Friday, November 18, 2011

Head Over Heels Friday: 5 Fab Ways to Add Storage in an Old Home

I love all the character and charm of our little 1924 Dutch Colonial.  Things like the woodwork, textured ceilings, the doors & glass door knobs, old school radiators, hmmm, I could probably go on and on for a while (sigh).  One thing I have NEVER loved about this old house.... the lack of storage space!

I think just about anyone that buys a older home, pre-1960's, runs into this problem.  Guess we just have a lot more crap stuff these days??? There's TONS of room in our basement, and yes that is getting crammed with stuff too, but we needed extra storage in our upper living space. The existing closets, cabinets and built-ins just wouldn't handle all the junk that we use day-to day.

Alex and I have had to get creative with adding in extra storage to our home.  In some cases, what we added helped to improve the functionality of the space... or it became something that is decorative AND provides a storage function!  So, I'd like to share five fabulous storage ideas I am Head Over Heels for in our home! Let's take a look....

#1 Vintage Trunks- Storage & Tabletop Functionality
Here is the vintage steamer trunk I found in Stillwater for only $40! It sits in the Living Room in front of the couch.
 We store board games inside and the top functions as a coffee table
We also have this vintage military trunk/ locker that holds blankets and we keep books and picture frames on top.
Love the fun vintage look of both trunks and the added storage makes me love them more!

#2 Basket + Wall Hooks at Back Entry
Okay, this is one of the things I am THE MOST jealous of for those of you who live in newer homes- storage by your entry!!!  Or better yet, a Mud Room!  Hmm, that is only in my dreams for now, wa-wa.  We have a front entry and back entry. The front entry does have a teenie-tiny closet nearby, but the back entry has NOTHING, and of course that is the one we use most often.  So, we did a simple fix by adding in some coat hooks and a basket for shoes.
 Pretty simple and cheap fix, but it did a world of difference for us!  I even got to accessorize the hooks with a vintage carnival cane I found at an antique store.
 The basket is the Smith and Hawken brand from Target.  Came complete with a little chalkboard sign to label the contents (aka directs my hubby to put his shoes inside without me telling him).  I love that part :)

#3 The Garment Rack
Tiny closets are definitely a downside in older homes.  The largest closet we have is about 1.5 yds in length, so garment racks are my life saver!!!  The "old house" size closets couldn't contain this High Heels gal's wardrobe...
More to come on this project later :) That's right! The newer version of my Dressing Room is coming along!

#4 Crates, Crates, Crates!!!!
If you have followed our blog for a while, this is no surprise, I LOVE CRATES!  New, old, repurposed, refinished, handmade, whatever they are!  No matter what the style, crates are a must for adding in extra storage!  So practical and stylish!

In the Kitchen, we have a group of vintage crates atop the fridge providing LOTS of extra storage.
 Near the oven, we have this vintage crate flipped up on it's side used as a spice rack. Just happened to be that extra panel of wood made it perfect for spices!
 Upstairs in the Guest Room (which is getting all switched around), we have the refinished white crates used as a nightstand/ bedside table.
 Back to my (will show you soon) newer Dressing Room, I have my DIY Vintage Styled Crates (click here for the tutorial to make your own!).  This time I stacked some up with clothes and purses.
I am getting so geeked to show you the new Dressing Room!!!  Still have a ways to go, but it is going to be a must see!

#5 Vintage Dressform Turned Accessory Display
I guess this might be another one that you might know if you stop by our blog a lot?  But my favorite, favorite, FAVORITE storage idea is using a dress form to store and display your jewelry and accessories!
 Alex surprised me with this vintage dressform at Junk Bonanza last year and I fell in love with it instantly.  I used it only as decoration at first, but then decided to layer a few necklaces on it when I moved it into my Dressing Room.
Since then I have always loved using it to store my jewelry and accessories- along with my "Mrs. Zidarevich" sash from my bachelorette party, it says "Bride to Be" on the back- just a fun idea for any gals out there wedding planning!  Anyway, it makes for a fun way to enjoy and use a vintage dressform!

That's it for the Head Over Heels Fab 5 Storage Ideas!

Are you using any of these storage ideas in your home?

What are your other favorite storage ideas for older homes?  I'd love to hear more, we still have other storage needs that haven't been met!


Well, will be SUPER busy this weekend trying to get our house ready for Thanksgiving and the family visit.  I am looking forward to showing you all the changes after all the turkey-day excitement!

Have a great weekend everybody!


  1. We, too, are struggling with storage space in our old house - Making old trunks double as storage space sounds like a great idea - and it would help get all of the board games currently in the entertainment center out of our way!

    I think soon we're also going to see about hitting up IKEA for a more sustainable basement storage solution, since Blu can hardly move around down there and I can't find a thing!

  2. I have a very old house with a newer bedroom addition so we have walk-in bedroom closets but no traditional hall closets, Where to put the vacuum cleaner,xmas decorations, etc. I too use a trunk like coffee table for blankets, and crates. One of bedrooms built a shelf all the way around the room to put collections and books. Love your ideas.

  3. Great ideas, Carla! We use lots of crates for storage too. Our house has hardly any storage at all, grrr. Love that military trunk. I have a similar one but it's a lot smaller, it belonged to my dad. Have a great week!

  4. I've been browsing around and love all the great inspiration. And you are clearly having fun in the process - love that too! I'm now following along!

  5. Just found your lovely blog on Pinterest and so happy I did! Looking forward to read more. I'm going to read some of your previous posts now! I'm your newest follower. Have a great week,

  6. I have a advertising box type crate with my last name on it that I've used in several rooms over the years for storeage. Right now it's on its side in the guest room as a night stand with magazines inside and a cute stuffed animal that was my son's.

  7. I love your idea for the shoe basket - I think we might do that ourselves, until someday we finally put in that mudroom.


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