4 Clever Ways to Put Your Walls to Work

Along with displaying art, they can function as an annex pantry, a garden, even a jungle gym. Try these creative ways to cure your home’s clutter hang-ups.

Let yourself pare down before you configure the walls, says Anne Karp, who shares this Brooklyn home featured in the photos below with her husband, Aaron, and their daughters, Johnna, two, and Ruby, six months. “Donating a big chunk of stuff and reducing what we were bringing in made our home more calming,” she says. “We wanted to feel like we were living here, not just storing things. It’s so much easier having less to pick up.”


Use a Ledge as a Mini Mantel

Photo by Matthew Williams

Up top: There’s room for more than frames if you use bulldog clips to add cards and kids’ art. Switch up the display seasonally, hanging a festive garland in winter.


Try a Vertical Garden

Photo by Matthew Williams

Instead of crowding the windowsill, Anne placed plants on easy-to-mount shelves. (Ekby Osten shelves, from $7 each, ikea.com; antique zinc brackets for a similar look, $20 for two, worldmarket.com.)


Maximize a Kitchen Corner

Photo by Matthew Williams

An awkward nook can be a blessing in disguise. Adding slim Ekby Jarpen shelves ($17 each, ikea.com) to this one turned it into Aaron’s sacred space. “Baking is his digital detox. He uses this spot as a hideaway for his supplies,” says Anne. On the other wall, an Ikea combo—Ekby Osten shelves, plus Sektion kitchen cabinets and Ringhult doors—acts as a mealtime station, with dishes up top and bottle parts and other baby gear below.


Max Out a Laundry Closet

Photo by Matthew Williams

Wall-to-wall cabinetry helps the family utilize every inch of space. What looks like a graphic grid—set off by cheeky Sissy + Marley wallpaper—is actually a modular system of four Sektion cabinet frames, each with shelving inside and multiple Veddinge doors, all from Ikea. “We needed cabinets, not open shelves, because this is where we hide the stuff we don’t want people to see: extra diapers, shampoo, toolboxes,” says Anne. “It’s the equivalent of a suburban garage.”