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7 Storage Ideas to Steal from a Nonchalantly Organized English Country Home

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Julie wrote about the historical building, in Stroud, England, some years ago, when it was listed on The Modern House (see her story here). Today we’re dissecting how its former owner, Niki Turner (who has since sold the property), pulled off interiors that feel brilliantly undone without sacrificing storage and organization. Here, seven ideas to steal from this beautifully lived-in estate.

1. Set up a station for wellies.

A proper English country house must have a dedicated spot for rain boots. Here, boots line up casually below a classic peg rail in the entry to the house. (Looking for something to keep your boots off the ground? Check out our 10 Easy Pieces roundup of great-looking welly racks from the UK.)
Above: A proper English country house must have a dedicated spot for rain boots. Here, boots line up casually below a classic peg rail in the entry to the house. (Looking for something to keep your boots off the ground? Check out our 10 Easy Pieces roundup of great-looking welly racks from the UK.)

2. Forego a dish rack.

You don’t need to clear every little thing off your counters when designing a casual and rustic kitchen, but losing the dish rack will help create more counter space. In lieu of a countertop dish rack, Niki had a built-in drainer carved into the slate countertop for a more streamlined look.
Above: You don’t need to clear every little thing off your counters when designing a casual and rustic kitchen, but losing the dish rack will help create more counter space. In lieu of a countertop dish rack, Niki had a built-in drainer carved into the slate countertop for a more streamlined look.

3. Go vintage for your storage needs.

A vintage enamel bread box, glass butter dish, and ceramic jug holding wooden spoons up the charm factor. The counters, by the way, are made of slate reclaimed from an old billiards table.
Above: A vintage enamel bread box, glass butter dish, and ceramic jug holding wooden spoons up the charm factor. The counters, by the way, are made of slate reclaimed from an old billiards table.

4. Opt for storage furniture instead of built-ins.

We do love good storage built-ins, but nothing beats antique and vintage storage furniture when it comes to adding character.
Above: We do love good storage built-ins, but nothing beats antique and vintage storage furniture when it comes to adding character.

5. Put your collections on display.

Got something you love? Put it out in the open or behind glass—not so much for others to admire, but for your own viewing pleasure. Niki found the vintage museum cupboard at an architectural salvage shop.
Above: Got something you love? Put it out in the open or behind glass—not so much for others to admire, but for your own viewing pleasure. Niki found the vintage museum cupboard at an architectural salvage shop.

6. Create space for books, then let them pile up.

Niki Turner Stroud Kitchen with Black Oven
Above: The key to book storage in a casually chic home is not to think too much about it. Create space for books, yes, but no organizing by color allowed. Niki topped a chest of drawers with vintage cheese boxes for added storage. In the living room just beyond the kitchen and dining area, she stacked a whole lot of these boxes for a makeshift wall of bookshelves.
A stack of books sits invitingly next to the bed.
Above: A stack of books sits invitingly next to the bed.

7. Utilize baskets for all the little stuff.

An oversize basket can be used in any type of residence to contain and organize. But they work especially well in relaxed spaces, as they encourage casual tidiness. Here, a cluster of baskets in different shapes and sizes hold pet toys, kid toys, and more.
Above: An oversize basket can be used in any type of residence to contain and organize. But they work especially well in relaxed spaces, as they encourage casual tidiness. Here, a cluster of baskets in different shapes and sizes hold pet toys, kid toys, and more.
Niki Turner Stroud Bathroom
Above: No need for a toilet-paper holder when a basket does the job just as well.

Loving Niki’s interior design style? See the full house tour here. And also be sure to see our write-up of the chapel that she transformed into a home here.

N.B.: This post is an update; it was first published March 2018.

For more ideas from inspiring organized homes, see:

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