Guide written by:
Sylvie, Ecrivain & journaliste brico/déco, Essonne
Whether purely functional or used a decorative element, garden storage chests and cabinets allow you to store any number of tools, equipment and objects. Choose from a range of materials, shapes and opening systems depending on how you plan on using your storage chest or cabinet. Read on for our tips!
Choosing between a garden storage chest and cabinet
Garden storage chests and cabinets allow you to store your garden accessories to protect them from the elements and can be used to tidy away chair cushions, decorative candles, tableclothes, and so on. The most important differences between chests and cabinets are how they are set up and their ease of access. Make your decision based on what you plan on storing, the amount of space you have and your personal tastes.
Garden storage chests
As practical in the garden as they are on terraces or balconies, storage chests are used for tidying away outdoor cushions, children's toys, small gardening tools, barbecuesor even to conceal a swimming pool filter.
Available in a range of sizes, this garden storage accessory also comes in the form of a storage bench providing you with both a place to tidy away items and a comfortable seat. Some models are fitted with wheels for easy transportation while others are designed to be locked by means of a padlock.
Garden storage cabinets
Taller than storage chests or boxes, garden cabinets are, nonetheless, still smaller than garden sheds, meaning they can be set up in the garden or in a corner on the balcony or terrace. They can hold a range of different objects and accessories, depending on their size, from bikes to spades and rakes. They can even be used to hide away your bins.
Some are also equipped with shelves which are convenient for storing away garden products, for example. If you want to protect whatever you tidy away, go for a model with a padlock or key.
Materials for garden storage chests and cabinets
Your choice of material will be based on the style you're after, where your chest or cabinet will be positioned and your budget.
Wooden garden storage chests and cabinets
Wood is used to build garden storage chests or cabinets to be used as decorative items. Both natural and stylish, wood is a good insulator and is a hard-wearing material. You can choose from a range of different species. European wood (pine, locust, oak, etc.) must be treated for outdoor use (for example, an autoclave heat treatment). Exotic woods (teak, itauba, cumaru, etc.), on the other hand, are naturally rot-proof. However, these are more costly. All wood species perform differently in terms of their resistance to damp, insects or fungi.
Garden storage boxes and chests can also be made using composite wood, made from a blend of wood fibres and a rot-proof plastic material. With this material, there is no risk of splitting or splintering. Composite wood boxes and chests do not require any routine care unlike natural wood which must be treated regularly using a specialist product such as oil, wax, varnish, brightener, etc.
Resin garden storage chests and cabinets
Made from a plastic material (polypropylene, polyethylene), resin chests and cabinets are lightweight, rot-proof, weather-resistant and relatively cheap.
Braided resin, also known as poly rattan or synthetic rattan is a higher end material which recreates the attractive design and weave of rattan. While it is more hard-wearing, it is also more expensive. Be sure to check that the model you choose has been treated to stand up to UV rays to stop its colours from fading over time.
Metal garden storage chests and cabinets
Strong but heavy, metal chests and cabinets offer a more industrial look but are difficult to move around.
They are also sensitive to impacts, scratches and rust. It is therefore important to protect them using a metal paint and/or a rustproof product. Please note that they tend to heat up in the sun.
Garden chest and cabinets: shapes, sizes and opening systems
The shape and size of your chest or cabinet, as well as how it opens, will depend, of course, on what you plan on storing inside it and how much space you have.
Shapes and sizes
While garden storage chests are usually rectangular in shape, you can also find square or round models. Their volume varies from an average of 200 litres for small models to over 1,000 litres for the largest type.
Cabinets are tall units, ranging from 1 metre to over 1.8 metres in height, for the largest models. Depths range from 40 to 90 cm with widths of around 60 to 200 cm.
Door opening type
Cabinets may have one or two doors, depending on their size. Most feature hinged doors so be sure to leave enough room for them to open outwards.
Storage chests can be opened from the top by means of a lid. These models can be fitted with a lid stay to keep them in an open position. You can also find storage chests that open from the front. These models are practical for storing heavy equipment such as lawnmowers.
It is also possible to purchase garden storage chests that combine both opening systems.
Guide written by:
Sylvie, Ecrivain & journaliste brico/déco, Essonne, 273 guides
Après avoir travaillé au service de presse de France 2 et de la Cinq, j’ai choisi de laisser parler ma plume en m’orientant vers le journalisme et l’édition. Aussi éclectique dans mes goûts que dans mes écrits, passionnée de décoration et de bricolage comme d’histoire et de sciences, j’écris depuis plus de vingt ans sur ces thématiques. À mon actif : des ouvrages didactiques, romans et nouvelles, et de très nombreux articles brico déco regorgeant de conseils et d’astuces, expérimentés dans la vieille maison que je rénove peu à peu.