6 Brilliant Storage Ideas to Steal From the Real Simple Home

From the fridge to the closet, clever storage makes everything more organized.

When you step into a beautiful home, the initial features you see only account for half of the genius design. It's all those hidden elements and under-the-radar organizers that really make the difference between a house that's pretty to look at and a house that's a dream to live in. The 2022 Real Simple Home, located in the Rosemary Beach community in Walton County, Fla., is a great example of this. With bright colors and bold prints meeting cozy, warm materials, the coastal house is immediately charming and inviting—but the smart storage ideas integrated throughout the home take it to the next level.

Closet painted green
Christopher Testani

Discover our favorite storage ideas from every room in the 2022 Real Simple Home, below. Then go ahead and borrow these ideas for your own home.

Christopher Testani

Under-the-Stairs Credenza

The space underneath the stairs is often underutilized—and understandably so. It's an awkwardly shaped area that's typically too small to treat like a standalone room, but too big to ignore. On the second-floor landing of the Real Simple Home, our senior home editor Leslie Corona gave the under-the-stairs area special attention, converting it from wasted space to a functional and attractive nook. A two-door cabinet provides storage for overflow items—like extra blankets, towels, and board games—and the triangular wall got a makeover with palm-leaf peel-and-stick wallpaper. A few more touches, including a framed art print, a table lamp, and a stool that can be pulled out as needed, help give the space a finished and intentional look.

Christopher Testani

Beds With Built-In Storage

Furniture with built-in storage is one of the best ways to maximize space in an unusually shaped room. Because the bunk room has limited square footage and a low-sloped ceiling, it didn't allow for much vertical furniture (or much furniture at all). Interior designer Kelly Finley of Joy Street Design made sure the beds could work overtime by providing additional storage space. A pull-out trundle bed fits below each sleep spot. "This is a great way to add room for extra guests, that can also be tucked away when not needed," Kelly explains. "We also have a built-in desk, which becomes a store-away space for the ottomans," she says. Bake storage right into your design plan to keep even kids' rooms tidy.

Christopher Testani

Clear Labeled Fridge Bins

A messy fridge isn't just an eyesore, but it can also contribute to food waste. If you've ever cleaned out your fridge and discovered wilting produce or an expired carton that was hiding out of sight, then you understand. In the 2022 Real Simple Home, The Home Edit organized the fridge by sorting like items into clear bins. That way, everything is visible, easy to access, and photo-ready.

Christopher Testani

Wine Storage Racks

Unlike your seltzers and sodas, which are best tucked away in the pantry or fridge, wine can look great on display and double as a design element. However, you might not have the space to dedicate an entire cabinet or tabletop rack to storing your bottles. In the dining room designed by Gina Gutierrez, floating wine shelves (similar to this option spotted on Etsy) are a great solution. Instead of taking up floor or counter space, they make use of a blank wall without getting in the way.

Christopher Testani

Storage Ottoman

The loft area in the Real Simple Home, another area designed by Kelly, is a communal space dedicated to sitting around and relaxing—but the designer didn't miss an opportunity for storage. The central ottoman from Skyline Furniture, which functions as both a coffee table and a cozy landing to elevate your feet, opens up to provide storage for pillows and throws, or whatever else might be needed to facilitate a cozy hangout.

Christopher Testani

Built-In Display Shelves for Shoes

Most of us don't have space for a Carrie-Bradshaw-level walk-in closet or a suite-sized room dedicated to accessory storage. But there are still ways to work a little glamour into a more modest closet. The closet in the primary suite, designed by Clara Jung of Banner Day Interiors, has built-in shelves to neatly stack and store your favorite flats, sneakers, heels, or dress shoes. Not only does this keep your shoes from piling up on the floor, but it also puts them on display, helping you see some of your favorite options at eye level and giving you a taste of that celebrity closet experience. Painting the shelves, closet rod, and trim the same color (Clara opted for Flora by Valspar) helps create the look of a custom closet.

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