The new smart storage trend even Marie Kondo would love

This smart storage trend blends industrial, vintage, and contemporary styles and is perfect for achieving a bespoke look in any room

Antique storage set by Shimu
(Image credit: Shimu)

There's a new smart storage trend in town, and it's one of those stylish storage ideas   we think would make Marie Kondo proud. The near-magic potential of tidying and decluttering has elevated Kondo to the status of a lifestyle guru, and her technique for folding away and compartmentalising things can sometimes seem unachievable in its perfection. 

And yet, there is an easy – and very good-looking – shortcut achieving the impeccably organised look without needing to master a special technique. Meet the tiny-drawer storage unit, also known as the apothecary cabinet or pigeon hole unit. We're seeing it a lot lately as part of new furniture collections, and interior stylists are praising the trend's crossover between functionality and striking looks – as well as its solid sustainability credentials.

Rockett St George traditional apothecary style storage unit

(Image credit: Rockett St George)

Designer Linda Boronkay describes the appeal of multi-compartment storage as timeless. 'When it comes to your home, I always suggest investing in heirloom-quality rather than throwaway pieces,' she explains. 

'Maker-made and vintage items are great investments if you are conscious of where your money goes. I think multi-compartment storage units or apothecary cabinets make great storage units for kitchens to store spices and various ingredients or even cutlery and smaller plates.'

Small drawer storage unit

(Image credit: Future)

Asked about how she uses them personally, Linda says that she uses them 'around my living room and in my working corner for stationery, spare candles, household items or as a sample library for smaller samples of metal, glass finishes, trimmings, piping and ironmongery samples. If you find the perfect size for your bathroom, fill it with soaps, makeup tools, and other various items for hygiene.' 

And – what's even better about this type of storage is that it can easily fit into a whole range of decorating styles, 'whether you want a rustic look, or a more industrial one, or even a modern depending on what other pieces you are pairing them with you can achieve the desired look!' 

Antique storage, Shimu

Antique storage, Shimu

(Image credit: Shimu)

Jane Rockett, Co-founder of Rockett St George, likes apothecary-style units for presenting an easy opportunity for creating a bespoke decorative display at home. 'Smaller shelves, pigeon hole units and more traditional style apothecary cabinets are a great way to play around with your styling on a smaller scale,' she says.

'Slightly less intimidating than long rows of shelves on the wall, but no less impactful, small compartment cabinets and storage units offer little windows where personal treasures and mementoes can be styled together to make a statement.'

If your unit is open-shelved, Jane advises to 'leaving a couple of compartments empty to avoid your display looking too cluttered and as with any style spot, introducing a variety of heights and textures is key. However, the most important tip is to have fun and introduce personality and humour with a curated collection of pieces that are unique and personal to you.'

'On my shelves, I love combining old photos, shells from holidays, pottery items my children have made and lots of other bits that conjure up happy memories.'

Glass & Antique Wooden Sliding Wall Display Cabinet, Rockett St Geroge

(Image credit: Rockett St George)

As for Marie Kondo, the decluttering guru recently expressed admiration for a multi-compartment-style display in an Instagram post: 'In awe of this colorful storage display!', she wrote.

Definitely, one to consider as a kitchen storage idea for spring. The colour-coded kitchen dresser display that has been organised as though it consists of small square compartments.

We can't wait to try this in our homes.

Anna K. Cottrell
Freelance writer

Anna is a professional writer with many years' experience. She has special interests in architecture, photography, and high-end interior design. Her work has appeared in Homes & Gardens, Gardeningetc, and many other publications.