Being all motivated and inspired by the start of the New Year, I’ve been on a manic quest to achieve home organisation nirvana, drawing up lists of things I need to get done around the house on a daily, weekly and monthly basis (because yeah, that’s how fun I am!). And it got me thinking about storage – it’s a fundamental part of any home and needs to be practical and fit for purpose. That’s all well and good but, frankly, storage can be exceptionally dull, and, in the absolute worst cases, downright ugly. Come on now, how many of us have a glut of unsightly plastic boxes/containers in our homes that are totally necessary but bring us no joy? I know I do (as I shove the cardboard box containing the cats’ toys to one side…..).
So, for today’s post, I’m going to introduce you to some stylish global storage solutions that will add some eclectic flair to your space, as well as hiding away the clutter.
First up, baskets. Versatile and usually inexpensive, these are a must-have to keep on top of everyday life. I’m currently a little bit obsessed by African storage baskets. From Ghanaian bolga baskets, to South African zulu wire baskets and Zimbabwean binga baskets to name but a few, there is a vast range of woven storage solutions in various shapes, sizes and colours to work with any decorating scheme.
Used here as wall-art, binga baskets can be a great way to store keys or nik-naks in a busy entryway
I love the bright pop of colour these zulu wire baskets provide. Imagine one of these in an otherwise neutral scheme. Gorgeous!
If African baskets aren’t your thing, how about some Mexican Oaxacan baskets or some Vietnamese water baskets instead?
The baskets I’ve shown above are just a small selection of the wide variety available, usually made in small villages by skilled artisans or local families. Try to ensure you buy from a responsible source so that you can be sure that whoever made your basket gets the credit they deserve.
Next up, storage boxes from India and China. I recently discovered what is now my new favourite online retailer for larger items of furniture that are produced ethically overseas, Swoon Editions. I really like this brand as they have a strong focus on the people behind their products, and make their items in limited edits which means you’re less likely to spot your piece in someone else’s home. That’s a big win in my book. Working closely with artisans in India, Vietnam, China and the UK, Swoon Editions aim to produce quality, hand-crafted furniture at affordable prices. Perfect.
I’m particularly taken with this Saffron storage trunk in midnight black. It’s such a striking piece and would add a real luxe statement to a room (global styling is not all wicker and sisal y’know). This design is now only available in a slightly smaller square versions and I think two of them would make pretty excellent bedside tables that provide additional storage. Also available in grey, blue and pink, there are a range of ornate options available.
I also rather like another of Swoon’s storage trunks – this one, the Cayman, is made in a small village called Dowu in China. I love its geometric design which is hand-crafted into the solid elm, and then finished off with 600 copper nails individually hammered in. This process takes five hours so helps to justify the slightly higher price tag (it’s £399). Again, this could be used as a side table or night-stand, or a statement storage piece in its own right.
For smaller stylish global storage solutions, there is a huge array of choice available. For example, we use a traditional Bulgarian ceramic dish in our hallway to collect keys, sunglasses and loose coins as we come in the house (and ensure we don’t forget anything when we leave). I love that it reminds us of the time we spend in Bulgaria. It looks beautiful too.
And if you’re looking for something slightly more contemporary, how about this rather lovely Krenit bowl from Danish icon Normann Copenhagen? I’m using it to store some of my necklaces and I absolutely love it!
Well, that’s probably enough storage-based eye candy for now. I hope it’s inspired you to consider ditching the ugly, practical plastic tubs in place of something a little more you!
Have you picked up any great storage baskets or boxes on your travels? How are you using them at home? Let me know in the comments below.
Happy travels, and shopping