their surroundings. You can chose to mirror the material of your bed frame. You could pick up the room’s main colour-scheme in the trunk’s paint work or decoration. If you go for a padded seating option you could settle for fabric that resembles your favourite bed linens, or reflects the colour and material of your throw pillows.
If you decide to go for a full-on, no-holds-barred treasure chest with elaborate iron (or even better: faux gold) work, a sturdy lock, big key, and -if possible- a convincing “this trunk has survived at least one naval battle in the pirate captain’s bunk” wear and tear, you really don’t need to worry about making it match. Quite contrary, you should be prepared that the chest will be the sole attraction in your bedroom. No matter what else you have to offer.
For those with DIY ambitions, there are also quite a few options floating around. One of the most accessible DIY-variation seems to be a trunk fashioned out of palettes. And before you scoff at the idea, take a good look at our 6th example picture!
Re-use Vintage Suitecases
Re-purposing old suitcases is a wonderful way of adding storage space to your bedroom in a unique way.
The good news: The only limit to the many ways of using vintage luggage is your imagination! We have seen night-stands, cupboards, book shelves, mini bars and much more made of old suitcases, and every single idea looked gorgeous.
The even better news: It’s one of the cheapest ways of creating a unique style without needing to cut back on practicability. There is a very good chance that you’re sitting on an as of yet untapped well of vintage treasures. Call your parents, your granny, your eccentric uncle, the lovely old lady looking after your cat while you’re away, or anybody else who you suspect of having a well-filled attic or basement. Chances are, that there are quite a few unused old suitcases lying around that nobody ever came around to taking to the landfill, and whose owners will happily part with. If your immediate family and friends don’t look promising, a trip to the next garage/yard sale or flea market may get you a good bargain as well.
As you can see in our example pictures above, there is very little work required to make old suitcases look good. Particularly if you happen to find luggage in good condition it’s simply a matter of coming up with a way to use it and where. More worn suitcases might require a bit of care and restoration, that is, if you don’t want to embrace the well-travelled look. Should you decide on using your finds as night-stand, cupboard, or open shelving, a little touch of DIY is required, but we’re sure that even the most all-thumbs person can add the required legs or boards with ease.
And finally, if your puppy or kitten needs a stylish bed that fits your interior design (and travels well, for that matter), just pad a suitably sized suitcase and enjoy your furry friend’s company!
Create Alternative Storage Space
In the end, there are as many ways of creating new, alternatives storage options, as creative ideas.
In the same order as displayed above, we can recommend:
The Bookshelf Headboard – Create storage in otherwise unused spaces by surrounding your bed with bookshelves big enough to house boxes and baskets.
The Slatted Headboard – This unusual headboard can (as so many other useful things) be found at IKEA. Here, two slatted headboards have been mounted over each other to create more space. The corresponding wooden boards can be mounted wherever you need them and open up storage for books, knick knack, magazines, and whatever else you want to have close at hand.
The Hanging Shelf – If you’re up to a little DIY, simply chose wooden planks of your preferred size (or various sizes), drill holes, and mount them from your ceiling or walls. Very little work for a great effect!
The Pegboard – Pegboards are probably the most versatile of all wall-mounted storage ideas. Whether you want to use pegs and hooks to create hanging storage, or you mount shelves, or combine the two, the choice is all yours! And should you need even more space, simply add a few more pegs and shelves.
The Ladder-Style Shelf – Ladder-style shelving is a particularly beautiful way of creating storage. Typically, these kind of shelves come with broader boards at the bottom and smaller ones on top. This makes it perfect for storing baskets or boxes just as much as displaying your nail-polish collection.
Stacked Wooden Boxes – Wooden boxes, in and of themselves, are a wonderful storage option. Their usually very bare, down-stripped look makes them a good fit with nearly all bedroom designs. By stacking them, you can create a wonderful, reduced storage space that looks equally well against a wall, as it is suitable to create a little divider wall, hiding those parts of your bedroom you don’t want to be seen at a first glance.
Wall-Mounted Wire Baskets – Wire baskets as a great way of easily creating storage space without having to resort to shelves or cupboards. Depending on size and the way you mount it (opening up or facing forward) they are perfect for storing everything from bed linen and unused blankets to magazines and little knick knack. If you don’t feel comfortable with baring the content to inspection, simply line a few baskets with a fabric of your chosing.
The Bookshelf Turned Seating Area – This idea is as simple as it is ingenious! Simply tip a sturdy (!) bookshelf sideways, outfit it with padding, and use the previous shelf-space for storage while you enjoy your new lounging area.
Hanging Baskets – Baskets of different sizes mounted to your bedroom wall offer endless storing possibilities. Store away everything from used clothes (simply leave one easily accessible hook to hang your laundry hamper!) to blankets, books, shoes, and whatever else needs to be tidied away.
Wicker Baskets – Analogous to the wall-mounted baskets, a few strategically placed wicker baskets of various sizes can create a wealth of storage space without having to clutter your walls. The absolute advantages of typical wicker baskets in comparison to their hanging counterparts are that you can go much bigger with floor baskets, making them perfect for storing your off-season clothes or duvets, and that many of the available options come with a lid.
These storage options are just the tip of the iceberg! Let yourself be inspired, get creative, and you can easily forego the traditional dresser and come up with stylish and very individual storage options instead!