Creating a cozy hearth for the family
Jaclyn Kennison is a freelance writer living and playing in the Black Hills of South Dakota. She owns and manages an art gallery and event venue between fits of shopping and redecorating.
When you live in a small space, storage is often a constant issue. Utilizing tall furnishings that double as storage space is a great option. However, this solution does have a shortcoming; it still takes up valuable floor space. Another option that avoids this pitfall is hanging storage. On walls, yes, but also from the ceiling. Plant hangers allow you to keep your potted garden or decorative plants off the floor and off your surfaces.
Another extremely versatile option for hanging storage from the ceiling: birdcages.
These marvelous creations are not only pretty, but can be very useful in shifting your storage to give you a simpler, cleaner, more organized home.
Check your local secondhand or antique stores for generously sized wire cages. Clustering three different sized versions together and hanging them at different heights from a corner of your ceiling will create visual interest and provide a place to store books, candles, plants and other items.
Use an old birdcage to store rarely used items, books or plants. Photo By Rob Fargo/Courtesy Flickr.
Be wary of setting picture frames inside them though—it can look like the subject has been sequestered behind bars.
Seldom used stemware can be very appealing when stored in a birdcage. Set the pieces at different heights and fill a couple with colored beads to add drama.
A smaller version works well in the bathroom to hold jewelry or lotions and soaps.
Dress up these storage elements by wiring some branches to the crown or walls. Pinecones also work well to contrast texture and add decorative interest.
In the kitchen, birdcages work great as fruit and vegetable storage. Line the bottom with a clean, brightly colored towel and contrast the color with oranges, apples, eggplant, tomatoes and so on. Or, collect towels of different sizes and colors and roll them up. Place them in a pyramid shape inside the cage for a beautiful and easy way to free up valuable kitchen space. Hanging specialty utensils from the wires works well too. Use s-hooks on chains of varying length or simply create a wire hook from a heavier-gauge craft wire.
Coffe cups can be stored in this way as well, especially if you have a collection of them for guests that are not often used. Using a single shelf to store your everyday glassware and mugs will create more storage elsewhere.
Jars filled with herbs and spices look great stored in birdcages, too. Just be sure you will not be compromising the quality of the ingredient by exposing it to sunlight. Choose very simple, clear glass jars over more adorned pieces to keep the look clean and simple.
The options are bounded only by your creativity and the size of your cage. Have some ideas in mind before you hit the flea market to be sure you are choosing pieces that will easily accommodate your storage needs. As always, high quality choices are preferred as they will last longer and look better as they age. Be sure to hang your cages with the appropriate tools so they don’t come crashing down on your guests.
With a little creativity you can easily turn an old birdcage into smart, sustainable and stylish storage.