Happy Weekend! January weekends are perfect opportunities to have a sorting out fest when the weather is bad and minds turn to a fresh start for the new year. Once the tree is down and before the January blues kick in, it’s a great time to look at what you have and to declutter.
Most of us don’t have the luxury of lots of storage, so finding functional pieces that work as storage and as lovely design pieces are really helpful around the house. I’m a big fan of multi functional pieces and if you have limited space it really works to have furniture that does a couple of things.
My favourite piece in my house by far are these suitcases, which are new, but aged with metal and leather on the outside to look like an old aviator case. I use them as a bedside table in the spare room (really must change the wall colour at some point!) and I use them to store handbags in.
My only recommendation when opening them is to move them away from the wall as the leather has marked the walls (we really must decorate in there)!
These were bought in a local store, Woodstock Interiors but you can buy similar items on Maisons Du Monde, Habitat, Not on the High St and more. You can get a variety of colours, designs and styles, to fit both modern, rustic or industrial schemes. I think they’re brilliant. Here’s fabulous example that’s right on trend colour wise:
Photo Credit: Maisons Du Monde (www.maisonsdumonde.com)
I also like trunks. You can get vintage trunks from ebay or second-hand shops, or from the same places I mentioned above – Maisons Du Monde in particular have dozens of different types. There’s also trunks to be found in lots of colours in the high street. The one we have in our house is a John Lewis trunk, we’ve had it about 9 years and is a hangover from when we had a small one bedroom house. It’s used as a coffee table, foot stool, spare seat for small people when they visit, and most importantly, it’s chock full of DVDs and CDs that we want out of sight. It’s a little worse for wear now, I accidentally spilled nail varnish remover on it and the buckle to open/close the trunk is loose, but that adds to the charm. Once we re-do the living room (see our starting point on that here) I’m quite tempted to get out the Annie Sloan and paint it in Graphite (black) to give it a new lease of life.
You could use this type of trunk in the bedroom for bedding as well. I probably wouldn’t recommend something this heavy for a child’s room for toys because the lid is pretty heavy and not on a gas cylinder system so it could easily drop and hurt little fingers.
One of my other favourite pieces in the house is our ‘Northgate’ shoe storage bench which was from John Lewis. This serves a couple of purposes, one of course it stores shoes inside the flip up lid and on the shelf below, but it also lets Mr Wheel Chic Home sit by the door and put his shoes and coat on. In the old house he would sit on the stairs. In the bungalow we wanted a small bench by the front door so he could put his shoes on without falling over. It also serves the purpose of ‘bench for putting things on that we must remember to take with us when we go out’ which is also helpful!
There are lots of benches and storage cupboards out there for the hallway, you can get more rustic options with cushions on and baskets underneath, or you can get more industrial wire benches with a simple shelf underneath. There’s lots of styles out there and worth having a virtual rummage for the one that suits your scheme and space.
Photo Credit – Dunhelm (www.dunhelm.com)
Photo Credit – Store (www.aplaceforeverything.co.uk)
The one we chose has a slightly mid-century edge, simple straight lines and a simple clean exterior. Also you can lift the lid, chuck shoes in, run away! My kind of storage!
Of course the favourite space for storage has to be under the bed. If you remember when we recently bought our bed from Feather and Black (see here) we wanted an ottoman with good storage. I find the ottoman style beds allow you to store more underneath than the usual drawers. I would show you a picture of our bed lifted but I’m not willing to share a photo of our hidden junk! (sorry – vitally important things we need to keep!). Underneath the bed we have suitcases, spare duvets and pillows, and loads more. You wouldn’t get all that in a drawer!
Our spare bedroom is a regular wooden bed and you can see what we have stashed under there, so having the ottoman in the main bedroom just keeps everything hidden and tidy. Next bed for the spare room will have storage space contained in it.
So there’s a few options for storage that combine form and function. With most of us living in small spaces, we need to have clever pieces that double up. What’s the best storage solution you’ve come across?