Display or stow? Most of us have so much stuff crowding our lives that finding perfect places for the basics—from toothbrushes to tote bags to cutting boards—can be tricky. Here are 14 everyday challenges solved in our own homes.
Above: Christine’s question: “What to do with all of my husband’s beloved hats?” When stairwell pegs didn’t work–the hats got knocked off–she and her husband, architect Bill Hanway, came up with an ingenious solution: They hung a commercial kitchen drain shelf as a train-style metal rack in their compact entry in London. See more of their solutions over on Remodelista in Rehab Diary: Finding Storage in Unexpected Places and Storage in Unexpected Places, Home Office Edition. Photograph by Kristin Perers for Remodelista.
Above: “At what point do two adults realize they need to stop dreaming of the perfect shoe rack (and stop tripping over strewn shoes)?” asks Dalilah. When she and her boyfriend, Roman, couldn’t find the wheeled wooden shelf they had in mind for their SF apartment, they built it themselves—see The Perfect DIY Shoe Rack for a Narrow Entry over on Gardenista. (And then Dalilah went on to inject similar order to their Under-the-Sink Storage.) Dining Room
Above: A glimpse behind the curtain: Francesca’s grand Brooklyn dining room has two pocket closets that hold “all kinds of things I don’t want to look at.” These include a vacuum, blender, printer (the whole family often works at the dining table), and even the not-much-used telephone. Tour Francesca’s townhouse in depth in the Remodelista book. Photograph by Matthew Williams for Remodelista. Kitchen
Above: In her rental cottage kitchen in St. Helena, California, Sarah makes up for lack of storage by putting the back of a door to use with an artful hanging system. Go to 11 Favorites: Display-Worthy Hangers over on Remodelista for ideas. And see the whole cottage in Sarah’s Refined Rental and 10 Tips for Transforming a Rental Bath. Photograph by Matthew Williams for Remodelista.
Above: “Recently, I spotted a leather knife rack on the side of a kitchen island that, after hours of online searching, I realized is entirely bespoke. I had to have one, so I made my own,” writes Alexa. Learn how she did it in DIY: A Wall-Mounted Leather Knife Holster.
Above: “People ask if we would do it again,” says Michelle of her family’s Mill Valley, CA, House Remodel. “My husband says yes, if the other option is playing Russian roulette with hostile captors. I say: For this kitchen? Absolutely.” To understand why, take a look at her cutting board drawer–and note the way it takes advantage of the narrow no man’s land next to the dishwasher.
Above: Justine’s 1807 Cape Cod cottage required a lot of shoring up and brightening–see The Soulful Side of Old Cape Cod. But she kept the egg-yolk kitchen pretty much as is, down to the previous owners’ solution for the door-less pantry: just add a basic roller shade, the older the better. Photograph by Matthew Williams for Remodelista. Bedroom
Above: To make up for her master bedroom’s lack of a closet, Julie introduced an eBay coat rack (which she uses for bags) and an Ikea wardrobe, which doubles as a jewelry display–she hangs necklaces from pushpins on the side. Like the look of the framed prints on top? They’re Neisha Crosland wallpaper samples in Ikea frames. Photograph by Matthew Williams for Remodelista.
Above: Julie’s room also has one of Remodelista’s hall-of-fame storage devices: a Shaker peg rail. See more in Object Lessons: The Shaker Peg Rail and in Object Lessons. Photograph by Matthew Williams for Remodelista.
Above: In her bedroom, Sarah puts a favorite tote bag on display. Suspended from the ceiling molding on an S hook and a beaded string, it holds scarves. Photograph by Matthew Williams for Remodelista.
Above: In their just-big-enough-for-two bedroom, Christine and her husband not only fit a bed, but slotted cabinets above, drawers below, and a shelf that works as a night table. Photograph by Kristin Perers for Remodelista.
Above: Does the area under your bed still look like a college student’s dorm, packed with tupperware and loose socks? Annie found a solution to her storage woes: vintage Amish baking boxes. Photograph by Mel Walbridge for The Organized Home, from Storage Upgrade (Or How I Conquered the Chaos Under My Bed). Bathroom
Above: Most people bemoan the look of cardboard tissue boxes, but few take the extra step that Alexa did: She stitched her own Painted Tissue Box Holder.
Above: A detail in Julie’s master bath that she plans to take with her if she ever moves: a custom-made steel medicine cabinet detailed by her architect Jerome Buttrick with an electric toothbrush slot and an outlet. Learn where to locate outlets in the bathroom and beyond in Remodeling 101. Photograph by Matthew Williams for Remodelista. Utility Closet
Above: Meredith’s SF apartment comes with a hallway storage closet that she shares with a neighbor. A while back, in a fit of productivity, she reinvented her side “to fully utilize its potential.” She now always knows where her T square is. Go to Remodeling Project: The Storage Closet Reinvented to see her at-the-ready string and twine collection and her favorite storage piece of all, her tool chest: “They are way underrated.”
For more on storage solutions from our editors’ own homes, see:
N.B.: This post is an update; it was first published November 2017.
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