We grew up in a 30's era building that had lots of built-ins, including a metal laundry hamper flush with the tiled bathroom wall. So we didn't wrestle with the uninspiring options for standalone hampers -- nay, we didn't even really know that there was such a thing as a standalone laundry hamper -- until adulthood. We may be slow on the laundry hamper scene, but after years of searching for a decent one, we just came across Bodie and Fou's Birch Bin, and we feel like we've found the Holy Grail. Evocative of a hand-crafted round Shaker box, the Birch Bin has a roll-back lid and a floaty, contemporary look. Elegance has its price: in this case about $270, plus shipping from the UK...but it's the next best thing to built-in. Available here.