Sometimes, it is a good idea to take a moment to enjoy your home and the things in it. Life can be hectic and full on, and more than ever, people need the places they live to feel like a sanctuary from all the hustle and bustle. That is when a curated corner comes into its own, and a beautiful vignette of your favourite treasures can bring you a sense of calm and well-being. We all know storage is a home necessity, but it doesn't have to be boring! 

From the humble mantle piece to an industrial display cabinet, there are plenty of opportunities throughout the home for an uplifting arrangement that makes you smile and clever ways to style your possessions to make them look their best.

How to use furniture for storage and display?

Let us start with the purpose-built furniture made for storage and display. An industrial display cabinet with glass doors and metal shelving is the perfect example, with maximum storage capacity combined with an effortless way to display. With everything inside in full view, make sure it is decorative, beautiful or loved. If you prefer an air of mystery or are 'on the messy side', reeded glass is your friend. A large display cabinet with fluted glass still has the storage capacity but blurs the contents for a more zen approach. Do you have a prized collection of whiskies you would like to be temptingly on show? We have seen a customer use our lockable metal mesh cupboard for just this purpose!

Smaller wall cabinets with glass are just right to show off smaller collections of beloved artefacts when space is limited, and who doesn't love a "shelfie"? The most compact of homes has room for a simple shelf. Combine it with hooks and a mirror, and you get even more display and storage bang for your buck. 

We love that every sideboard also has a surface ripe for styling. With just a few well-chosen items placed in the soft light of a table lamp, you can create a place to pause and take stock. Hide the practicalities and clutter of everyday life in the drawers and cupboards below.

If you are looking for bedroom storage, a chest of drawers can be used in the same way to create a calm beauty zone. Atmospheric lighting, a decorative mirror, a vase of flowers and a pretty ring tree, will set the tone. Keep make-up, task lighting, underwear and accessories out of sight in the drawers to maintain order and keep things chill. A beautiful vignette here can put you in the right mood for either a big night out or a cosy night in.

Do you have a passion for pretty linens? Don't hide them away in a cupboard. Put them on display in a glass-doored cabinet alongside neatly folded colourful clothes.

What rooms have hidden display potential?

From the moment you or a guest enters your home, the entrance hall is the place to give a warm welcome and a great first impression. Any furniture in a hallway needs to work twice as hard to deal with a family's storage needs and provide a moment of joy with a decorative display that hints at what is to come. If space is tight? Using a shoe bench with hooks above is a practical set-up, but a set of our shelf bracket hooks and a slim shelf can elevate the narrow space. Style the shelf with trailing plants, colourful prints, and quirky holiday finds to bring a feeling of fun to the everyday. A console table with a stylish vase, statement table lamp and wooden bowl for keys will create a much more minimalist vibe.

In a cosy snug with a fireplace (working or just for show), the mantlepiece is the place to be sentimental with your chosen display. A stack of books read at key moments in your life, photos of your favourite people and small items full of memories make for a more casual arrangement. 

The kitchen is often considered 'the heart of the home' (find out why in this article on bbc good food), and it is here that storage is essential. If you have heirloom china that you "keep for best' make sure it's shown off to its best. A display cabinet or glass-doored sideboard in a dining area can do double duty, keeping a dinner service close to hand for special occasions and as a cocktail cabinet, with a fun arrangement of bar parafanalia on the top, making you the 'hostess with the mostess'!

How and what to display?

For a display that feels as polished as it is individual, group items in different shapes, widths, heights and textures. Try combining glass with ceramic, shiny with matt and vintage with new. Think about the materials used in a photo frame or ornament. Do they include natural elements, like wood? Do they reflect other finishes in your home? Does the colour palette complement each other? A good rule of thumb is to keep the main items to an odd number and include possessions that mean something to you with something abstract and fun. You also can't go wrong with a plant, faux or real.

A group of antique glass display domes looks charming with precious vintage pieces, and a simple shelf or row of hooks can look amazing with a collection of unusual mugs. The key is to try and match the form of the display to the contents.  

The most important thing for a display to achieve is a feeling of pride when you stand back and admire your work or an 'off guard' moment of happiness when seen moving about your home.

Every surface presents an opportunity to display!

A simple tray with a vase, candle and book can be a dynamic display zone, the beauty being that it can be picked up and relocated at a moment's notice. From the living room coffee table to the kitchen island, a seasonal dining table centrepiece to a side table style statement. Arrangements don't have to be large or complicated to make an impact in your home.

Even your bedside table can wow with a well-chosen lamp, coaster and stack of books. A panelled wall can create a ledge for art and ornaments, a pantry can inspire creative cooking with an organised display of jars, and hooks in a cupboard can be styled with baskets and vintage cleaning equipment. No space is ever too small to work hard in terms of storage and still deliver in terms of display.

Whatever your passion - plants, books or vases, there is a way to store and style it. Whatever you collect - Lego, Shoes or pebbles from the beach, the right piece of furniture can show it off to its best. Whatever possessions bring you joy or you can't live without - making them a part of your home decor can only make you and your home happy. Over the many years we have sold furniture and home accessories, we have always focused on storage. Keeping your home in order makes it a better place to live, but we also know that it also has to look good, and we hope we have achieved that. We love receiving feedback from our customers in emails, reviews and photos, and we love to see their homes, how they use and style our furniture and their loved collections.

We get our inspiration from our customers, the places we visit and the people we meet, films, TV and social media. We love to follow Instagram accounts and blogs for beautiful homes and renovations - check out Kerry Lockwood, one of our favourites, who knows how to style a shelf and for more storage and display inspiration, check out our Pinterest board - Beyond Storage: Discovering the Art of Display". Get inspired today!

April 12, 2024 — Vincent and Barn