20 Smart Outdoor Storage Solutions to Keep Tools + Toys Contained
Don't let kids' toys muck up your curb appeal.
After living in New York City for many years, the concept of "outdoor storage" was entirely new to me. But now that my husband and I own a home in Los Angeles, I've become quite familiar with the phrase after realizing that my petite, 750-square-foot home wasn't going to fit everything that I wanted. Plus, we have the added challenge of figuring out what to do with all of our outdoor pillows when it rains. Oh, and wrangling up all of our garbage and recycling bins. Translation: We quickly realized that we needed to figure out a chic storage plan for our outdoor supplies.
Have you hit the same road block? Look no further. Here are 10 of the best (and creative!) outdoor storage solutions for decor, garden tools and more.
If you want to take your environmental consciousness to the next level, set up an organized outdoor recycling center, like designer Brian Patrick Flynn did here. This setup will help you easily separate your various recyclables, yard waste and compostables. It's also a great way to teach kids about recycling, since everything is clearly marked, color-coordinated and separated.
Make It: Build an Outdoor Recycling Center
Outdoor Bench Storage and Wooden Chaise
An outdoor bench seat opens to reveal a weatherproof box for storing loose cushions, throws, and covers from garden furniture, like the adjacent chaise lounge. These boxes, which come ready-made in plastic or wood, can do double duty as a toy box or compact tool storage for courtyard gardens.
DK - Garden Design, 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited
If you’re lucky enough to live in a warmer climate, outdoor pillows can practically stay out year-round. However, no matter what sort of climate you live in, you need a solution for rainy days. Having an outdoor chest like this will make sure you have a spot to toss pillows during inclement weather.
If you have some extra space around your deck, create a spot for wood storage, like Anthony Carrino and John Colaneri did here. This simple "wood cubby" would be easy to add if you have a similar outdoor deck or patio. You can store extra wood for an outdoor firepit, as well as any of your indoor fireplaces.
If you’re short on space in your yard, create colorful shelves to store flowering plants, like designer Brian Patrick Flynn did here. These inexpensive garden crates can be easily attached to most fences, and they can add a stunning splash of color to your outdoor space.
Make It: DIY Garden Crates
Garden Tool Rack
Transform an old shipping pallet into a spot to store your most-used tools. Recycled bow rake heads and cheap hardware are the perfect solution for long-handled yard tools, garden essentials, gloves, potting soil and more.
If you really want to get creative, create an outdoor storage cabinet with salvaged items, like the team at Art Harrison Interiors did here. Check your local salvage yard for old doors, moldings or pieces of wood. Then, think about how you might be able to combine them together to create a unique outdoor cabinet for storing garden tools and other home essentials.
Outdoor Party Station
If you like to entertain outside, you might need a spot to store your party props, like plates, cups, napkins and bartending tools. Consider outfitting a simple crate with an additional shelf to provide more room to store anything you might need to make yourself the "hostess with the mostess."
Patio Seating Area with Crate Side Table
Cute, cheap updates to a small patio include adding an outdoor pillow in a complementary color to a plastic Adirondack-style chair and an outdoor rug. If you don't have room for a coffee table, a smaller end table, can serve as your bar when enjoying cocktails with friends. Amy Latta of One Artsy Mama made this table using crates.
Crates & Pallet
You would be hard-pressed to find a kid who wouldn’t love their own outdoor playhouse. The best part? There's plenty of room to store your little one's outdoor toys once the top goes down.
Make It: Build a Backyard Playhouse
One of the smartest ways to maximize your outdoor storage space is by using clever benches. This seating looks normal; however, you can lift up the cushions to reveal hidden storage inside. Designer Elizabeth Przygoda-Montgomery added this smart seating solution so you can store outdoor pillows, grilling supplies, kids' toys and lawn tools.
Vignette with Storage Bench
In this vignette, a long, padded bench with multi-colored pillows add seating and color, but underneath the piece, designers have added space for storing outdoor equipment.
Hide and Go Teak
This teak outdoor storage shed has enough room for bicycles and lawn and garden tools. It blends in nicely with wooden fences. Available through Overstock.com, this shed has double doors that make it easy to conceal large items.
The Ultimate Garden Shed
This stunningly crafted tool shed serves as a pump house for a water feature that trickles into a Koi-filled moat that surrounds the garden patio. Designed by Art Harrison Interiors in Franklin, Mich., this ultimate garden shed complements the architectural details of the home.
Coiled in Copper
Reel in an unruly garden hose in this Patina Copper Hose Pot from Frontgate.com. The hand-applied patina finish gives this copper pot an aged look. Its weather worn appearance blends with any outdoor decor.
What looks like an ornamental stone accessory is actually a waste bin. Made from a blend of crushed stone, resin, styrene and fiberglass, this lightweight, weather resistant trash holder from Horchow can be placed anywhere.
Keep extra firewood dry and clutter free in this cute English Garden Firewood Storage Shed from Overstock.com. Made from pressure-treated timber, the unit features a top shelf for sticks or wood chips.
Tucked Away Trash
Made from weather-resistant cypress wood, this Horizontal Refuse Storage Shed from Overstock.com opens from the front and top. Trash cans and recycling bins are as easily made invisible as they are accessible.