This Is Hands-Down the Most Beautiful Way to Hide a Trash Can

published May 9, 2023
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Bins and woven baskets often work double duty to serve as both decorating pieces and stylish storage solutions. Whether you’re looking to camouflage a WiFi router or organize an overflowing pantry, a small basket or container can have a big impact on the look and functionality of a space. Turns out your trash can could benefit from a decorative bin or basket, too, and after you see this trick from artist Ben Cuevas, your home’s waste management setup may never be the same.

Cuevas lives and works from this stunning 850-square-foot apartment in Los Angeles, and considers their design style to be an eclectic mix of mid-century modern, Art Deco, and bohemian influences. “I love the idea of lived-in luxury,” they say in their house tour. “I live and design by a philosophy of just enough, always striving for balance between visual interest and ease.” 

You can see this mindset at play throughout Cuevas’ entire home, but one unexpected spot where they struck design gold between aesthetics and function is just off the kitchen. There, Cuevas found a smart way to hide their trash can and recycling bin in plain sight by strategically nesting them in geometric patterned West Elm baskets, and I have to say, this is the most beautiful trash station I’ve ever seen.

Figuring out where to put trash and recycling bins is a common design dilemma — especially if your kitchen doesn’t have much under-cabinet space, a pantry closet, or even a free corner to offer. Sure, you can just place them out in the open anywhere you can find a spot; in Cuevas’ case, though, that ended up being near the living room, and they didn’t want the utilitarian look of their IKEA KNODD trash cans killing the vibe.

After doing a little research, Cuevas quickly discovered these IKEA cans fit perfectly inside West Elm’s woven seagrass lidded hampers. Sure, these deep, basket-like containers aren’t inexpensive, but they much better match the look of their surroundings than the metal trash cans do. And they’re something Cuevas can hold onto and repurpose down the line, if they ever move and have a dedicated trash and recycling area in their kitchen. 

“This ended up being a wonderful coincidence that not only solved a design problem, but added to the overall aesthetic of my home,” Cuevas says of their creative basket solution. “Now my best home secret is where I hide my trash cans!”