If you want to (affordably) escape to an amazing city, renting a tiny Airbnb might be your best bet to get the perfect location. And one of my favorite things about staying in an Airbnb, especially one that’s someone’s home that they rent out versus one that’s really working as a hotel, is seeing the clever tricks they use to make living in teeny spaces work out.
While we don’t usually recommend stealing from Airbnbs (that’s wrong! And illegal!), here are some brilliant small-space ideas you should take from tiny Airbnbs all over the world.
1. Hang racks.
Stainless steel racks do all the work in this minuscule Italian kitchenette with no other storage space. On it, bins hold dry goods, buckets hang cutlery, and a dish rack is cleverly mounted above the sink for storage and a drying spot.
2. Stick with mini appliances.
This one-wall kitchenette in Madrid, Spain is only about 10 feet wide, but somehow the owners have managed to fit a fridge, stove, microwave, and washing machine in the space! The key: Choosing teeny-tiny appliances. Right-sizing the bulky stuff leaves as much space as possible for storage.
3. Keep things light and bright.
Does this kitchen look big? It’s actually not! It’s just that the super-streamlined cabinets and shelves in this Barcelona, Spain apartment make it look that way. Shiny surfaces reflect light and inset handles create zero visual clutter.
4. Try open shelves.
The opposite of bulky kitchen cabinets? Cool open shelves like the ones in this Budapest, Hungary apartment. Because shelves let your eye travel all the way to the wall, it makes the room feel more spacious. And because the homeowners stuck with an airy, mostly white-and-clear display, the room doesn’t feel too cluttered. Another trick to steal: Using a few extra inches of wall space for the magnetic knife rack.
5. Hang things wherever you can.
In this Paris, France apartment, no one worries about things looking out of place. If a cutting board and some tools have to go on the wall, there they will go! An extra shelf and hook fit in seamlessly with the decor as well.
6. Carve out shelf space.
In this sunny flat in Split, Croatia, the homeowners retrofitted a nook that previously housed a stove’s vent fan with shelves to add a few more feet of pretty storage space. You could do something similar between the studs in your wall.
7. Hang L-shaped shelves.
Inspired by the antique sideboard, the homeowner of this Dublin, Ireland flat built in as much shelf space as possible — without overcrowding the space — to turn this wall into a more functional kitchenette. L-shaped shelves in the corners maximize the space.
8. Turn a bookshelf into a pantry.
In this micro apartment in Athens, Greece, the kitchen is only a few feet wide, so the homeowner created a pantry in the adjoining space by building in shelving that works with the rest of the decor in the bedroom.
9. Add under-cabinet hooks.
This cute Cape Town, South Africa apartment added storage in one of our favorite places: under the cabinets! Little hooks add storage for oven mitts, pans, and more.
10. Get a rolling cart.
A cart on wheels can come in handy when your kitchen is also your living room — like in this Minsk apartment. Tuck it in a corner or in a closet and pull it over when you need it.
Have you stayed anywhere extra tiny recently? Did you take home any smart ideas?