stylish shoe storage

i'm still running off the fizzy energy of the new year and the momentum has got me to kick off a mini project: renovate my shoe storage/organization space. my apartment is a shoes-off space, so it makes sense to have shoes by the door. i had been using for 4 years a rickety, crappy shoe rack that had two bars to prop the shoes on, and the result was that the 'foyer' space by the door/entrance of the apartment always looked incredibly cluttered, dark, and dusty.

my solution is a mini DIY version that is a bit Vogue-ish and Jenna Lyons-inspired. i was concerned that the shelving would make the space seem more cramped, but the white really opens up the space and brightens the entire area, making it a bit more elegant and a lot easier to find what i'm looking for in the morning. i'm still at a loss for what to do about the boots, though, so for now they're lined up next to the folding screen at right. still a bit of clutter, but this is a work in progress.

do you have in mind any wardrobe/apartment projects? any tips for chic yet functional accessories (especially handbags!) storage? (my closet is also in need of some spatial redesign, but that's another post.) please do share your ideas, solutions, and inspirations!

the inspirations: jenna lyons' airy dressing room
photo via habitually chic

...and throw in some vintage SATC (remember this episode?)
my version: it's pared down, but i think this configuration keeps me honest as to maintaining a relatively well-edited collection. but as you can see, i do have a weakness for boots in particular...
bookcase is ikea 'billy', $34.99 - total set-up took about 2.5 hours


  1. That is a really good idea. I just might copy this. Currently, my shoes are in a heap in the corner of my room. It's rather shameful.

    And, god. What I wouldn't do to have a dressing room like Jenna Lyons. Not fair.

  2. ooh, i'd love to see what you choose to do with your shoes! :) and yeah, before Domino folded and i was getting my monthly magazine from them, i'd go through a bout of dreamy decor envy every few weeks...sigh. still sad that Domino is no more.

  3. I have a no-shoe in the house policy too, it's an Asian thing, haha. I shelve them as well, but it's really hard finding the right shelves that provide space, looks organised, and enough ventilation. I'm on the lookout for inspiration too. I cheer up the space around the shelf witha striped floor mat (also from ikea) - it's practical to keep the floor clean and also marks the space.

    My saving grace is that I have less than 10 pairs of shoes, so storage is not a big issue :)

    And that is a very fine collection of shoes. Digression: how well do the elasticised sides of your flats hold out? I had one pair that stretched until I could no longer wear them, in less than a year, even though the rest of the shoe was in great condition.

  4. thanks, lin :) and kudos to you for having only ten pairs! i try to be good and have sold/donated pairs the past year and a half, but cutting things down to 10 pairs would be quite a challenge! :P would love to see your shoe space. i thought of adding a little accent rug to make the space more of a 'dressing' are and less of a 'storage' one.

    i just have the 2 pairs of ballet flats that have elasticized sides. i wear the silver pair much more and the leather is a thinner lame, so that one has loosened up a bit over the past 2 years, but it's still going strong. i'd probably opt for non-elasticized flats when these wear out, though. just makes for a more durable and ergonomic shoe.

  5. I love that collection. It looks fab and it's functional. What great shoes you've got.

  6. kristin - thanks! that's really sweet of you :) i'm still working on editing an odd pair here or there that doesn't get enough wear, but i feel good about having the basics covered, and geting rid of/selling the shoes that were gorgeous to look at, but painful to wear!

  7. good lord, what i would do to own only 10 pairs of shoes. since i am currently stuck in a rut with the collection i have amassed, i now own a 6' storage rack from target. it's black and stainless steel with about 5 or 6 shelves and i keep boots at the bottom. because the shelves are almost lattice-worked, i am able to see all my shoes, all the time. it looks a little like lyons', actually. i keep it in my bedroom because i felt it would overwhelm my otherwise low-lying living space and it's not very chic, but it IS very functional and fits neatly into corners due to its slender frame.
    ideally, i had wanted to install shelving or to purchase an antique, weathered bookcase specifically for storing my shoes, but this rack came first and works for now.
    anyhow, styling my new apartment is actually at the top of my list for the new year! thanks for sharing your inspiration. i think i'm gonna go watch some SATC now... :)

  8. Looks awesome! you got a real nice shoe collection there. I'm still toying around with the idea of getting clear plastic boxes piled up so the shoes can be seen from all angles (but well, most likely won't happen for awhile since I got a roommate and he's not into shoes and I'm already invading into his shoe area)

  9. pennerad: oh your setup sounds great! weathered bookcase sounds awesome. they need to make more shoe-shelving options!

    nanashi - thanks :) where is your shoe area? the bookscase is actually pretty space efficient as it's got a slim profile. i'm curious what you decide to do!

  10. We are lucky enough to have a spare bedroom (known as the room of doom) in our apartment that serves as shoe and bicycle storage, crafty area and woodshop for my husband. I have a wire mesh shelving rack there to store and display shoes. It used to be crammed full, but this year I forced myself to pack away seasonally inappropriate shoes into a shallow rubbermaid container which was stowed under the bed. I kept my boots and the few sneakers I own out, two pairs of favorite flats, and two of heels. Now the shoes are displayed nicely, and grouped by color, but it will be nice to someday have a closet large enough to put them all out of sight :)

  11. That's a really great idea! I have far too many pairs of shoes lying around! I bought clear shoe boxes from howards storage world and have started to finally organise mine!

  12. pret a porter: my closet is the same way! i'm lucky that it's floor-to-ceiling in height so i have some vertical storage, but it's really narrow which limits hanger/shelf space.

    wendi: i used to keep some seasonal shoes in plastic bins under the bed too, but then i found that i needed to edit my shoe collection rather than stashing away too many pairs. but i think i'm going to stash my snow boots out of sight when the winter's over. i'm with you on having 'enclosed' shoe storage. there's something about having a private room or space for your shoes...it's all quite personal, no? :)

    holly: thanks :) it's still VERY much a work in progress, but i wanted to share and get ideas and inspiration from bloggers and readers and anyone else, since this seems to be a common issue for many of us :)

  13. www.howardsstorageworld.co.uk that's their website for you! Good luck!

  14. I have been pondering this for a long time and you might just be the person who can answer this. Don't your shoes get dust on them, sittinf open like that? I find my shoes get dust on and inside them if left open. The only remedy then is to wipe all of them every week, which I don;t find very enjoyable. Any tips?

  15. Love your collection. What great shoes you've got.


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