If your nail polish collection has exploded in the last couple of years, I’m betting that it’s probably outgrown the shoebox or cute vase or (if you were very fancy) apothecary jar that you once relied on for its storage.
Since I know how difficult it can be to convince other people that stashes of small coloured bottles all over the gaff are a design statement rather than an unholy mess, here are a few of my favourite solutions for keeping them tidy and together but – crucially – easy to access and find the one you want.
I’ve written before about my own IKEA Helmer, which I still use and love, and I still think that for thirty quid it’s hard to beat. Intended by our Swedish flat-pack overlords for use as a filing cabinet, its design is unobtrusive and it works well in any room. It’s also great at squeezing into awkward spots – in our last place, mine resided under the wing of a sideboard; now it’s occupying an otherwise un-usable sliver of space behind the spare bedroom door.
A bedside table or small chest of drawers could be repurposed to fulfil the same function, of course.
To get around any colour confusion that might be caused by looking down into a sea of lids, you could swatch a little polish onto its lid for easier identification. For a neater finish, dig out your hole reinforcer stickers to use as stencils, or pick up a packet of stickers small enough to fit the lids in Easons or your local stationary store, paint them with polish, and affix each polished sticker to the corresponding lid when dry.
Personally, I’d go for the latter option only my own system is so convoluted – polishes are broken down by where they were purchased as well as by brand, colour, and finish – that I actually recognise most of mine by their lids.
If you have a handful of favourites to which you’d like to give pride of place, a stepped acrylic rack (try eBay) or the aforementioned vase/jar set up can be really pretty. Get the mix of shades and shapely bottles right, and you’ll have what could pass for a selection of delicious sweeties.
Mmm, nail polish noms.
If you don’t require a whole rake of drawers to house your collection, haven’t the space for a floor-dwelling unit, or would simply rather have your precious lovelies out on display, a wall-mounted solution might be the answer. My recommendation would be to choose display storage that’s just deep enough to accommodate one bottle – not much point in opting for open storage if it looks cluttered and you can’t see what’s on it, really!
Floating picture or plate ledges like these IKEA Ribba numbers allow the polishes to take centre stage, and have a lip to the front to keep them from falling off. And, of course, you can add more shelves should an expansion in your collection require it.
Spice racks also make for great nail polish storage for anyone with a smaller stash, and if they’re a bit unusual or decorative they can look really lovely while doing so, too.
If you’re anything like me, you prefer like to do your nails away from your main storage point, usually while watching telly in the sitting room, and never quite get around to picking up after yourself when you’re finished.
Well, I have a proposition for you. Squirrel away your manicure essentials in a small attractive box, basket or similar on a shelf, sideboard, or coffee table nearby your personal nail nook. That way you’ll only have one bottle to put away when you’re through (and you won’t have to guiltily resort to spinning stories about how those scatterings of jewel-coloured bottles add lovely pops of colour to the space.)
Are any of those ideas any use to you? How do you store your own nail polish stash?