The Small-Space Decorator’s Guide to Displaying Accessories

How to transform your favorite pieces from clutter to decor.

Photography by Cody Guilfoyle

They say you can never have too many accessories… but you can, you definitely can. Especially when you live in a 500-square-foot apartment and have converted your oven into a makeshift shoe rack in the name of increased closet space. Vintage sunnies and fabulous straw bags are all well and good, but what’s a gal to do when her accessory collection is in imminent danger of executing a hostile takeover on her home?

Turn it into decor, that’s what. When your storage can double as a design statement, it truly is the best of both worlds. The good news is, you can DIY a lot of these display solutions, which will save you money and allow for a customized feel. Read on for some of our favorite ways to store accessories in style.

Photography by Nicki Sebastian
 

Bags

Large collections of totes are typically either shoved away in some catch-all (usually, another tote) or thrown together haphazardly on an over-the-door hanger. And while this may work in terms of logistics, you didn’t buy those expensive purses or pay the extra luggage fee to bring vintage bags back from your holiday only to have them be an afterthought. Take a page from Beth Katz’s beautiful home and opt for an artful hook rack you can use in place of photos to fill up wall space.

If you’re looking for something more luxe and ornate, check out this gilded gold version from Anthropologie ($148). For something simple (and more budget-friendly), opt for a clean wooden Scandinavian version like this Iris Hantverk piece ($25).

Photography by Amelia Lawrence
 

Sunglasses

For the DIY-friendly, here’s a weekend project to add to your to-do list. It may look a bit more involved than your standard decor hack but this sunglass display DIY by Amelia Lawrence has easy-to-follow instructions and is a genius way to store your favorite sunnies. Simply adjust the size of the box and dimensions to suit your collection, and you’ll have a functional wall hanging in no time.

Alternatively, go the floating shelf route with some basic shelves you can paint to blend in with your walls or coat with a vibrant hue for some contrast. For a cheaper shelving solution, our social media editor recommends heading to a hardware store like Lowe’s or The Home Depot to pick up basic wood slats and cheap brackets, rather than buying something pre-made. Need some inspo? The monochrome blush hue of this sunglass display is all kinds of dreamy.

Photography by Cody Guilfoyle

Scarves

This works equally well for scarves and smaller accessories in general… including boxing gloves, if you’re as much of a badass as stylist Miranda Starcevic—this photo was taken in her Brooklyn apartment! All you need is a pegboard; Ikea’s Skådis board ($17.99) comes with built-in containers for tiny trinkets. Then pick up some inexpensive metal hooks, with which to hang the colorful scarves you use regularly, for a rainbow-saturated wall hanging.

Photography by Jenny Gage + Tom Betterton
 

Hats

Notoriously difficult to pack and seriously bulky when shoved into an already-tiny closet, big hats can be a pain and a half to organize. The beauty of a hat wall, like this one in designer Aurora James’ apartment, is that you can totally customize the silhouette of your hooks. Go streamlined by hanging them in a neat row or column, or opt for an asymmetrical zigzag shape for more of a visual punch. Pick up a set of wall hooks and get started for a low-lift project sure to solve some of your storage woes.

Courtesy of Etsy
 

Clothes


If you’re not one for accessories but have an overflow of funky blazers and beautiful coats (a nice problem to have), don’t keep them hidden. Investing in a more upscale clothing rack will do wonders for both freeing up wardrobe real estate and adding interest and personality to an empty corner. If Casey Zhang, a Brooklyn-based creative strategist whose apartment is basically a case study in minimalism, can make it work, so can anyone. Urban Outfitters’ sleek Wooden Clothing Rack ($99) has room for both hangers and shoes.

Conversely, those with high ceilings should consider a more out of the box idea—like a hanging branch clothing rack. Bring in a natural touch with a rustic hanger like this Etsy piece ($95.62). If you consider yourself a bit of a bohemian design fiend, this one’s for you.

See more storage ideas worth copying:
Our Favorite Kitchens All Have This in Common
Where to Put Your Stuff When You Don’t Have Room for a Dresser
9 Inventive Trunks Perfect for Small Spaces

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Published on August 06, 2018 - 2:00pm EDT

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