FOR TODAY’S BUYERS, STORAGE IS DECOR
Pop culture is driving a need for pretty storage. Here’s what home buyers are asking for.
By Aly J. Yale
Organization is the focus of many TV shows and social media channels these days—and it’s starting to rub off on home buyers.
They want storage that doubles as decoration. Designated spots for all their belongings. Built-ins that make for easy, organized, and aesthetically pleasing living.
Essentially, experts say, storage isn’t just part of the home’s form or function anymore. It’s also a major contributor to its style.
“Consumers have become more focused on organization and storage for very specific purposes—likely inspired by the array of organization-themed shows,” says Amber Shay, national vice president of design studios at Meritage Homes. “We’ve also seen storage being used as a decorative element lately, with containers in fun colors and designs to match the décor scheme.”
What else is on-trend in storage these days? Here’s what home buyers are asking for.
1. Open Shelving
Open shelves are one way homeowners are looking to turn storage into a statement.
According to Lee Crowder, national director of design and model experience at home builder Taylor Morrison, open shelving has been a kitchen trend for a while—but, now, buyers are requesting it in bathrooms, too.
“This allows for storage with less cost than adding a built-in cabinet,” she says. “It also speaks to the trend of having all your daily use items in clear organized containers or stacked on shelves for quick and easy use.”
Custom, open shelving in closets—combined with hanging storage, drawers, and a variety of different-sized cubbies—is in-demand, too. These let homeowners display shoes, purses, accessories, and more, while also organizing their clothing in an accessible and often stylistic way.
“Consumers are leaning more toward customized storage and maximizing all of the vertical height that they have,” says Anthony Carrino, vice president of design at Welcome Homes. “Typically, the depth of a closet is limited, so taking advantage of the entire wall is something you see consumers trying to do more of.”
2. Roomy Pantries
Oversized pantries also are big sellers. For one, many homeowners have been bulk-buying since the early days of the pandemic (those toilet paper shortages probably had something to do with it).
On top of this, they’re also looking for more display space—room to store their goods in an organized and beautiful way.
“The pantry is becoming a very trendy place in the home to not only organize but maximize your storage,” Crowder says. “If you scroll through Instagram or TikTok you will see so many people color-coding their snacks and making sure every grain and pasta is in a clear container.”
Working pantries—which have room for appliances, trash cans, and even prep work—are big, too.
“Buyers are also looking for homes with a separate pantry in or off the kitchen to store not only food but those items and small appliances that are used not as often to declutter kitchen counters,” says Kyle Arruda, lead designer at MBA Builders.
3. Drop Zone Storage
Drop zones—also called mudrooms—are another storage must-have for many buyers. These entryway areas can help owners keep stray shoes, coats, backpacks, and bags at bay and ensure a more organized household.
“Seeing the shoes, bags, and daily items scattered about can drive you a little nutty,” Crowder says. “Having a built-in space for those daily essential items at the entrance—usually from the garage—really gives you peace of mind that the items are organized but also that everyone can find what they need when it’s time to actually leave the house.”
Having a variety of storage options in these rooms is key, Carrino says. These can include storage benches, hooks, cubbies, shoe racks, shelves, and more.
“In the mudroom, bench and shoe storage have become key design features,” Carrino says. “Depending on the household, this can translate into a place to sit down to put on or take off your shoes, as well as either cubbies or coat hooks above. Oftentimes, I’ll see households take into account the number of members in their families and include a coordinating number of coat hooks or cubbies.”