Smart Storage Solutions
“No more toy basket in the family room, after all these years.”
This Facebook post, authored by a friend of mine, served as a sentimental farewell to the family room catch-all for toys, books and miscellaneous kid paraphernalia. Her youngest child has entered the pre-teen, “all my stuff in my room” stage, and that little wicker warehouse is now obsolete.
If said friend had incorporated any of the following dual-function furniture items in her family room configuration, she could’ve had her storage pieces and kept them, too—long after the last young one packed up her playthings.
The Elena Storage Ottoman:
Surprise, surprise! It’s an ottoman. It’s storage. Okay, there’s really nothing new about a footstool doubling as a stuff-collector. What is new about the Elena by Chiasso is the clean lines, oh-so modern upholstery and the roomy depth of the storage space within. It opens wide to hold alotta junk—quite stylishly. Available for $398 at chiasso.com.
Tori Shelf System:
The Tori masterfully maximizes corner capacity in the family room. Created by Nashville’s own Data Modern Furniture, this piece is a great way to keep things in the room but not underfoot. Though primarily designed for artful book storage, the drawer-like shelves are great for quick-access kid stashes. Available for $825 at shop.datafurniture.com.
The Sliding-top Coffee Table (Pictured here):
This clever coffee table by West Elm is a contemporary solution for keeping a lid on stuff. The top slides securely to reveal a generously proportioned storage area that would put any wicker basket to shame. Though stealth in storage, this piece is open its use of natural materials in a timeless design. Available for $399 at westelm.com.
The Traveler Chest is an heirloom-quality investment piece that will help your family travel through time. Available through Anthropologie, this piece offers smooth-glide, low-placed drawers for the littlest one to reach, yet it offers the substance and style that the family will never outgrow. Available for $1,698 at anthropologie.com.
DeLaurentis Home Theater Armoire:
This is one of those “makes everybody happy” storage solutions. Dad gets a home for his (obnoxiously) widescreen TV, kids get reachable drawer space to hold their goodies, and Mom doesn’t have to look at any of it unless she wants to! Created at The Custom Shoppe, the DeLaurentis helps keep all the family’s favorite things in one room. This model starts at $4,540 at customshoppefurniture.com.
The case for baskets:
Let’s face it. Many families opt for the catch-all basket because it fits the budget. Nonetheless, the family room needn’t be overtaken by baskets and bins at all times. For example, you can use low-profile plastic bins that will slide under the sofa and out of sight. These lean storage pieces are great for books and smaller toys. If you have a bookcase in the room, select attractive baskets sized to nestle on the shelf. These offer easy-to-access hidden storage that stays off the floor and looks sharp, too.