Learn How to Make a Dresser That Doesn’t Take up Any Square Footage

5 Materials
3 Days

Do you want to learn how to make a dresser that doesn’t take up any square footage in your room? I have the answers here!

It started with an inspiration picture that I had in my idea binder for years. One cold January morning I pulled it out and had a chat with “Handy“.

My Inspiration picture that I found on Pinterest

As you all know, we live in a very small house. 1,300 square feet to be exact! I am always looking for ways to add storage to our home.

Our home is an A-Frame so there is space between the walls and our roof. Twenty-Two years ago we created a bump out on one side of our house. I discovered, at age 42, that I was pregnant again and “Handy” wouldn’t even consider moving. So we added 300 sq. ft., to the house with the bump out bringing us to that magic 1,300 sq., ft., number. Yes, four of us were living in 1,000 sq., ft., until then. This added much needed space to the tiny room that would soon house two girls and our bedroom gained some space and a walk-in closet.

We have built-ins in every single room and I’ve converted the space under my stairs into a pantry. You can read about that HERE. Now I wanted to use the space in the eaves of our roof to put a dresser into our bedroom. I had kids in both of the other bedrooms and my desk was in our room. I desperately needed space for my work supplies.

Here is my desk with some bookcases behind it.

This was a relatively easy project that was also very easy on the budget. We started with picking out some stock cabinets from Home Depo t. I opted for two 24″ cabinets with three drawers for each side and a 36″ cabinet with a drawer and two bottom doors for the center. Because I was pretty specific in that I wanted white cabinets and drawers we bought new. I see cabinets on FB Marketplace all the time and you can also make them work.

Once we had our sizes down, Handy cut a hole into the wall. Making sure he had enough space for the cabinets, framing and drywall. Once he opened the wall and framed it, he actually reworked some electrical so that I have a plug in the top area and also inside the middle cabinet. This certainly isn’t necessary but it’s a nice perk. Then he insulated, drywalled, taped, sanded and painted the opening. He slid in the cabinets and put baseboard across the bottom. At a local tile store we were able to get a really inexpensive cut-off of manufactured stone for the top. They cut it to size for us and it got caulked to the top of the cabinets. It was basically a weekend project.

My desk is no longer in our room. Now I use some of the space for sweatshirts but it also houses most of our family pictures and my camera equipment. I use two drawers for greeting cards and wrapping supplies. Another drawer has our travel supplies in it and another drawer is where our electronic extras live (extra chargers, headphones, plugs and power strips etc.)

Such a cheerful, useful space that doesn’t take up one inch of my floor space

I hope that this gives you an idea of what you can do with hidden spaces in your home.

We live in every inch of our home. I have a sign in my kitchen that says “Love Grows Best in A Small House”. Most days I completely agree with that and I wouldn’t have it any other way. However, I would be lying if I said there weren’t days when I long for double the space.

If you have more specific questions on how to build this dresser, please put it in comments below. We would be happy to give you more detail.

Happy DIY!

Suggested materials:

  • Stock Cabinets   (Home Depot)
  • Cut-off Counter Top   (Newport Designs)
  • Lumber   (Home Depot)
See all materials

Living Large in A Small House
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

Frequently asked questions

Have a question about this project?

3 of 5 questions
  • Charlene Morgan Charlene Morgan on Mar 11, 2021

    Do you suppose you could make the bottom draws even larger by extending them into the space behind the dresser by cutting the back of the dresser out?

  • Cathy T Cathy T on Mar 12, 2021

    Why isn’t your desk in your room now? Where did you move it to? Great use of space!

  • Nancy vlcek Nancy vlcek on Mar 13, 2021

    This is fantastic!!! But my fear is doing away with load bearing structures or walls? Have you found this to be a problem?


Join the conversation

3 of 31 comments
  • Linda Abate Linda Abate on Mar 12, 2021

    Our first home had built in drawers and they were awesome. Great place for storing items that are not used all the time. Also a way of gaining more floor space. Your wall unit is spectacular.

  • Clergylady Clergylady on Mar 31, 2021

    Beautiful. We live in a small home. Just under 900 sq ft. Storage is always a search. In the little laundry room I put a wire closet shelf above the doorway leading to the kitchen. Out of sight from the kitchen side. Same in the bathroom. A little shallow unused wall space in the bathroom has shelves just 4" deep now. Every inch helps. Instead of towel racks in the bathroom I put up antique drawer fronts with knobs intact to hold wet towels by the shower. I added a medicine cabinet on either side of the bathroom sink and a big framed mirror above the sink. On the back of the door in the bathroom is a metal towel rack because I need the cabinets for other items. A travel organizer holds hair brush, combs et on the shower door. I have another shelf to put up over the back door. By carefully arranging furniture I'd created a desk and sewing area in a bedroom corner. About the only possible way to store more wouId be to cut shelves into the walls between studs on the few inner walls. Congratulations on an innovative, pretty, solution to the storage need.

    • Ellis Ellis on Apr 11, 2021

      One of my past houses had a built-in hamper in the bathroom, between two studs, so it protruded only a few inches out from the wall. I was amazed to find out those hampers, made of steel or aluminum, are still sold, since the house had been built in 1950.