Sorting Out Truths and Myths About Home Storage

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By Emily Heffter

Spring is here, which means it's time to get organized. This season, homeowners are spending less on big projects and are focusing on smaller-scale home renovation plans. According to the latest Zillow Digs Home Design Trend Report, built-in cabinets, cubbies with baskets or trays and repurposed antique furniture are the biggest home organization trends.

To learn more about this season's hottest storage trends, we asked Zillow Digs Board of Designers member and design expert Mara Miller of Carrier & Company Interiors in New York to help solve three spring storage myths. Check out her surprising tips below.

Myth No. 1: Built-ins have to be custom

The Reality: Save your dollars for other remodels. You can find great premade options at hardware stores that when painted can look just as beautiful as a custom built-in.

Mara reminds homeowners not to reinvent the wheel when installing built-ins. Instead, Mara recommends that remodelers "look at the simplest stock options available" that will give you a custom look without breaking the bank. Your local hardware store is a great place for premade cabinets or mass-cut wood pieces for built-ins. "Try painting the wood to match your trim or molding color to make the unit look as if it's always been there," says Mara.

Myth 2: Cubbies and open shelves don't offer adequate storage space


Photo credit: California Closets

The Reality: Cubbies and open shelves offer great storage space, just be sure to select quality storage containers

Cubbies provide ample storage; just make sure to choose your storage containers carefully. "Selecting your accessories are often more important than the furniture themselves," says Mara. Maximize storage with beautiful trays and baskets, which are perfect for those less visually appealing items such as electronics or other knick knacks. Be sure to "shop around for good containers that are attractive in and of themselves," advises Mara, as open shelves and cubbies leave little to the imagination.

Myth 3: I need to invest time and money in refurbishing antiques


Photo credit: Design Development NYC

The Reality: Don't invest in a complete overhaul. Antiques are supposed to look vintage, that's what makes them unique.

"Fully refurbishing an antique is when you do the most damage," says Mara. In general, it's best to do less, not more when working with antiques. You can maximize storage by adding in shelves or rods for linens and coats. But be conscious of the "furniture's age and history - it's not supposed to be modern and shiny," reminds Mara. The more character the better!

Want to learn more about spring trends? Check out Zillow Digs to find some inspiration.

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