In this series, the editorial staff at Hawaii Home + Remodeling test some of the hottest products in the industry to see if they really perform the way they're supposed to. Check out what they found.

Who tried it

Stephanie Silverstein, Editor; and Liko, puppy.

What it is

Berlin Shoe Cabinet, from INspiration Interiors

What it does

A perfect fit for the entryway of a home that’s tight on space, the Berlin Shoe Cabinet is a sleek and slender shoe storage solution. It’s especially useful for those who live in condos, where house rules often prohibit leaving slippers and shoes in the hallway outside the front door.

What we tried

The first thing I do when I return home from work or play is kick off my shoes and carry them directly into a closet. I do this even before greeting my puppy, Liko, because he is still in the shoe-biting phase. If I leave my shoes by the front door for more than a few seconds, he’ll give me a quick “welcome home” greeting while running right past me to pick up one of my shoes and run circles around the living room with it.

I brought the Berlin Shoe Cabinet in high-gloss white home with me to try for a week in my 700-square-foot condo. It’s not the tiniest of spaces, but I appreciate having a place for everything, and especially sleek shoe storage right beside my front door. At close to 26 inches wide and 7 inches deep, the shoe cabinet fit nicely against the wall of my entryway, just beside the washer/dryer that’s concealed behind a closet door. The shoe cabinet allows me to slip my shoes off and slide them into any of the three cabinet drawers, all while giving Liko a pat as he excitedly wags his tail, welcoming me home. The drawers open at an angle and when shut, are neatly closed, without any parts of the shoes exposed. They remain out of reach for sneaky dogs and out of sight for myself and guests.

Why we love it

The Berlin Shoe Cabinet in white complements my décor and matches the white appliances in my kitchen. Aesthetics aside, having a shoe storage option right next to my front door made coming home to Liko even happier for both of us. It is easily accessible and can neatly hold three pairs of shoes in each of the three drawers. The shoe cabinet is also available in larger sizes, for families and individuals with many more pairs of footwear.

tyler

Who tried it

Tyler Shiroma, Associate Editor and Clumsy Cook

What it is

YouCopia SpiceStack, from Simply Organized

What it does

This nifty storage unit by YouCopia keeps your spices and other small bottles organized by neatly storing them in three tiers of drawers. Each drawer can be pulled out and lowered to fully display all of your items. The SpiceStack is sold in a variety of sizes, the largest holding up to 30 full-size spice bottles. This particular unit is able to store 24 full-size or 48 half-size spice bottles. Labels can also be applied to the drawers for better organization. Available at Simply Organized for $40.

What we tried

I tried placing it in various cabinets and spaces around my kitchen to see where it would fit. To my surprise, it fit nearly everywhere I placed it due to its compact size and boxy shape. I ended up placing the spice rack in an overhead cabinet, where it remained for a week while I cooked nightly meals, out of sight but never out of use. I was able to place all my spice bottles in it, both full- and half-sized, without a hitch.      

Why we love it

Organization is key! Gone are the days of playing dominoes with my spices while I search in a dark cabinet for the right one. It was also able to fit original bottles from various manufacturers, rather than having to transfer each of my seasonings into custom bottle shapes. Having tried other products before, the YouCopia SpiceStack has been the most effective product so far, beating out Lazy Susan turntables and tiered-style organizers. This product required no mounting or installation, which made setup a breeze. It can be moved at a moment’s notice and be placed nearly anywhere in your kitchen. And though it is designed to be used for spices, it would also do well holding other similarly sized bottles, such as paint, makeup products and arts and crafts supplies. 

steph

Who tried it

Stephanie Kim, Associate Editor and household problem solver

What it is

Estique Key Hook and Metal Bin Organizer in white, from Simply Organized

What it does

The Estique Key Hook and Metal Bin Organizer offers plenty of room for your mail, keys, cell phone and wallet, with its perforated metal bin and row of hooks. Its mounting hardware is easily hidden and quick to drill into the wall. The 12.5-by-3.5-by-3.25-inch bin organizer is available from Simply Organized for $18.

What we tried

I tested the Estique Key Hook and Metal Bin Organizer at my three-bedroom apartment, which I share with my boyfriend and roommates. When I picked up the item, I knew just the place for the bin — right above the shoe rack in my entryway — where we could all have immediate access to it. The hidden hardware made the bin’s look and installation seamless. A number of letters in varying shapes and sizes could easily fit into the metal bin and the row of hooks was able to hold all four of our house keys, plus an extra hook to hold the mail and pool keys we share. I also tested its strength, placing a number of packages and magazines on it, with no issues whatsoever.

Why we love it

This made something as simple as keeping our keys and mail together a much more manageable task in our shared space. Since I live with roommates, our tiny entryway is often cluttered with a mess of shoes, mail, packages and various keys and other items we drop off after a long day of work. It was all becoming an eyesore; but, with the small addition of the key hook and metal bin organizer, we were able to tackle some of our mess by hanging up keys that would otherwise find their way to the top of our shoe rack or between couch cushions, and holding all of our mail in one place helped us keep track of current bills and incoming packages.

Additional Information 

About the feature image: Liko the puppy tests out the Berlin Shoe Cabinet, from INspiration Interiors.

Photo: David Croxford

 

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