Far from just packed away and practical, storage can be the definitive feature in a room. With these nine novel ideas, see storage as a statement piece, rather than a mere place to store your belongings.
1. Served Neat
Photograph: Courtesy of Tonic Design
Give an old chest a striking new interior for a dash of cocktail-hour glamour – the right liquor cabinet will transform a room the moment it’s opened. Note the shelves for closed bottles and space below that allows easy access to those that are already open.
Get the look Tonic Design repurposed this antique, adding glass shelving, a brass trim and a blue Duco spray. Contact them for a similar piece.
2. Raising the Pantry
Photograph: Rachael A, Smith
This nifty prep space is the perfect storage solution for small kitchens. Not only does it house shelves, drawers and an extra work surface, but the sliding doors don’t take up any space, and the whole thing disappears in the flick of a wrist.
Get the look The unvarnished wood and flat-iron bars are reminiscent of a converted barn or country kitchen. Visit Easylife Kitchens for a wide range of designs, materials and finishes.
3. Show and Tell
Photograph: The library in Kelly Wearstler’s home, designed for her children
Shallow wall-to-wall shelves turn a children’s room into a bookstore, surrounding them with their favourite bedtime stories and adding instant colour to the décor. They also keep the room neat and safe – secured to the wall, they can’t topple over and instead of having to pull out several thin-spined books out to find what they’re looking for, kids can see covers right away.
Get the look The company behind Gucci’s shelving in South Africa, Revolution Shopfitters also makes house calls and has the experience and capabilities to tackle a number of different designs.
4. Going Up
Photograph: Taggart Sorenson Photography
Use the shape of odd spaces to your advantage. These custom shelves combine cupboards of different sizes – making them perfect for specific things, such as the vacuum cleaner – with large drawers that can be used for storage or fast tidying. Note the tiny, almost secret cupboards right beneath the stairs for odds and ends.
Get the look Visit Stokperd to choose from their range of modern and playful made-to-measure designs, available in a range of woods.
5. Open Secret
Photograph: Paul Massey
What’s not to like about a secret room behind a bookshelf? Using the door surface allows for more storage space, and makes for a uniform wall, enclosing a study for cosy solitude.
Get the look Contact Benjamin’s Interiors for custom-made wood shelving similar to this design.
6. Shoe Polish
Photograph: Elsa Young (Design: Julia Twigg)
This walk-in closet’s shoe shelves are individually lit and display footwear behind glass-front doors, making those perfect pairs easy to spot while keeping them neatly packed away.
Get the look This dressing room storage is from Benchmark Joinery. Contact them for customised storage and details, from lighting to glass panes.
7. Shelf Life
Photograph: Elsa Young (Design: Andy Graff)
Add geometry and colour with floating shelves on a bright wall. The spaces are inspired by segments found in nature, such as honeycombs or oranges.
Get the look To fully incorporate storage into the architecture of a room, contact DV8 Architects for a specialised design.
Photograph: Courtesy of Poliform South Africa
Shallow, lined drawers that offer plenty of space for your most precious belongings are the ultimate in luxury, evoking the interior of an exclusive atelier. There are compartments for every special accessory, from leather gloves and an ultra-soft scarf, to sunglasses and they keys to the Sunday-drive sports car.
Get the look Try out the Senzafine collection ‘Valet’ matte-lacquered flap-open unit in Spessart oak. It features built-in LED lamps, and the inner chest of drawers is made from Cenere oak melamine, while the trays are covered with techno-leather in O2 Moka, R15 000, Poliform South Africa.
9. Cabinet Ministers
Photograph: Greg Cox
You can’t go wrong with a good cabinet. Update it with simple lines, light, unvarnished wood, and an almost opaque front. Every house needs a linen cupboard and there’s something immediately relaxing about a space filled with fresh sheets and bright, soft beach towels. It’s also a useful way to fill awkward spaces in a home, like the small alcove above. Don’t forget that you can the top to store rarely utilised things such as large table decorations (think heavy candlesticks), or vases.
Get the look This ‘Brussels’ Cabinet, R24 950, from Pezula Interiors fits the bill.