Shopping for Decorative Boxes

The best decorative boxes are both storage containers and functional art: They corral little things like jewelry and office supplies, but they’re also interesting on their own.

“Instead of using a plastic container, you can get something like an inlaid wood box, which just upgrades the experience exponentially,” said Alyssa Kapito, an interior designer in New York. “They replace commonplace storage with something that’s more beautiful.”

Whether it’s keys near the front door, cuff links on a bedroom dresser, tea bags in the kitchen, cotton balls in the bathroom or paper clips in a home office, “any sort of unsightly things can go in a box,” Ms. Kapito said. And so can small, valuable objects that you worry about losing.

What if you find a box that you love, but you can’t figure out what to put in it?

Don’t worry: It doesn’t have to hold anything at all. “It can be an objet all by itself,” Ms. Kapito said.

Japanese box designed by Simplicity for Suzuki Morihisa Studio

$125 at Nalata Nalata: 212-228-1030 or

Walnut box set with tray

$139 for the set at Rejuvenation: 888-401-1900 or

Small cast-pewter box

$82 at Michele Varian: 212.343.0033 or

Brass box with leather insert made in Sweden

$325 at Les Few: 917-913-3161 or

Scalloped marble boxes made in India

$40 each at West Elm: 888-922-4119 or

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