Storage containers can serve more than one purpose in your home. Besides providing a place to hide away items, they also add a decorative element to your rooms.

Like the other accents in your personal surroundings, a variety of boxes and bins in different styles can elevate your environment with a more aesthetically pleasing mix.

The shapes you choose to display can range from rectangular and square to circular and oval. Their materials are available in everything from metal and wood to cardboard and wicker.

Placement is a major consideration since you don’t want to put all of your containers in one spot. The exception would be multiples of the same color or type that make an impact when arranged together.

Boxes with attractive motifs can contribute to a theme, while their colors can be neutral or bold or a little of both depending on your personal preference.

Size plays a role as well with some containers that can act as a platform to showcase books and other objects of interest on top of the lid.


Among my favorite categories are the cardboard hatboxes with pretty patterns that often come in sets of three. I still have some from years ago that stack to form a small end table beside a bedroom chair.

Photo boxes are another fun and affordable find that come in a wide assortment of patterns and colors. I’m especially fond of the one I have with a leopard print that adds personality to any display.

Wine crates and other wooden boxes add character and warmth to your rooms. They also tend to be a little more sturdy than other styles and can be painted to support your décor.

Wicker and rattan baskets remain classics that can hold anything from your laundry and dry cleaning to books and magazines.

Lacquer boxes add some pizazz to your surroundings. Their shiny finish brings a touch of glamour to any space.

Containers with labels remind me of three black boxes I received from a friend that say “This and That” when stacked together.

Wooden book boxes that feature popular titles or distinctive designs are still popular and easy to find at discount stores. Their size makes them convenient for keeping smaller items like receipts in one place.  

Cigar boxes that come in different shapes and sizes are another affordable find that can easily be worked into your displays.

Open and closed containers can be combined throughout your house, while metal and wicker baskets are great for entertaining staples like napkins and paper plates.

Plastic caddies help to organize supplies in a kitchen or bathroom cabinet. Even a shoebox can take on a decorative tone like the one I saved from my daughter’s UGG boots she got as a gift that I keep on a bookcase. The substantial size and the neutral color make it look like a more costly alternative.

So the next time you’re searching for something that can stash your stuff, pick a winner, whether it’s something you already have around the house or a new find to organize your belongings and enhance your home.  

Jeanine Matlow is a Metro Detroit interior decorator turned freelance writer specializing in stories about interior design. You can reach her at



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