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4 Unconventional Storage Ideas to Steal from a Sculptor’s House in Maine

DIY Clothes Rack Closet in Soot House by Anthony Esteves, Photo by Greta Rybus

Recently we’ve been admiring the Soot House, a charred-black structure on Spruce Head in Maine, hand-built by sculptor turned builder Anthony Esteves. The interiors are artful and sculptural (take a full tour on Remodelista), but we’re admiring in particular Esteves’s clever takes on storage. At just under 600 square feet, and designed with tightness and warmth in mind, the project required inventive found storage and artful built-ins to accommodate Esteves and his young family. Here are our four favorite ideas to steal.

Photography by Greta Rybus.

1. Use shelves as multitaskers.

Soot House Kitchen Shelves by Anthony Esteves on Spruce Head in Maine, Photo by Greta Rybus
Above: In a small space, apartment, or open living area, use shelves to create a sense of separation as well as extra storage. To create division between the main living/dining room and the kitchen (but ensure that heat from the woodstove, the home’s sole heat source, could circulate freely), Esteves built exposed shelves that double as a place to display favorite ceramics and objects.

2. Look for unused spaces.

Soot House Wood Stove by Anthony Esteves on Spruce Head in Maine, Photo by Greta Rybus
Above: Carve out storage in unexpected places. In building the Soot House, Esteves noticed unused space in the sunken kitchen, underneath the living/dining room floor, and created a recessed niche just deep enough for jars of spices and dry goods.
Soot House Kitchen Shelves by Anthony Esteves on Spruce Head in Maine, Photo by Greta Rybus
Above: The niche is only one jar deep, allowing all of the dried goods to be viewed and grabbed with ease. The family also stashes out-of-season clothes and bedding in hidden storage beneath the floor.

3. Repurpose unexpected objects.

Soot House Bedroom by Anthony Esteves on Spruce Head in Maine, Photo by Greta Rybus
Above: Upstairs, Esteves uses simple cinderblocks as bedside tables. We like the way the open center forms a second shelf for storing books.

4. Think creatively about awkward spaces.

DIY Clothes Rack Closet in Soot House by Anthony Esteves, Photo by Greta Rybus
Above: In the bedroom, Esteves installed copper pipes suspended with ropes to serve as clothing storage. The result is a quasi-closet that is both artful and practical, and that transforms an awkward small space (under the room’s steeply sloped eaves) into something useful.

N.B.: This post is an update; it was first published on November 16, 2017.

For more ideas to steal from inspiring organized homes, see:

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