Modern storage furniture exemplifies the playful, optimistic side of midcentury modern design in a unique way. At its core, modern storage furniture is functional, designed to conceal or display both practical and decorative objects. Storage furniture is rarely the central feature of a room; instead, it complements other furnishings and supplements storage space. Despite this, midcentury modern designers and architects – such as Charles and Ray Eames and Fritz Haller and Paul Schaerer – innovated and experimented with modern storage solutions that were at once functional, aesthetically pleasing, and forward-thinking.
For example, the Eames Hang-It-All is a whimsical take on a simple, functional coat rack. The minimal, geometric nature of some modern metal storage furniture is reminiscent of Bauhaus design. The colorful, industrial-inspired Eames Storage Units and USM storage pieces serve as great examples. Other modern storage furniture incorporates solid wood paneling and interesting material combinations – like aluminum, wired glass, and chromed steel.
Storage furniture and storage accessories are useful in almost every room. Furnishing your space with midcentury modern storage furniture can impact both the functionality and design scheme of your home. At Design Within Reach, discover modern storage solutions for every room.
Types of Modern Storage Furniture & Accessories
Easy to install, modern wall shelves offer a customizable approach to home storage. Wall shelves are excellent display shelves for decorative objects and sculptures. Or they can be used as functional shelves for everything from books and office supplies to dinnerware and pantry goods. For high-capacity storage, choose a modern bookshelf or shelving unit instead of a wall shelf. This type of storage furniture can be configured to store a wide variety of objects. Modern bookcases are often minimal in design, available with standard shelves, staggered shelves, or even ladder-like shelves, in the case of ladder bookcases.
Unlike modern shelves and bookcases, modern shelving systems usually have one or more adjustable features for a more customized storage solution. Some have adjustable or exchangeable shelves, while others have stackable shelf components. Still others are completely modular, allowing you to choose the configuration that best serves your storage needs. Finally, some shelving systems are freestanding and others are wall mounted.
Modern credenzas, buffet tables, and sideboards are pieces of storage furniture commonly used in kitchens and dining rooms for storing dinnerware, drinkware, and other home decor. Though they’re often arranged in dining areas, they can be placed anywhere – in an entryway, living room, or office to provide additional storage. Or explore other kitchen storage furniture, such as a wine bar with racks for stemware and bottles.
Primarily used in living rooms, modern media storage units are spacious, with multiple shelves, cabinets, drawers, or other compartments well-suited to storing various media consoles and accessories. Depending on its height, this type of storage unit can also serve as a TV stand. Many media storage units feature cord escapes and cable management solutions, which distinguish them from other pieces of storage furniture.
Frequently found in bedrooms and guest rooms, modern dressers and chests feature spacious drawers designed to store clothing and personal accessories. While dressers are usually wide, featuring two columns of drawers, chests are typically tall and narrow, with smaller drawers that may be better suited for socks, accessories, and jewelry.
Modern coat racks and umbrella stands create streamlined storage in small areas, such as mudrooms and entryways. They also give guests a first impression of your space and help set the tone for the rest of your home. Look for modern coat racks and umbrella stands crafted of durable, weatherproof materials, so that they resist moisture and mildew from wet umbrellas and damp coats.
Small, miscellaneous household items can pile up quickly. Mitigate clutter with small storage accessories that can help you keep odds and ends well organized. Shop storage baskets, crates, paper trays, tins, and other storage solutions – all thoughtfully designed with clean, minimalist finishes.
How to Choose Modern Storage Solutions
To determine what storage solutions will help you optimize your space, consider the size of your home and the types of items you need to store.
If your home has small rooms or limited floor space, opt for vertical storage, like wall shelves, ladder bookcases, chests of drawers, and other tall, narrow storage units. Low, broad storage units, like credenzas, dressers, and media storage units, have the advantage of tabletop surface space, but their large size may not be optimal for every room. If you need a large storage unit that maximizes vertical space, consider a ladder bookshelf. Because ladder bookshelves have thin, vertical side rails and no upper or lower frames, they create the illusion of more floor space for an airy, light feeling.
In rooms with many small, miscellaneous items, such as an office, craft room, or kids’ playroom, consider mixing and matching storage solutions. Start with a large bookcase, shelving unit, or storage unit, then use smaller storage accessories to help you keep items organized. For example, designate storage crates in different colors for different craft supplies and stack them on a shelving unit for easy access and visual organization. Or choose fabric storage bins to bring a tactile element to your storage.
Shop modern storage solutions at Designed Within Reach for storage furniture and accessories that combine form and function.