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Vertical vs Horizontal Storage: Pros & Cons for Your Room


Vertical vs Horizontal Storage – Which is Better for Your Room?

There’s a certain highly popular TV show out there concerning the story of one man meeting the woman who would bear him a couple kids (we think you can guess the title), and on it, they literally break into cheering and screaming when they get to do one little thing: a pros and cons list.

Now, we don’t expect that kind of reaction out of our readers (we aren’t gonna try and stop you though…) when we bust out said list to determine the benefits and drawbacks of certain decoration choices, but we do get pretty excited when we do these things, because they can really clear out the clutter and help people make great room-design decisions, which is what we’re all about.

For this issue of, you guessed it, the Prestige Painting Pros and Cons, your Birmingham Alabama Painters are focusing on the seemingly easy question of whether vertical or horizontal storage is the right choice for your room. Because let’s face it: storage is necessary for living, and it can be seriously distracting if done the wrong way. Start cheerin’ and avoid that distraction, because it’s Pros and Cons Time!

Horizontal and Vertical Storage

Vertical Storage: The Pros

-Setting up vertical storage is eye-catching no matter where in the room you place it. Things that rise up off the ground are much more noticeable and likely to gain notice and comment, so if you’re looking to display something special or have a particularly nice-looking storage method (say, some beautiful modern vertical shelves), this is the way to go.

-Vertical space is much easier to find in most cases. Just look at your floor, then look about halfway up your walls and then up to the ceiling. Where do you see the most space? That’s right: the top half. Because most vertical storage has a small footprint, it’s usually much easier to accommodate.

-It accentuates the height of a room. Some rooms seem empty even when full of furniture and decorations, simply because there’s so much unused space at their tops. Accentuate the lines of your room and give it a complete feeling with good vertical storage.

Vertical Storage: The Cons

-It’s gonna get noticed. Yes, this is both a Pro and a Con, because ugly vertical storage is just as likely, if not more likely, to get attention than horizontal. The eye will immediately go to it, and it’s visible from pretty much anywhere in the room. So, unless you think it looks great, go with horizontal.

-It can be awkward and potentially even dangerous. You just can’t get around it: vertical storage can be seriously inconvenient when trying to get something down. This is why we recommend only placing things you aren’t planning on moving, such as decorations, at any height above your head.

-Vertical storage can make some rooms look small. If you’ve got really low ceilings, or really tall vertical storage, this can be an issue. As they can make a tall room seem complete, they can also make a small room feel cramped by demonstrating just how little space there is.

-Hard to hang. This is a big one: if your vertical storage isn’t free-standing and needs to be supported by the wall, you’re gonna have to do a lot more work to secure it. The weight of horizontal storage is spread out, while the lowest supporting screws or other items on vertical storage are takings all of the weight of that item.

Horizontal Storage: The Pros

-It’s super convenient. This goes for both its ability to work in just about any room and for the fact that horizontal storage is usually very easy to access. While not all rooms are tall enough to make vertical storage look good, there are few rooms where there’s not floor-space or wall-space or both for some horizontal storage. And, since everything in it will be on the same level height-wise, everything will be equally easy to reach. It’s also usually pretty easy to mount and move, since it’s often on the ground and otherwise doesn’t need the crazy wall mounts that vertical does.

-Horizontal storage can be hidden away or in plain sight. You really don’t have this option with vertical as, like we mentioned, it’s gonna be noticed. Horizontal can fit under furniture or be otherwise hidden away, giving you more space to store while maintaining control over the look of the room.

Horizontal Storage: The Cons

-It can be harder to find great pieces. This is, of course, something that isn’t true for everyone, but we find that designers really go all out on the tall storage units, making them elegant and beautiful, while horizontal storage is often fairly plain. Of course, that could be a benefit, if you’re more interested in displaying what’s in the storage unit than the unit itself.

-Floor units are going to need some space. You just don’t have the freedom of small bases with free-standing horizontal units. This is why it’s pretty hard to add one to a room that’s already set up, while you can usually find space for some vertical bookshelves or the like.

What it really comes down to when deciding between vertical and horizontal storage are these three questions:

1. How much space do you have and where?
2. Is it important to be able to frequently access the stored items?
3. How much do you want the storage to be noticed?

Ask yourself these questions, refer to the Pros and Cons above, and you should have your storage needs answered in no time!


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3505 Bent River Road
Birmingham, AL35216

Phone: 205-982-0420