5 Space-Saving Cabinet Solutions for a Tiny Apartment

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LifeEdited tiny home graphic

Graphic: LifeEdited.

In the tiny home, smart storage is a must. Hiding life's necessities behind sleek cabinetry often makes a space appear larger -- and makes living organized and clutter-free.

So cabinets and hanging closets are integral the design of Graham Hill's LifeEdited apartment renovation project in Manhattan.

Is it a surprise that a search for affordable cabinets with a sleek, minimalist approach and versatility in sizes leads us to none other than IKEA? We also have four other savvy solutions. Seen something better? Let us know in the comments.

1. IKEA Pax Shelving

IKEA Pax shelving photo

There's a reason people turn to IKEA Pax cabinets -- they are versatile, relatively inexpensive, and fairly easy to install. Oh yeah, and flatpack.

For Graham's LifeEdited space, shelving is everywhere in a variety of forms, but the ability to mix different sized units makes Pax a winner. Luckily, IKEA's green credentials are not too shabby. IKEA's MDF and particle board is made to German standards for off-gassing, VOC's are low, and there's no formaldehyde.

Pros: Price. Each double set of sliding Lyngdal doors costs $300. Shelving innards without shelves runs about $200.

Cons: Can be slightly rickety if not installed properly, doesn't have quite the sleekness of some Italian designs (see below).

Price: Around $900 for this unit with all of its shelves and extras.

2. ZBoard From Way Basics

Assembly : Building with zBoards from Way Basics on Vimeo.This aptly named building materials company has a no-frills approach to design, meaning ZBoard "cubes" may not be as sleek as the LifeEdited apartment requires. They also have no doors, which doesn't fit with current design specs.However, ZBoard shelving may just come in handy for those last minute shelving needs inside cabinets and behind shelving unit doors. And Zboard's green credentials are impeccable. Also flatpack friendly!Pros: Very versatile shelf materials are made from recycled paper, without VOC's or formaldehyde. The shelving sticks together via 3M's double-sided adhesive. Supremely affordable.Cons: No doors, minimalistic design.Price: Around $20 per storage cube.

3. Henrybuilt

Henrybuilt cabinets and shelving unit photo

These are custom-built cabinet and shelving units, and it shows. Henrybuilt aims to merge the European modular kitchen systems idea with custom cabinet-making skill. In materials such as oak and walnut, these cabinets are built to last.Henrybuilt uses a "high percentage" of FSC-certified woods, and sources bamboo and FSC-certified birch veneer for laminates.Pros: The custom aspect would allow the LifeEdited space to be filled with an assortment of storage and cabinet units most suited to the floor plan.Cons: Price, and perhaps timing. The company is also in Seattle, not close to the LifeEdited apartment.Price: Custom by quote request.

4. Albed Vista Moving Shelving

Albed Vista moving shelving photo

The beauty and inventiveness of this Albed moving shelving is matched by its exclusiveness. It's so exclusive, in fact, you can't even get a quote unless you are a professional designer.Albed may not work for LifeEdited, but it is a partitioning design system fantastically well-suited for a tiny home, with lots of accessories that help in closing or opening segments of a room when needed.Pros: Made from aluminum and wood, this product is exactly the design aesthetic LifeEdited is seeking.Cons: It's the ultimate high-end version of cabinetry, but has little to no green credentials.

5. M8 Cabinetry

M8 Living Room cabinets and shelves photo

M8 cabinetry has a number of green features. The cabinets themselves are made from Arreis -- a trademarked MDF building product that is 100% post-consumer recycled waste, with no formaldehyde.In addition, the company is designing a system for shipping so that packaging can be reused. Best of all, M8 cabinetry is designed to be updated -- so fronts can be shipped back to the company for recycling and new M8 door fronts installed.Pros: With the LifeEdited aesthetic, M2 cabinets have an added advantage in that they can later be recycled and replaced with new fronts.Cons: More expensive than an IKEA option, and also on the West Coast.Price: Since they are custom, depends on the request.