Whether overrun with kids’ toys, have a passion for collectibles, or just need some more space in your life, we could all use more storage. From cupboards and bookcases, to boxes and shelving, there’s a whole choice of shapes and sizes out there.
Can’t find exactly what you’re looking for? DIY storage means creating your own clever solutions, to suit whatever it is you need from your storage. To get you started, we’ve asked three experts with inspirational interiors to reveal their top tips on how to get creative when it comes to stylish storage ideas. So, before you attempt to bury more clutter behind already bulging cupboard doors, read on for some stylish and practical ways to gain space and breathe new life into your home.
In the process of renovating her own home, Anna of Angel in the North reveals her three top tips for stylish storage…
Vintage crates make for seriously stylish storage and, if you’re really eagle eyed, you might just find one where you least expect it. The loft or your local flea market are great places to start your search – Anna found hers gathering dust in her Dad’s garage!
‘After a good clean, this old crate is my favourite living room focal point. It’s where I keep books and magazines I want close at hand and it provides an extra shelf for displaying plants and trinkets.’
With a little imagination, you can easily transform your home’s awkward corners into handy storage spaces. Anna fills her troublesome nooks with open shelves, in a wood that matches her worktops, for a clever storage solution that works with the rest of her kitchen.
‘It’s where I store cookbooks and some of my favourite pieces of kitchenalia. Switching around what is on display is a quick and easy way to give the kitchen a fresh new look.’
It is possible to display pretty bits and pieces without creating clutter. Just use a tray to store everything in and achieve a carefully-curated look. Anna has used a white lacquered one to keep her collection organised. Try a wooden style for a more rustic look, or even opt for a beautiful vintage tea server to de-clutter your dresser and show off your trinkets. It might even save you time searching in the morning…
‘Smart, rectangular trays are a great way to display your favourite collections, or just to keep things that you use regularly looking more organised, but still in a convenient place. I sit at my dressing table every morning, so it’s a perfect place to store things that I use daily.’
Feel like you’re running out of room? Caroline from Patchwork Harmony reveals her expert advice on creating storage solutions, using space you didn’t even know you had.
It’s easy to feel you’ve made use all the available space in a room, but quite often we forget to look up! Installing shelving above doors and cupboards not only creates more storage space, but it also gives the appearance of a higher ceiling and a more spacious room.
‘If you go for open shelving make sure to keep it orderly and tidy, and think about adding a colourful print or pretty plant so that it’s decorative as well as useful.’
When it comes to day-to-day items, shoe storage bags and toy boxes are perfect for keeping bits close at hand, while remaining hidden and tidy. They can be stylish additions to your home, as Caroline explains…
‘If you opt for bags and baskets that fit with your décor then you will be happy for them to be on display. Then they can be slotted into gaps around the house, and moved around if you need to.’
Quirky nooks and crannies come with the territory in older homes and they needn’t go to waste. Embrace yours by turning a once covered up space (such as a fireplace) into a stylish feature that shows off your home’s character and offers you extra storage at the same time.
‘I’ve used this space in our non-working fireplace to store old books. I like having things like this on display, but it also used this little space in an unusual way.’
Looking for clever and affordable storage ideas? Fearless DIYer, decorator and organiser Gaby from Life in Eight offers her top tips.
When it comes to getting organised, it’s tempting to rush out and buy new storage. But Gaby recommends that you start your ‘shopping’ at home, by exploring new uses for items you already own.
‘Always see if there is anything in the house that you could re-use or re-purpose first – I’d even recommend checking your recycling bin! When I decided to organise our office I started by covering some shirt boxes in a pretty wallpaper and adding labels to them, and cartridges and printer supplies are nicely stored in a perfume box covered with gift wrap.’
While items such as your dressing table collection can look lovely on display, there are other pieces you’d probably prefer to hide away. But this can get difficult if you still need access to them regularly. The solution? Try some hand-crafted labels, so you can mark up your storage boxes and know exactly where to find everything at a glance.
‘I bought inexpensive boxes from the supermarket and put together some pretty labels to organise our CD collection. The result? No visual clutter and one very effective system that makes finding discs a piece of cake.’
Boxes and magazine files offer great storage, but aren’t always that exciting to look at. If you’re struggling to find storage that you’re happy to display, simply get crafty and customise your own!
‘I made my magazine files more interesting by painting stripes on some of them. They now sit prettily on the top of my desk.’
For more inspiration and storage concepts, read our Guide to Open Storage.