Why you can never have enough baskets in your home
No room is complete without a basket… or two, or three, and the latest shapes, materials and designs are just too stylish to be hidden away
When it comes to a storage fix that looks great, a basket is your secret weapon in the fight against clutter. Yet there is much more to consider when buying a basket than simply how much stuff you can stow away before slinging it in a corner. Shape, size, material, texture and colour are all big decisions, and with so many interesting designs now available, there’s never been a better time to shop. Think of baskets as your new cushion addiction.
Here are our top tips for choosing and using baskets in your home…
New basket shapes
Meet the belly basket, a seagrass number that’s been gaining in popularity over recent years, with two handles and that distinct curved ridge around its ‘belly’. Designed to be used either opened out or with the top half tucked in to make a more dish-like shape, this versatile basket can be stuffed with throws, cushions, magazines, toys, bathroom supplies… whatever you need to store.
Line several up in a hallway, pop one under a bedside table or hang from hooks in the kids’ rooms. Look out for paint effects to add more interest. ‘They are multi-functional as well as being really fun, adding a pop of colour or pattern to a room,’ says Molly Leese, Partner & Assistant Buyer, Utility. ‘They can even double up as planters.’
Traditional styles and materials are always popular, but there are plenty of new designs and manufacturing techniques to choose from. Materials used for baskets just need to be flexible enough to be woven, so you’ll find rope, paper, jute, bamboo and even metal being used.
Molly’s really excited about elephant grass from Ghana. ‘What I love about elephant grass is how well it holds bright colours, which is hard to achieve with other materials,’ she says. ‘Each piece is handmade and the weaves that the artisans create are so intricate and beautifully designed. I think every home needs an African storage basket on show, not just because of how lovely they look and how handy they are, but also because of the skill and work that has gone into them – each one is slightly different and has its own story.’
Baskets are ideal for adding texture to a room – even a minimalist bedroom can feel instantly warmer with a basket in a corner. But why stop at one? Play with heights, materials and shapes to create a collection along a sideboard or shelf, work in some different tones to give a corner depth, or cluster a few next to your sofa to soften lines. ‘Using a basket is an easy and simple way to hide plant pots and make them look more attractive,’ says Molly. ‘House plants are a huge trend right now, which seems to go so well with baskets. I particularly love our water hyacinth planter.’
Molly believes you can never have enough baskets. ‘It’s always a good idea to have too many as you’ll always find a use or a space for them,‘ she suggests. ‘There’s nothing more annoying than having a pile of stuff that you don’t want to throw away, but you also don’t have anywhere to store.’
Baskets are great for getting the kids to tidy up too, and there are plenty of fun designs to choose, including ones from Danish brands OYOY and Bloomingville. ‘A basket is the perfect solution as you can just pop things in there and have them in the corner of a room without worrying about them looking messy,’ says Molly. ‘I use baskets for everything, from storing towels or hair tools to spices… and even loo roll!’