My name is Ryann and I am desperate for storage. You may already know this because I’ve written about this subject a billion times, but for those of you just tuning in here’s all you need to catch up: I live in an apartment with my fiancé and dog and we have only a single, very small closet for storage. You know it’s a grim situation when there are clothes in bathroom cabinets and important documents in kitchen drawers–but we make it work (mostly because we have to).
So, when it comes to storage woes, I am well versed but always looking for more solutions. In the past year or so, I’ve found it’s essential to focus on making the most of both open and closed storage options in order to create a space that doesn’t feel like storage is a top priority. Obviously you want your pretty things to be displayed and your not-so-pretty things hidden, but to really savor every inch of a space you must take advantage of storage furniture and think outside the “storage ottoman”. As this has been a design agony of mine for quite some time, through trial and error, I’ve come up with some basic Do’s and Don’ts:
- DO ask yourself what pieces of furniture you could fit into your space that can offer open or closed storage or both. My motto is “anything can be a closet if you try hard enough.”
- DON’T store prettier items like blankets or shoes in closed storage when you have closets overflowing (try putting them in a basket instead where they can be “put away” but not hidden allowing more room in closed storage for your undesirable things).
- DO make sure you have a mix of storage and non storage furniture so your space doesn’t feel boxy or visually stuffy.
- DON’T think you have to skimp on style when it comes to storage furniture–that’s what we’re here for!
With these tips and A WHOLE LOT of product roundups, my hope is this will be the holy grail roundup of beautiful storage furniture and products that will help solve all your problems. May we all satisfy our storage needs in the year 2021. Let’s get to it.
Baskets are cute as decor and can be great for freeing up precious storage space. I am team throw shoes in a basket because A) I am lazy and B) baskets take up less visual space than a shoe rack. Baskets are also ideal for towels, blankets, magazines, and anything that you wouldn’t mind guests taking a peek at.
1. Dotted Green Basket Set | 2. Open Weave Basket | 3. Handmade Tuscan Laundry Basket | 4. Black Mustard Patterned Basket | 5. Diani Natural Basket | 6. Mushroom Basket | 7. Set of 2 Abaca Baskets | 8. Handwoven Jute Storage Baskets | 9. Swirl Seagrass Baskets | 10. Lidded Seagrass Basket | 11. Garissa Khaki Basket | 12. Patterned Grass Hamper
Lidded baskets such as #6, #10, and #12 are a dream for storing shoes or toys. They can be filled to the brim and you don’t have to worry about what’s inside looking “stylish”. Also, how adorable would #6 be in a kid’s room or nursery??? Too cute.
I’ll be honest, I thought my living room would be complete sans ottoman until I realized I needed to use one to maximize storage. It would be a missed opportunity and there are plenty of ottomans that beautiful, functional, and good for storing blankets (or shoes..or puzzles..or dog toys etc., etc.).
1. Burnout Velvet Ottoman | 2. Skirted Storage Ottoman | 3. Round Storage Ottoman | 4. Set of 2 Round Velvet Ottomans | 5. Boucle Storage Ottoman | 6. Handmade Rattan Ottoman | 7. Eliot Storage Ottoman | 8. Round Tufted Ottoman | 9. Vintage Upholstered Ottoman | 10. Skirted Storage Ottoman | 11. Tufted Square Ottoman | 12. Mid-Century Storage Ottoman
If you want your ottoman to also be a statement piece, a vintage piece like #9 would certainly turn heads. In fact, if you are looking to add pattern or color to a room, ottomans are a great way to do So. For a pop of color, look no further than #7 and #10, which can be customized (and you have a ton of fabric and pattern options to chose from).
Benches are a great option for entry, living room, or bedroom storage. Basically, wherever you can fit a bench I say go for it–especially if you are desperate for more storage–just make sure to vary your surrounding furniture so there you have a variety of heights and sizes (i.e. you wouldn’t want to put a storage bench next to a media cabinet or credenza that is of the height/width).
1. Vintage Storage Bench | 2. Petite Deep Storage Ottoman | 3. Modern Bench | 4. Lorraine Tufted Storage Bench | 5. Folsom Bench | 6. Vintage Lowboy Dresser | 7. Short Vintage Bench | 8. Steen Storage Bench | 9. Schmit Upholstered Storage Bench| 10. Large Catch-All Sand Bench | 11. Acacia Wood Storage Bench | 12. Upholstered Flip Top Storage Bench
If I had the space and funds, I would buy #7 in a second. I love the legs and the classic mid-century shape (and it’s vintage!). On the other hand, I love the traditional style of #4 and I know for a fact my mischievous dog Gus would love to make #8 his personal nap spot.
Coffee tables with storage are usually my least favorite category. It’s unfortunate when you want a beautiful, sculptural coffee table and instead have to opt for something a little more functional, which is why we scoured the internet to find the prettiest options out there. Spoiler alert: these ones are VERY good.
1. Williams Coffee Table | 2. Upholstered Storage Ottoman | 3. Reclaimed Storage Table | 4. Purl Rotating Coffee Table | 5. Antonina Coffee Table | 6. Cane Accent Storage Table | 7. Benchwright Rectangular Coffee Table | 8. Wood Coffee Table | 9. Distrikt Coffee Table | 10. Les Revoires Coffee Table | 11. Paityn Coffee Table | 12. Drum Storage Coffee Table | 13. Dean White and Oak Coffee Table | 14. Industrial Pop-Up Table | 15. Valeria Coffee Table
If you are worried about having a lot of boxy, rectangular furniture, you can’t go wrong with a round storage coffee table like #4. Varying shapes of furniture is always important to open up a space and create visual interest. However, a table with an open bottom shelf can have the same effect and can be a place to style coffee table books.
Credenzas And Media Cabinets
Credenzas and media cabinets are a classic storage solution. Since most of us need somewhere to put our TVs anyway, a media cabinet or credenza is the perfect place to sneak in some extra storage, but you can really put them anywhere space permits.
1. Elson TV Stand | 2. Studio McGee x Target Media Stand | 3. Claire Sideboard | 4. Kyra Media Console Table | 5. Solna Media Console | 6. Warwick TV Stand | 7. Aubrey Media Console | 8. Windham Large TV Stand | 9. Burled Media Console | 10. Modular Media Console | 11. Reflect Rattan Credenza | 12. Sage Green Media Console | 13. BESTA Unit | 14. Edison TV Stand | 15. Avers Media Cabinet | 16. HAVSTA Unit | 17. Luke Media Console | 18. Foundry Media Console | 19. Ivy Media Console | 20. White Wash Teak Credenza | 21. Aged Brass Sideboard
If you are really short on storage space, a fully enclosed credenza would be your best bet, but those with open and closed shelving can create more visual interest and styling opportunities. It’s hard to even pick my favorite but #2 is up there along with #5 and #20.
In the world of desperate storage, bar cabinets can be linen closets, wardrobes, shoe storage, office supply closets, WHATEVER YOU NEED THEM TO BE. There are no rules when your things desperately need a home. For example, the bar cabinet I have stores my fiancé’s clothes and some toiletries which actually works out wonderfully since he gets up before me. This way, he can get ready in the dining room without waking me up which makes us both happier in the long run. Sometimes we all win when rules are broken :).
1. Fayette Bar Cabinet | 2. Tamboured Bar Cabinet | 3. Bauer Bar Cabinet | 4. Juneau Bar Cabinet | 5. Dark Wood Bar Cabinet | 6. Mid-Century Bar Cabinet | 7. Vintage Mid-Century Bar Cabinet | 8. 2-Door Accent Cabinet |9. Hand-carved Samuel Cabinet | 10. Blue Accent Cabinet | 11. Vintage Walnut Bar Cabinet | 12. Adna Bar Cabinet
I was given #3 second hand and it’s one of my favorite pieces in my home. Like I said before, my fiancé uses it to store most of his clothes and it’s our biggest reliever of precious closet space. The best thing about bar cabinets is they are super versatile and bring a ton of charm to a space. They can store a myriad of things while also looking so good.
Having clothes out on display is not the most ideal, but it is better than having vacuums or exercise equipment in plain view. And in any case, who says fashion can’t be decor?
1. Minimalistic Clothes Rack | 2. Flex Modular Clothing Rack | 3. Rainbow Clothing Rack | 4. Metal Clothing Rack with Wooden Shelf | 5. Gold Clothing Rack with Shelf | 6. Black Dark Grey Iron Minimal Rail | 7. Faux Marble Clothing Rack | 8. Gold Metal Clothing Rack | 9. Tikas Clothes Rack
I love the idea of #1 especially if floor space is limited (perhaps it could be an easy enough DIY? DIYers what do you think??). #4, #5 and #9 would be ideal in a small bedroom or entry and I love the unique shape of #7.
Armoires and Wardrobes
If space permits, a wardrobe or armoire is the most chic way you can add another closet to your home without renovating. I personally think armoires look intriguing in any room and offer the best closed storage, hence why they are my favorite category of furniture.
1. Antique French Armoire | 2. Luz Armoire | 3. Cane & Oak Armoire | 4. Moro Armoire | 5. Cane Wardrobe | 6. 1930s Deco Wardrobe | 7. Vintage Teak Armoire | 8. Brayden Reclaimed Armoire | 9. Solid Cherry Armoire | 10. Annie Charcoal Storage Cabinet| 11. Gemini Armoire | 12. Room & Board Armoire
My dream is to one day have a home where I can put an armoire in every room. No, I am not kidding. I love the look and aesthetic they bring to a space not to mention, yep you guessed it, they’re unsung storage heros. I can picture something like #1 or #8 bringing much needed vintage charm into any room and I am OBSESSED with the oval shapes of #3 #5 and #10. In my opinion, when it comes to armoires you really can’t go wrong.
Alright friends, you’ve finally made it to the end of yet another storage roundup from yours truly. What other kinds of storage or org post do you want to see from us? Let me know in the comments. xx
Opener Image Credit: Photo by Sara Ligorria-Tramp | From: In Defense of the Comfy Sectional—A Friend’s Almost-Finished Family Room