Looking for Ornamental Bins – The New York Instances

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Shopping for Decorative Boxes - The New York Times

The best decorative boxes are both storage containers and functional art: They combine small items such as jewelry and office supplies, but are also interesting on their own.

"Instead of using a plastic container, you can get something like an inlaid wooden box that exponentially enhances the experience," said Alyssa Kapito, an interior designer based in New York. "You are replacing the usual storage with something nicer."

Whether keys near the front door, cufflinks on the bedroom chest of drawers, tea bags in the kitchen, cotton balls in the bathroom or paper clips in the home office – "everything that is unsightly belongs in a box," Ms. Kapito called. This also applies to small, valuable items that you must fear losing.

What if you find a box that you love but can't figure out what to put in it?

Don't worry: it doesn't have to hold anything. "It can be an independent object," said Ms. Kapito.

Japanese box designed by Simplicity for Suzuki Morihisa Studio

$ 125 at Nalata Nalata: 212-228-1030 or nalatanalata.com

Walnut box set with tray

$ 139 for the set at Rejuvenation: 888-401-1900 or rejuvenation.com

Small tin made of cast pewter

$ 82 at Michele Varian: 212.343.0033 or michelevarian.com

Brass box with leather insert made in Sweden

$ 325 at Les Few: 917-913-3161 or lesfew.com

Baked marble boxes from India

$ 40 each at West Elm: 888-922-4119 or westelm.com

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