Summer Storage: Baskets Keep Things Light and Easy

When you live in a minimalist home, having a few catch-all storage containers here and there makes maintaining that well-ordered look a lot easier.

They’re especially handy for the bedroom and living room, and they’re a must for kid’s rooms. Toss in your spare throws, pillows or newspapers and you’ve got a stylish piece of functional decor.

Because containers like these are so easy to move, they give you a simple way to update your home for spring and summer. And for summer, baskets are the way to go. Maybe it’s the association with sunlit forests and berry picking, but there’s something about baskets that give them a light and breezy appeal that’s perfect for warm weather.

Seagrass Baskets

Seagrass rice baskets, which originated in Vietnam, are have worked their way into a solid position among current Scandinavian interior design trends. Their slouchy form gives them a casual look that fits the mood of a lazy summer day.

seagrass basket
Photo via Bodie and Fou/Francois Köng

Dipped seagrass baskets, with the bottom half painted usually in white or a pastel, have a more modern, urban look. If you want to make your own, Martha Stewart has a dip-dyed basket tutorial for you.

Birch Baskets

It’s the classic Scandinavian basket and it never looks out of place, whether in a modern city apartment or a summer cottage in the forest.

Woven from strips of birch bark, birch baskets have been used for centuries, traditionally to carry everything from berries to firewood as well as for storage. They’re a good way to use up strips of bark that are too small or thin for anything else, which helps minimize waste.

Birch also has natural waxes that make it (relatively) waterproof, so it does well in the kitchen or bath.

New birch basket
Photo via Aida Foun

These baskets start off a light beige and, with age, deepen to a cinnamon shade, as you can see below.

birch basket
Photo via Villa Ilona.

Small birch baskets make beautiful containers for potted plants if you want an easy way to hide that plastic pot your plant came in. Line it with plastic and pile in berries for your balcony table. Put a low vase inside and fill the basket with wildflowers.

You can pick up small, cheap ones Panduro Hobby if you just want something more durable take a look at the birch baskets from Verso Design and Nämä, both in Finland.


Cotton and Linen Baskets

Both these lightweight, breathable fabrics bring an airy, summer softness to a room. They also tend to fit in a little better in a modern interior and give you a wider range of motifs. Pine trees, mountain peaks, trendy geometric shapes, and other contemporary prints are all out there.

cotton basket
Photo via Grey White Heart

Fabric baskets are popular as laundry hampers, but they can store nearly anything. Look for designs that are lined with heavy interfacing so they have enough stiffness to stand up on their own. Otherwise, you’ll have an unattractively collapsed basket on the floor unless you keep it full.

If you can’t find one made from GOTS certified fabric or another organic textile, go with linen, which tends to be less eco-friendly than non-organic cotton.

Get Creative

To save floor space, mount a rack of hooks on the wall and hang your baskets from there. Place small and medium-size baskets on shelves or on top of tall cabinets. A set of baskets is an easy way to keep open shelving looking need while keeping small items grouped together. For larger baskets, slide them under the bed or a table where they’re easy to pull out as needed.

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