As most New Yorkers know, living in Manhattan is all about trade-offs. For instance, my family and I love our outdoor terrace, where I grow carrots, pears, Armenian cucumbers, and tons of tomatoes. But our closet space? It barely fits a green bean. We have a dresser in our room, sure, but my storage secret is that we’ve always relied on a bed with drawers underneath.

The thing is, a lot of beds with built-in storage are perfectly utilitarian but not exactly stylish. (Trust me, we owned a just-fine IKEA one for years.) Two years ago we upgraded to Pottery Barn’s Upholstered Storage Bed, the just-right blend of practical (it has four drawers that my husband and I split evenly) and pretty, especially considering its neutral, goes-with-anything flax fabric.

Photography by Belle Morizio

We customized it with a DIY headboard, but really, it’s what I keep inside of it that shows off my personality. In one drawer I store all of my favorite sweaters so they’re handy when the weather gets chilly. And in the other is a random assortment of things that make me happy: gifts to give to friends (you never know when you need a kid birthday gift), calligraphy supplies, and stationery. I don’t have a desk, so where else am I going to put them?

But what I love the most about our bed is that it’s a one-and-done piece. Sure, I guess you could just have a bunch of slim plastic storage units under your bed, but then every time you need what’s in them, you have to pull them out, open the container—it’s just a lot. And then you would have to get a bed skirt, because I don’t love the way a bunch of plastic containers look under a bed. This is just one perfect piece. And when we move in a few weeks to a bigger apartment with more storage space (!), we’re still going to take our beloved bed with us.

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Upholstered Storage Platform Bed with Side Drawers, Pottery Barn ($2149)
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