20 Incredible Small-Space Inventions You Haven't Seen Yet

This story was originally published on May 14, 2015.

Living in a small space comes with a host of design challenges, chief among them storage and organization. Throw a sloppy roommate or two into the mix and you've got a recipe for stress — and worse — a messy apartment. What's a person to do?

Kikkerland Design just might have the answer. The independent retailer partnered with Bed Bath & Beyond to host its seventh annual design challenge, encouraging young designers to create innovative products meant to solve some of these familiar problems. Students from School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Cranbrook Academy of Art, and Rochester Institute of Technology submitted more than 100 original ideas, and the results are sure to inspire an "a-ha!" moment.

Click through to see our favorites before they make their debut during New York Design Week, and get your own creative juices flowing.
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Photo: Courtesy of Kikkerland / Bed Bath & Beyond.
The Clock Cabinet by Linda Deng
"One of the most prominent problems with living in small quarters is privacy, especially when sharing space," Deng notes. "I wanted to solve for the issue of hygiene and health privacy."
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Photo: Courtesy of Kikkerland / Bed Bath & Beyond.
"The clock cabinet [allows for the] discreet storage of medications in a central location." It's also a great hiding spot for jewelry.
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Photo: Courtesy of Kikkerland / Bed Bath & Beyond.
Jewelry Wheel by Linda Deng
"I was trying to solve for the inevitable event of missing earrings," Deng says. "Many of my classmates and I have often experienced losing or misplacing earrings, especially small studs. There were not many variations of earring storage solutions on the market."
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Photo: Courtesy of Kikkerland / Bed Bath & Beyond.
The Hoop & Hang by Jane Lim
"The Hoop and Hang design is centered on trying to recreate that nostalgic feeling of dressing up and playing pretend," Lim says. "With limited closet space, keeping multiple pieces of clothing together on the same hanger is a common habit and solution. However, your regular hanger is not made to accommodate a cute dress with your favorite blazer and scarf — keeping you from completing your perfect #OOTD."
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Photo: Courtesy of Kikkerland / Bed Bath & Beyond.
The Hoop & Hang by Jane Lim
"The Hoop and Hang is great for hanging multiple pieces of clothing together while efficiently utilizing limited closet space. I’m sure all the Carrie Bradshaws of the world would agree!"
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Photo: Courtesy of Kikkerland / Bed Bath & Beyond.
Spout by Nina Cho
"I was interested in cleanliness for the sink," Cho says. "People don’t have time to clean their soap dish or toothbrush holder [and] both easily trap water and don’t drain well...it’s a simple solution with intuitive functionality."
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Photo: Courtesy of Kikkerland / Bed Bath & Beyond.
Bath Towel Hanger by Ayako Aratani
"In comparison to hand towels, which are hung on a small rod, bath towels need a width of about 27 to 30 inches [to dry properly]. I like the simple structure and minimal form."
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Photo: Courtesy of Kikkerland / Bed Bath & Beyond.
Bath Towel Hanger by Ayako Aratani
The hanger folds upright to save space when not in use.
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Photo: Courtesy of Kikkerland / Bed Bath & Beyond.
Shelving by Ayako Aratani
Aratani also designed a wall plate shelf, so that phones have a natural resting perch when being charged.
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Photo: Courtesy of Kikkerland / Bed Bath & Beyond.
Door Belt by Holly Neel
"My DoorBelt design takes the guesswork out of buying an over-the-door storage product. It will fit any size door, it won’t leave behind damage, and it will support a reasonable amount of weight," Neel says.
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Photo: Courtesy of Kikkerland / Bed Bath & Beyond.
Grab & Go Carry All by Bud Nitaya
Nitaya's bamboo storage system design is divided into two parts that can store loose change, keys, and credit cards, and is conveniently mobile thanks to a leather strap.
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Photo: Courtesy of Kikkerland / Bed Bath & Beyond.
Cube Container by Yizhou Chen
"I think the biggest problem for small spaces is how to organize things," says designer Chen. "[I wanted] to design a container that can store lots of stuff and at the same time save space." Geared toward students in shared living spaces, this geometric container can be placed over your showerhead and folded up to keep items stored inside (like clothing) from getting wet.
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Photo: Courtesy of Kikkerland / Bed Bath & Beyond.
Hashtag by Gokce Guvenc
"Storage is really important with small spaces," Guvenc notes. "Everything tends to get messy faster if there isn't enough room or if the storage is not planned wisely. A design attached to a wall or hanging from the ceiling rather than having everything on the floor was my starting point. I like how fun this design is [and how it] talks about our generation and [how] social media is a part of us now."
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Photo: Courtesy of Kikkerland / Bed Bath & Beyond.
Hanging Facades by Brian Keyes
"Utilizing the universal closet bar to create semi-private storage is the goal," says designer Keyes. "Multiple Hanging Facades side by side create a global city block inside any closet. It carries world travel right into the confines of [your small space]. The potential to grow your closet city is endless."
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Photo: Courtesy of Kikkerland / Bed Bath & Beyond.
The Iconic Hanger by Keenan Rowe
"I was trying to create a humorous and unexpected way to display clothing," designer Rowe says. "[I wanted it to be] functional and simply made."
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Photo: Courtesy of Kikkerland / Bed Bath & Beyond.
Rise & Shine Mirror by Lu Liu
Liu's hanging mirror with a built-in storage shelf is inspired by the circle of life. "The outline of the mirror looks like the rising sun," the designer says.
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Photo: Courtesy of Kikkerland / Bed Bath & Beyond.
Boot Tray by Chester Ong
"Having lived in shared dorms during college in California and Japan, and apartments in Chicago, I’ve dealt with these issues of small-space living for much of my life," Ong says. "I wanted to design a boot tray that had more thought behind it rather than the typical homogenous ugly black tray...[the design] references what it would look like if you left a bunch of snow-covered boots on the floor of your apartment."
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Photo: Courtesy of Kikkerland / Bed Bath & Beyond.
Cork Board Bricks by Hannah Vaughan
A simple, practical alternative to a conventional cork board, these cork bricks can be arranged any which way. They adhere using double-stick tape that won't mess up the walls.
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Photo: Courtesy of Kikkerland / Bed Bath & Beyond.
Power Book by Jeff Sprague
"The desk acts as a catchall and is often not conducive to work on, [with] cords running everywhere," says Sprague. "I set out to provide some level of organization; my design organizes these cords and helps to free the desk for work." Sprague's design blends into the "deskscape" while disguising a power strip and cords within.
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Photo: Courtesy of Kikkerland / Bed Bath & Beyond.
Roast Suckling Pig Pencil Sharpener by Robin Chen
"I tried to design something that can make people smile," designer Chen says. "My favorite part is when people use it and laugh." The pencil shavings are stored in the pig's stomach, which is easy to clean.
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Photo: Courtesy of Kikkerland / Bed Bath & Beyond.
Festive Storage by Alice Gong
"I started this project trying to find new ways to store objects within a shower or bathroom setting, and played with the idea of creating hooks and pouches to attach to shower curtain rings," says Gong. "After I decided to focus on making the flags, I realized that these objects didn't have to be limited in what they could hold or where they could be used. In the end, the design was about making the function of the product as versatile as possible."
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Photo: Courtesy of Kikkerland / Bed Bath & Beyond.
Wall Pockets by Audrey Kirk
"Small spaces become cluttered very easily," Kirk says. "Almost every surface doubles as storage. The intention of Wall Pockets is to create a place for small items that are usually just lying around. They make use of the wall, disguising function as decoration. Pockets are a classic means of storage...jeans have them — and so could the wall!"
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Photo: Courtesy of Kikkerland / Bed Bath & Beyond.
The Watchtower by Alex Reding
"I was trying to solve a few problems with my design: a way to store one's watches, bracelets, and other jewelry while saving space [and accounting for] the fact that it's jewelry, so naturally people want to see it and show it off," Reding says.
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