Dwell Coffer industrial style shoe storage cupboard review

How do you store your shoes when you arrive home?

All too often shoes can end up in an unruly pile in a hallway, creating an unsightly look just inside the door. Or if you do have a shoe rack, they’re often an open style design, so all the shoes are still on sight, even if they’re on a rack.

At Fresh Design HQ, the extent of our hall shoe storage is this (thanks to an inherited shoe rack that the previous owners left behind):

Fresh design old unexciting shoe rack storage

Reasonably lined up, yes, but not that attractive a sight. And the nature of the shoe rack means that it takes up a fair bit of room in a small area that could be better used.

We’ve thought for a while that it would be nice not to have all the shoes on view all the time, especially as some aren’t in frequent use and are just stuck there hanging around on the rack. So when Dwell got in contact with details of their storage options, we were intrigued to try a more modern shoe storage system.

The Coffer shoe cupboard offers a more discrete way of storing shoes so that they’re out of sight, yet still easily accessible when you need them.

Fresh Design blog review of Dwell modern shoe storage cupboard

The unit is made of steel and has an industrial style feel to it. In fact, on first impressions, it’s reminiscent of a narrow filing cabinet. The one we tried has four compartments (a smaller version with three is available too) and it arrived fully assembled, so no DIY was involved to put it together (phew).

Unlike a filing cabinet, rather than being drawers that pull out, the compartments pull down, allowing shoes to be lined up inside. There’s a bar to keep them in place, so when you push the drawer back up, they stay in place inside in a vertical position. Pull it back down to open it up and, voila, your shoes are ready to take out and put on.

Fresh design review of Dwell storage rack

Unfortunately you can’t open one compartment at a time – they’re on a mechanism that opens all of them at once. Due to this, the unit needs to be screwed to a wall in order to ensure it remains stable when all of the compartments are filled with shoes and opened.

The product doesn’t come with screws supplied (the type of screw you’ll need depends on the type of wall you’re attaching it to), although there are two holes on the back of the item that can be used to screw it to a wall.

In the interests of thorough research and testing (ahem…) we can confirm that if you don’t screw it to a wall, and open it whilst it’s full of shoes, it will topple over. Not a pleasant experience, so we’d advise the use of screws as essential if you want a fully functioning and safe piece of furniture.

As far as tidying up an area of clutter and providing a neat and compact way of storing shoes, it ticks all the boxes. The unit design is narrow and sleek, so doesn’t take up too much room. In a hallway where space is often at a premium, this is definitely a good thing. Compared to the sight of the old rack, we much prefer the streamlined, minimal and tidy view of the Coffer shoe cupboard.

The guidelines suggest the unit can store eight pairs of shoes – two per compartment. It’s not a lot, but if you’ve got lots of little people (or people with little feet!), then you can squeeze in more.

The unit looks good in a hallway, but if you need to place it in another room in your home, then the white colour is unoffensive and it may just look like you’ve got a filing cabinet in a room.

However, if the white look isn’t for you, never fear. As it’s made of metal, we imagine it would be very easy to customise if you wished.

For example, through painting the drawers on the inside or out, adding labels or numbers to determine which shoes go where, or by using small wall decals to create a patterned look. These industrial style storage units might give you some ideas:

Fresh design industrial style storage cabinets

(Multi-coloured unit previously sold by Pedlars, but now out of stock; five drawer metal cabinet from Bodie and Fou and numbered metal industrial style storage unit previously available from Rockett St George, but no longer in stock).

The three drawer small Coffer shoe cupboard is currently in stock at Dwell and available for £119; other modern shoe storage options are available too.

(Disclosure: Dwell supplied the product to review, but all views and opinions are our own).


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