How to choose storage solutions

Select the right storage for your needs, choose from flatpack furniture or traditionally-made cabinets, cupboards and sideboards.

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ABOVE: Stockholm sideboard, made from walnut wood veneer, solid ash wood and particleboard, (H)81x(W)160x (D)40cm, £350, Ikea.

Select the right storage for your needs, choose from flatpack furniture or traditionally-made cabinets, cupboards and sideboards.

Storage furniture can be as simple as a set of shelves, or as complicated as a multicompartment cabinet. Flatpack furniture can be an economical choice; ready-made designs save on your labour and should be glued for strength, while pieces made using traditional joinery techniques are made to look good and last. Consider how long you will have the piece, and the demands you’re likely to make on it, as well as your budget.

Wood is easy to care for and there is a wide choice of finishes and styles ranging from dark to handpainted and distressed, so it’s simple to co-ordinate your storage choices with other furniture. ‘If you’re buying natural or unfinished wood, your furniture will age and mature over time, adding to the unique grain and aesthetic,’ explains Josephine Bennett, head of design at Laura Ashley Home.

Glass and mirrored glass storage furniture is still a huge trend, and can be combined with pieces in contrasting materials if you want to add a statement design to your scheme. Mixed materials and finishes in one piece, such as wood or veneers in natural tones teamed with coloured elements or contrasting glossy laminates, will add a stylish, modern twist to storage.

Oxford oak veneer unit in oak/ white

Think about the weight of what you want to store. Heavy or bulky items are best kept at low level. ‘You’ll find that most storage units will be designed, created and tested to ensure they are fit for purpose,’ says Josephine. ‘A television unit, for example, would be tested to ensure it accommodates and bears the dimensions of home entertainment systems sufficiently.’

Look for pieces with adjustable shelf heights if your storage needs are likely to change over time, and think about how much you’ll need to hide behind closed doors, and how much you’ll want to display on open shelving, or behind glass doors. The latter has a more traditional look, but will keep accessories dust-free.

The costs: Expect to pay from around £30 for a flatpack bookcase in foil-finished particleboard or chipboard to £1,000-plus for solid wood or beautiful veneered sideboards, or sizeable bookshelves in solid and veneered woods.

All prices and stockists correct at time of publishing.