25 Stylish Ways to Improve Your Outdoor Storage

Cabinets and Closets

1. Weather-tight cupboards. A weather-resistant closet or cabinet makes just as much sense outdoors as it does inside your home. Fully enclosed cabinets will keep your outdoor paraphernalia secure and out of the weather — from the too-hot sun to rain or snow — when not in use and readily available when needed.

Avoid having the cabinet stick out like a sore thumb by tucking it into otherwise unused or seldom-used spaces and giving it a stylish finish. These cabinets fit nicely under the stairs, and their attractive facades match well with the traditional look of the house.

2. Under-deck storage. A raised deck offers another opportunity to add style and storage. A wooden barn door and siding are stained to complement the rest of this Washington home’s deck. It’s also right off both the house and the side yard for easy access.

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3. Floating console. This open-air pool house in New York includes a wood-paneled wall containing a built-in floating console table with hidden storage that doesn’t interfere with the area’s floor space. The mix of black, white and natural wood fits in with the patio’s modern barn look.

4. Integrated cabinets. A shallow cabinet built along one side of a deck is a good spot for storing outdoor accessories without stealing too much space from the outdoor area — or, if this was on a patio next to the home, the interior. Here, the door finish matches the fencing above, and the cabinets are tucked along a wide walkway. Everything is handy when it’s time to work but is tucked out of sight when it’s time to entertain.

Hidden Drawers and Storage Bins

5. Built-in drawers. Built-in drawers beneath this deck can stash outdoor pillows and blankets. They’re easy to access but aren’t taking up valuable patio floor space.

6. Concealed cubbies. Three drawers built into a multilevel deck are almost invisible when closed but can be easily opened to reveal ample storage space. The interiors are lined with metal to protect the contents.

7. Underground cellar. These oenophiles keep their wine collection naturally chilled yet readily available with this underground cellar built into their patio. Plus, there’s the “cool” factor of dropping down into the cellar to get your wine.

Niches and Nooks

8. Cutouts. Niches cut into the back side of this outdoor kitchen cabinet in Austin, Texas, are the perfect spot for storing small items such as towels, pool toys or bottles of water. They’re close enough to the nearby pool to be readily available but safe from water splashes or accidental spills and breakage. They also bring a nice touch of color to what would otherwise be a blank wall.

9. Multiuse shelves. This multipurpose design in London takes niche storage to the next level with open shelves, storage bowls and baskets. There are also handy spaces for storing firewood without having it spill into the garden area itself. Building it into the fence keeps the walkway that runs beside it open and clear as well.

10. Wood accent. The wood for this wood-burning grill is close at hand while being protected from the elements with a storage spot under the floating bench and shelving. The stacks of wood serve as a striking design feature on their own in a blend of sophisticated and natural looks.

11. Freestanding furniture. Use bins to create multiple nooks for tidy storage. This unit in Dallas does triple-duty as a spot for firewood, small counters for holding snacks, drinks and other paraphernalia and a decorative feature that helps screen the fire pit itself.

12. Trash niche. The street-facing side of this detached studio in Santa Barbara, California, has a hidden practical purpose as the storage spot for garbage and recycling cans and other utilitarian necessities.

The storage section on the lower half has doors that blend into the rest of the siding and artwork and a window above, giving no hint of what’s hidden behind the doors when they’re closed.

13. Concealed bin cabinet. This storage area appears to be a decorative cabinet that screens the neighbor’s house and frames an outdoor lounge area. In reality, it conceals the homeowner’s trash and recycling cans, which they can easily wheel down the driveway on trash day.

The copper lid over the bins is hinged to provide easy access to the cans while also doubling as a counter if necessary.

Small Solutions

14. Wall-mounted shelf. If you have only a few things to store or want separate storage for items you use all the time, think outside the traditional garden shed. This wall-mounted cabinet does just that, as it is set on the side of the larger garden tool and storage shed. Its size is convenient for often-used tools you want close at hand. The rack keeps the tools in place when you open the door.

15. Slim cabinet. This small cabinet conceals an outdoor shower, but you can borrow the idea for a storage spot that is sleekly contemporary in style as well as practical. Small tools, garden supplies, swim towels, toys, and even outdoor serving ware can be readily available. Add it to a patio or deck or set it alongside the house.

Double Duty

16. Shed shelves. Make the most of your outdoor storage spots by designing them to serve double duty. Shelving along one end of this garden shed in the United Kingdom is a useful spot to keep firewood dry and unused pots close at hand. It’s also a good stashing place for small toys, tools and other outdoor accessories that can wind up all over your yard.

17. Hardworking potting bench. An extended potting bench provides storage room for more than garden supplies. Clear things off and you have a great spot for setting up drinks, hors d’oeuvres or a buffet for a garden party.

Sports Spots

18. Double doors. Sports equipment should be both handy and out of the way when not in use. That can be a challenge, especially when the sports equipment is bulky. These homeowners found a solution for their kayak and all the related equipment under the deck. The area is dry, but it’s also ventilated to prevent mold and mildew. It’s also just a few steps to the dock when it’s time to get on the water.

19. Side-yard solution. A simple open-sided shelter with a sloped corrugated roof keeps this family’s bike and boating gear corralled and out of the direct rain and sun in Minnesota. There’s even room for a bike stand and fix-it area at the far end. The family kayak sits overhead.

20. Sports shed. A stacking storage system houses the family skis along one side of a detached shed. Wall-mounted racks provide a convenient spot for storing bikes. The overhead provides added protection, and the equipment is easy to access.

21. Storage screen. An almost hidden storage area sits behind the fence on the left side of this backyard in Los Angeles. It holds equipment, supplies and other necessities for the pool and spa without detracting from the overall design of the yard.

Personalized Style

22. Woodland shed. For most people, a garden shed or storage area, whether it’s for tools, supplies, equipment or toys, will be an integral and noticeable part of the landscape. You can minimize it by nestling it into an inconspicuous spot. You can also make a garden feature that complements the rest of your landscape.

This contemporary shed in Bethesda, Maryland, may be nestled into the trees and shrubs, but its modern look still stands out. There are enough walls to provide protection, but the open L-shaped door encourages you to enter.

23. Stylish outbuilding. This traditional shed in Raleigh, North Carolina, looks more like a small cottage. The porch draws you to the space and encourages you to linger outside. Inside, there’s plenty of room, and everything is hidden from sight.

24. Backyard barn. Even if you prefer both the shed and the contents hidden away, you needn’t sacrifice good looks. This backyard shed in Toronto balances rustic and stylish charm, and the Dutch doors make it a versatile spot for backyard events. The wide ledges on the Dutch doors can double as a bar or self-serving area during gatherings,

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