Innovative Design Ideas for Everyday Items

By Jake Schroeder
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Photo Courtesy: Surpars House/Amazon

While most furniture and household goods you can buy in a store remain more or less the same year after year, some people aren’t satisfied with the status quo. They see common items and seek to make them more.

Whether it’s in style or function, the items on this list take the ordinary and make it extraordinary. The clever innovations on this list can completely change life at home.

Two for One

Style and function don’t have to be in opposition, and nowhere is that more apparent than in sleek convertible furniture items like this one. This unassuming coffee table has a liftable top that can convert into a desk or table.

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Photo Courtesy: Tankula/Amazon

If you’re working with a small room, convertible furniture can help you avoid cluttering it while simultaneously making that space more functional. Importantly, many such convertibles also look good in their own right, so you don’t have to sacrifice style to get that extra bit of comfort.

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Wake Up and Smell the Coffee

Do you ever find yourself struggling to get out of bed in the morning? Of course you do; we've all been there. That's why someone out there invented this brilliant alarm clock to give you a reason to sling back those toasty covers.

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Photo Courtesy: Barisieur/Amazon

Not only does it alert you when it's time to awaken, but it also automatically starts brewing a fresh pot of your favorite coffee or tea. You can even enjoy a cup in bed if you need a little extra help convincing your feet to hit the floor.

Terrarium End Table

Aren't succulents the best? No matter how many other plants you manage to kill, a trusty cactus will always remain to assure you that the other plants were just wimps. Bring your love of succulents inside with a cool see-through side table.

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Photo Courtesy: D'eco/Amazon

All you need is a glass side table with a hollow top and you can create your own indoor terrarium. Fill it full of your favorite succulents or other mementos and you'll have a creative conversation starter. When it comes to watering, just keep a spray bottle handy.

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This Countertop Dishwasher

Do you live in an apartment that you've convinced yourself is far too small to ever house a dishwasher? Your assumptions are about to shatter in all the best ways. It turns out that they now make countertop dishwashers that are perfect for apartment dwellers everywhere.

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Photo Courtesy: Homelabs/Amazon

This little guy measures in at 17.2 by 19.6 by 21.6 inches and can wash up to six standard plates at a time. Just load your dishes, push a few easy buttons and toss that old dishwashing sponge for good.

Wall Bridges for Your Cats

If you’re an unashamed cat lover, why not make your house a lot more fun for your purr-babies? After all, life can get a little boring for indoor kitties who take out their climbing instincts on your Christmas tree.

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Photo Courtesy: Catestrophic Creations/Amazon

There's a great company called Catastrophic Creations that can help make your walls into your cat's personal playground. They sell tiny bridges, climbing shelves and cat-sized hammocks that you can mount to your wall for your cats to enjoy. They certainly sound more interesting than a traditional cat tree.

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This Shamelessly Huge Beanbag Chair

Remember how much you loved bean bag chairs when you were a kid? Nothing was more fun than sinking back into a big nylon sack and shifting around until it conformed to the perfect shape. It seems that there's no longer a need to leave such fond memories in the past.

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Photo Courtesy: Chill Bag/Amazon

Now they make these gloriously huge bean bag chairs for adults. Rather than the styrofoam balls of yore, they're filled with shredded memory foam for extra comfort. How great would this thing be to sink into after a hard day at the office?

Fold Down an Extra Desk

We've all heard of fold-down beds, but now it seems that you can get all kinds of cool fold-down furniture. Among the most convenient has to be this fold-down table. When it's closed, it just looks like a small cabinet space where you could store food or office supplies.

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Photo Courtesy: Tangkula/Amazon

When you fold it down, you've got a table for two, a desk, or an extra cooking space in your kitchen. If you're looking to conserve space, you'll likely be pleasantly surprised at all the products out there that have got your back.

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Boast-Worthy Bookshelves

When it comes to adding flavor to a room, nothing does the trick quicker than great shelving. The cool thing about shelves is that they come in all sorts of styles, from floor to ceiling bookshelves to conveniently compact wall shelving.

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Photo Courtesy: WGX Design For You/Amazon

Don't be afraid to get a little creative when choosing the right shelves for you. These industrial shelves, for instance, take up hardly any space at all but are interesting enough to bring a whole new feel to the room. Use them for books, storage, or other fun decorations.

This One-Stop Breakfast Shop

If you love a great breakfast but hate clean-up, then it's time to get compact. This cool breakfast station includes everything you need to make an awesome breakfast without having to walk all over the kitchen.

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Photo Courtesy: Nostalgia/Amazon

It can make up to four cups of coffee and toast four pieces of bread at a time, all while you're busy cooking eggs on the non-stick griddle. It's also a great item to take on a camping trip or to a hotel where the breakfast isn’t worth waking up early for.

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The Other Side of the Mirror

If you love your jewelry but hate trying to untangle your necklaces every time you open your jewelry box, then worry no more. A surprising number of companies are now selling these fun, standing-length mirrors that contain a hidden jewelry storage compartment inside.

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Photo Courtesy: Langria/Amazon

Behind the mirror, you'll find plenty of shelving, rods and ring slots for all your favorite accessories. The hidden compartments also lend a fun sense of sneakiness to the entire thing. Who knows? Maybe you'll even outsmart a thief someday by having your jewelry cleverly stashed out of sight.

Go Faux

You know those cold winter nights when you sometimes wish you could snuggle around a fireplace with a cup of cocoa? Well, there may be a way to bring your dream to life without moving or having a chimney built into your wall.

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Photo Courtesy: Ameriwood Home/Amazon

Now there are these faux fireplaces, some of which even come right in the middle of a handy TV stand. The coolest part about them is that they are actually heaters and will warm a room pretty effectively while the cool little digital flames mimic the real thing.

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Four Pieces in One

If you love to put your space to good use, then look no further than this cool contraption. If you fold the sides all the way down, you've got a nice ottoman. Fold one down and the other up, and it turns into a lounge chair.

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Photo Courtesy: Vonanda/Amazon

You can even fold out the sides to be the same height as the middle and enjoy a great sofa or bed. Say goodbye to that lumpy fold-out couch, because this thing looks way more comfortable and convenient.

This C-Shaped Pillow

This huge, C-shaped pillow is technically supposed to be for pregnant women. Our advice, however, is to proceed with absolutely no regard for this detail. It looks delightful, whether you happen to currently be with child or not.

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Photo Courtesy: Queen Rose/Amazon

It's made of 100 percent velvet and can be positioned in all sorts of comfy ways to help you sleep or relax. You can sink into it as you watch TV in bed, prop a leg over it when you're trying to sleep or even fold it up and prop your feet on it.

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Rotating Coffee Table

Hate taking up half of your living room with a huge coffee table? Then check out this rotating coffee table. This solid wood table is made with your ever-shifting needs in mind. When you're looking to keep things compact, you can maneuver all three pieces to stack on top of each other.

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Photo Courtesy: Christopher Knight Home/Amazon

If you're looking to add a bit more surface space, you can rotate the top two pieces in any direction to instantly make it longer. This can be especially convenient when you have guests over or just want to lie on the couch all day.

Deluxe Dish Drying Rack

If you're looking to free up some room in your kitchen, then an over-the-sink dish drying rack can be a real boon. You can find them online or in stores in plenty of different sizes, shapes and styles. Some fit over one end of your sink, while others are positioned so that you can hang dishes a few feet above it.

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Photo Courtesy: Pusdon/Amazon

Some of them even have space for chopping boards and hooks where you can hang your utensils. You'll help save space on your kitchen counter and enjoy extra storage for dishes even after they're dry.

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The Transforming Table

Convertible furniture comes to the rescue again! At first glance, this looks to be a straightforward industrial bookshelf. Indeed it can serve this purpose and display books, photos,or other trinkets as long as it remains positioned upright.

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Photo Courtesy: Imax/Amazon

Take everything off and pull the top down, however, and it will even out to make a nice table. It's perfect for entertaining guests in a studio apartment or having a make-shift conference table on hand in your office. Even if you've got a nice roomy dining table, it never hurts to have a spare!

Let Your Toilet Light Your Path

This one is a mixture of a hilarious concept and a legit accessory that can prove quite useful. It seems that these days, there are plenty of companies out there who offer motion detecting night lights for toilets. They come in all sorts of different neon colors and can be hooked right to the inside of your commode.

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Photo Courtesy: Zezhou/Amazon

When they sense someone approaching, they'll automatically illuminate your loo. You have to admit, it would be nice to be able to find your way to the toilet at night without grappling around in the dark.

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Turn Any Night Into a Starry One

If you love the idea of sleeping out under the stars but aren't so keen on twigs beneath your sleeping bag, then a star projector is a nice compromise. These laser projectors can instantly infuse any room with a magical vibe by casting stars and nebula clouds along the walls and ceiling.

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Photo Courtesy: Blisslights/Amazon

Looking to set the mood for a romantic night by the fireplace? A starlight projector has you covered. It's also a cool way to relax in the tub or a meditation room, and it makes for the world's coolest night light for a kid.

Hidden Compartment Storage Bed

There are all kinds of beds on the market, but some of them come with innovative perks. The frames of storage beds lift up to reveal a huge amount of storage space for extra blankets, linens or anything else you'd like to keep safely stowed away.

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Photo Courtesy: DHP/Amazon

They can also make for a great hiding spot for valuables. What thief thinks to lift up your entire bed frame? Best of all, there's no heavy lifting involved. Most storage beds come equipped with lifting mechanisms that make accessing your storage space a breeze.

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The Burrito Blanket

Have you ever wished you could wrap yourself up as tight as a burrito on a cold winter's night? Well, now you can. This hysterical burrito blanket is made of freakishly soft fleece that's designed to look just like a giant tortilla shell.

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Photo Courtesy: Casofu/Amazon

You can choose from a variety of sizes or even select a pizza design if you'd prefer to wrap up like a pizza pocket. They may not be traditional, but if you enjoy being toasty warm and also a bit ridiculous, it’s hard to beat these blankets.

World's Handiest Coaster

Never nag your guests, spouse or kids about remembering to use a coaster again! Now all you need is a set of these handy couch coasters. They're designed to fit right around the arm of any sofa, recliner or armchair.

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Photo Courtesy: Coachcoaster/Amazon

You can move them around from seat to seat or stow them away all together when your living room is drink-free. Not only will they help prevent unsightly class rings on your coffee table, but they also offer extra protection against spills.

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Make the Most of All Your Space

You know that narrow strip of space between your kitchen cabinets and fridge? Why not put it to good use rather than merely allowing it to sit there and collect dust? Check out these organizers that can roll right in and out of those unutilized spaces around your home.

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Photo Courtesy: OBOR/Amazon

They'll help you make the most of every square inch of space in any room of your home. Use them to store spices and other cooking supplies in the kitchen or to stow away extra soap, washcloths and beauty supplies in the bathroom.

Removable Wallpaper

One of the downsides of renting a house or apartment is that your lease may restrict you from decorating your walls. If you're not allowed to paint, then removable wallpaper may just be the perfect answer for you.

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Photo Courtesy: Roommates/Amazon

You can find stick-on wallpaper with all kinds of patterns and colors. You just stick it onto your walls like a massive sticker, no messy paste required. It's just as easy to clean off when you're ready to take it down and won't leave any residue after removal.

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Illuminate in Style

An awesome lamp or chandelier can make for a great centerpiece for any room. If you're looking to go industrial, then Edison bulbs are a great way to add a little steampunk style to your lighting design. You can even get fun industrial-themed chandeliers to make them stand out even more.

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Photo Courtesy: Surpars House/Amazon

Such pieces go especially well against brick walls and can bring old-world charm to your house or apartment. Add a few old books, a vintage globe or a Victorian rug to complete the look.

Transform Your Fireplace

If you've got a fireplace that you rarely use, rather than letting it go to waste, try placing a candelabra inside instead. The cool thing about candelabras is that there are a million different styles to choose from, from minimalist to Victorian-inspired.

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Photo Courtesy: smtyle/Amazon

Cooler still, you can outfit them with either real candles or LED lights. Actual candles are great if you'd like to fill your home with a nice aroma, but many LED candles come with the added perk of being remote-controlled.

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Furniture Makeover

Adding even one colorful piece of furniture to your room can be a great way to jazz things up a bit. The distressed look is always a fun way to go, whether you decide to buy a pre-distressed piece or make one from an old piece of furniture.

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Photo Courtesy: Christopher Knight Home/Amazon

If you've got an old cabinet or set of drawers that could use an upgrade, then head to your nearest craft store and pick up some chalk paint. Find a design you like on your trusty Pinterest account and give that tired old piece a DIY makeover.

Get Your Tile On

If you want to give any room a whole new feel, then stick-on tiles can go a long way. You can find them in different shapes, sizes, and styles and in the form of strips or larger, individual tiles. They're super easy to use, and most are made of vinyl, which gives the appearance of porcelain.

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Photo Courtesy: NewKingStar/Amazon

Use them as a border around your bathroom, behind your kitchen stove or even on the spaces under your stairs. Sure, real tiles are awesome. But if you're not up for a major renovation, then faux tile is a great compromise.

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Change Your Wall's Texture

It can get a little boring staring at plain white walls day after day. If changing the paint or wallpapering isn’t enough, then you might consider changing your wall's texture entirely, or at least appearing too.

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Photo Courtesy: GogoDecal/Amazon

While it would take a huge amount of work to build your own brick wall, there's a much easier way to get the same effect. It's now possible to buy 3D wallpaper that you can easily stick onto any wall. You'll enjoy the look and feel of bricks without the hassle.

Decorative Space Savers

The great thing about old trunks is that they can serve a wide variety of purposes when it comes to interior design. You can use them as stand-alone accents or as coffee or end tables. Finding one that matches your style, whether it be boho chic or vintage, is a great way to up your decor game.

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Photo Courtesy: Household Essentials/Amazon

Best of all, you'll be able to use the interior for a bit of extra storage. They make a great place to stow things like games, throws, blankets or anything else you've grown sick of cramming into the closet.

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Never Skimp on a Great Rug

If you want to redecorate a room but aren't sure where to begin, then a great rug is always a good place to start. The style of rug you end up picking out will likely give you a hint about the feel you'd like to go for in the room, even if you couldn't quite put your finger on it before.

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Photo Courtesy: nuLoom/Amazon

Once you've selected the perfect rug, you'll have an idea of both the style and color scheme to look for when picking out accessories. Do a little looking and see what ends up calling to you!