Handbag Lovers & Fashionistas: Here’s a Great Way to Organize Your Favorite Bags!

Welcome to the 652nd Metamorphosis Monday!

Last week I shared a new lamp I had just added to the guest room. This week I’m sharing another update for this room, something I’ve wanted to do for a long time but could never figure out all the logistics.

Guest Room in Blue and White

 

I have a smallish handbag collection and I’ve always wanted to gather it all together in one spot, as opposed to having it spread out over several closets. At one point I gathered a few of my bags together in one cabinet but I wasn’t crazy about how crowded they were and the cabinet didn’t really fit in with the other furniture in my master bedroom very well.

Billy Oxberg Cabinet for Handbag Storage

 

So I decided to go for it, to do that thing I’ve been wanting to do for a long time: gather all my bags together in one area and try to make it decorative as well as functional. I needed a longish wall and decided this wall in the guest room, a room that’s rarely in use, would work just fine.

Wall for Ikea Oxberg Cabinets

 

I was pretty sure I would have to move the blue and white chair in the corner to get all the cabinets along that wall. I was reluctant to move the bed from the corner because I love how it looks silhouetted against the window and the shutters. I just don’t think I’d like it against the wall near as much. Surprisingly, the only thing I had to move to make room for the cabinets was the blue and white garden stool that was acting as a small table to the left of the chair. (The garden stool is now in the upstairs living room.)

Guest Room in Blue and White

 

If I push the door all the way back against the wall, here’s how the view into the room looks. Normally, I keep the door pulled out from the wall a few inches, but I pushed it back for this photo below. So I was able to keep the chair in the corner which made me happy since I’ve always liked seeing it in that spot when I pass by the room.

View into bedroom after adding cabinets

 

Here’s the view into the room with the door in its normal position. The cabinets do not obstruct the view of the room or the entrance into the room. So let’s see how the cabinets look!

Guest Bedroom Updates, Handbag Storage with Billy Oxberg Cabinets

 

Here’s the arrangement for now. I almost didn’t add the boxes across the top but after I placed them there just to see how they would look, I decided I really liked them displayed this way.

In today’s post, I thought I’d share a few of the things I learned in the process of creating this handbag storage/display. This project definitely taught me a lot! For one thing, I learned that you shouldn’t haul all the parts/pieces for two, glass-door cabinets (I already had one cabinet) up a flight of 14 stairs AND then build/assemble them all in the same day. Bad idea if you want to be able to walk and move normally the next day. lol

Handbag Storage and Organization

 

It all started with, “I’ll just bring everything up for today and then I’ll assemble them tomorrow.” That progressed to, “I’ll just put the cabinets together, but I’ll hold off adding the doors until tomorrow.” After the cabinets were assembled, I couldn’t help myself and had to add at least one set of doors–which then led to adding all the doors. The glass doors are heavy!

Once all the cabinets were built and in place, I HAD to see how a few of my bags looked inside. Two hours later, I was still playing–moving and repositioning shelves, arranging and rearranging all the bags onto the shelves. I started this whole process around 2:30 in the afternoon when the cabinets were delivered and finally forced my achy self to bed around 2 a.m.

Handbag Storage, Decorate with Handbags

 

One of the things that made the process take so long was trying to figure out how to work in the bags that needed to hang from stands without having the shelves all jingle jangly and awkward looking at different heights. After a lot of trial and error, I discovered the most pleasing arrangement was having the top three shelves in all three cabinets on the same level/plane across all three cabinets, with the section for the longer bags (on display stands) in the lower part of the center cabinet. The bottom row ended up lined up all the way across, too. So I only had to remove one shelf to allow for the longer handbags. The shelves are not all equal distances apart since the bags vary in height, but that didn’t matter as long as they lined up with each other from cabinet to cabinet.

Display handbags when not in use

 

I added a few books on the subject of handbags and fashion to spice things up a bit. I really like how those looked mixed in with the bags. You’ll see more of that in the pictures below in this post. The Chanel book was a recent purchase here: Chanel Book.

I also mixed in a lot of boxes on the shelves since I didn’t have enough bags to fill all the shelves. And, no–I’m not going to start buying bags like crazy to fill them up! Ha! I’m pretty content with my current bag collection.

Chanel Book, Coffee Table Book for Home Decor

 

The little gray cover you see atop the Chanel bag is a very lightweight, strap cover I purchased a few years back here: Strap Covers). I use those to cover the leather and metal chain straps on my Chanel bags to prevent the strap from leaving permanent indentations in the top of the bags during storage. I’ve seen a lot of Chanel bags over the years with indentations in the sides or tops depending on how they’ve been stored. Those chain straps can do some damage!

 

Protect Chanel Leather Bag from Chain Indentations, Damage During Storage

 

I like how the acrylic, tiered supports designed to hold wallets and other small leather goods (SLGs) looked and worked mixed in with the bags. You can see them in this photo below holding some of my favorite wallets and SLGs. Note the wicker bag–that bag was a big speedbump in the bag arranging process. It doesn’t look that tall, but it really is! It would not fit on the majority of the shelves so ended up taking up space I really, really needed for another bag with handles that needed to be upright.

Handbag Storage That's Dust Free

 

I started to just put it back in my closet since it was the one Tetris piece I couldn’t make fit–until I thought of tucking it inside one of the totes I use to protect whatever handbag I’m taking along with me when I travel. I don’t like putting my naked handbag onto the conveyor for scanning since you never know what’s been on that conveyor, not to mention TSA can be really rough with handbags.

Protect Handbags During Travel

 

Once the tallish wicker bag was tucked away inside the clear, protective tote, that made room for another wicker bag with handles that needed to be standing upright and not bent over.

Louis Vuitton Reverse Pochette Metis, Prada Basket Bag, Gucci Flora Bag

 

The handles on this Gucci “Flora” bag easily lay over so they weren’t a problem. This Flora bag was an inexpensive find on eBay many years ago. As I recall, I paid somewhere in the $300 range and its owner said she had rarely ever carried it after purchasing it from the New York boutique. I love its whimsical pattern and the history behind it.

Gucci Flora Handbag

 

Gucci first designed the “Flora” pattern for a scarf they made for Princess Grace in 1966. Every so often they bring the pattern back again in a new way. In addition to the beautiful florals, there are little bugs hidden away in the design like the grasshopper and butterflies visible below. It looks really cute with a few of my solid-colored, linen Tommy Bahama summer dresses.

Gucci Flora Handbag

 

You’ll see some bags appearing in different spots as I tried them in various places inside the cabinets. Here’s another example of where I used two display stands for wallets, key holders, a mini pochette, and a passport holder. I love these stands for holding SLGs! (They are available here: Tiered SLG Holder.)

Billy Oxberg for Organizing Handbags

 

If you’ve been following BNOTP for a while, you may remember when I purchased the Dooney and Bourke Giraffe-print Bag (on the bottom shelf) just prior to a trip to Mahali Mzuri and Giraffe Manor. I ended up not taking that bag with me on the trip, but I still love using it because it always reminds me of that trip and Giraffe Manor. The blue bag with the starfish and nautical rope design is a Brahmin bag from the Atlanta, Lenox Square, Brahmin store many years ago. Brahmin bags were always so well made–I hope it’s still that way!

Billy Oxberg for Organizing Handbags

 

In the photo below, you’ll see where I mixed in a couple of more books.

Organize and Style Handbags with Fashion Design Books

 

Tiffany Style is available here: Tiffany Style.  The other book in the photo above is Breakfast at Tiffany’s: The Official 50th Anniversary and it’s available here: Breakfast at Tiffany’s: The Official 50th Anniversary.

Tiffany & Co Wallet, Passport Holder Styled with Tiffany Style Book

 

This Lady Dior was a lucky find in “like-new” condition at Fashionphile for around half the price it would have been in the boutique. They had another one of these bags a few weeks ago, but it has since sold. Bags do not last long on that site! I would love to add another Lady Dior to my collection one day. I really love the quality of their bags! (See all the Lady Dior bags they currently have in stock here: Lady Dior Bag.)

Studded Lady Dior with Dior Book, Handbag Storage with Fashion Books

 

This bag is an oldie but goodie from Brahmin. I wore this bag almost constantly for a couple of years. It was designed to hold an iPad/notebook and it does an excellent job of that, still.

 

So remember those two fringe, Frye bags that I was hoping to hang from stands to keep the fringe from getting all crumpled up and bent out of shape?

 

Here’s where they ended up, any Frye boots fans out there? They make amazing bags, too! The only other bag in my collection that really needs to be stored in a hanging position is this Dior Saddlebag. I can’t ever buy another bag that needs to be displayed this way because I don’t want to change up the current arrangement of shelves. lol

Handbag Storage, Dior Saddlebag, Frye Heidi Fringe Bag

 

And just in case you’re wondering, I always attach cabinets/bookcases to the wall. These Billy Oxberg cabinets especially need that because the glass doors are quite heavy. I attached each of the cabinets to the wall using a long screw that I put right through into a stud. Do you have trouble find studs in a wall when you’re trying to hang something or attach a bookcase to the wall?

 

I always rely on a stud finder to help me when I’m hanging art or securing a cabinet/bookcase to a wall. I use the stud finder as a guide, then I hammer a long, straight pin, the type used for pinning fabric when sewing, into the wall where the stud finder shows there’s a stud. If there’s really a stud there, the pin will only go in a short distance before it bends and I can feel that I’ve hit something hard. Then I use needlenose pliers to pull the straight pin back out.

 

The pencil mark where the stud finder said I’d find a stud is still visible in the photo below–and a straight pin showed me it was right! This is the best method I’ve found for locating a stud in the wall without putting a gazillion holes in the wall.

 

One thing I really like about putting these cabinets here in this rarely-used bedroom is this room will finally see a lot more daily use now.

Handbag Storage, Decorate with Handbags

 

Hope you found this handbag storage/organization helpful! Looking forward to all the great Before and Afters linked for this week’s Metamorphosis Monday!

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Comments

  1. Sonja Enright says

    Just gorgeous. I love it!!

  2. Nuala Raftery says

    I love your display! I have a small collection of handbags too but I keep them all in the original dust bags and boxes. I’ve no room to install a unit like yours and open shelves would allow them to get dusty.

    • Thanks, Nuala! I was really surprised by how little space these cabinets took up, they are only around 12 inches deep. Yes, I def agree with not storing them on open shelving. The doors really do keep them dust-free.

  3. That is one beautiful storage solution and contents, Susan. Congratulations! While yours is a modern collection, I could see that same set up for an antique collection like mine, which are still in the boxes they were packed in for our downsize 2 yrs ago. I love those SLG stands, and may order a few of those for my smaller collectibles. Awesome job!

    • Oh my gosh, that would be beautiful, Rita–seeing them all on display. Life is short, gotta enjoy our collections (even the usable ones) every moment! 🙂 One of the stands arrived broken and had to be replaced, but otherwise, they are working great for holding the SLGs.

  4. Susan,
    I L.O.V.E. this makeover! You have certainly out done yourself, making this perhaps my favorite all time project. The wall is absolutely stunning! I love all the different ways you displayed your beautiful bags and the addition of the books really pulls the collection together. I also love that you displayed all the pretty boxes. I display my bags, and will definitely be implementing some of your ideas. I noticed you placed the bags directly on the shelves. Do you ever find the bags stick to the shelves? And please remind us what you use inside the bags to keep their shape. Thanks for another very inspirational post…now pour yourself an iced tea and take the day off;)

    • Thanks so much, Gail! Iced tea sounds really good right now! 🙂
      I was wondering about that when I purchased my first Ikea Oxberg cabinet but I’ve had it for a year or so now and nothing has ever stuck to it, not even a little bit. The Oxberg is really just the Billy Bookcase, but with doors. I’ve never had anything stick to the Billy Bookcases in my offfice or to the one Billy Oxberg cabinet I’ve had in my master bedroom for the past year or so.
      I use a combination of air paper and this acid-free tissue paper I purchased a while back from Amazon here: https://bit.ly/3kXribj . The air paper works well for most bags but I really like the tissue paper for getting down into the corners of a bag for better support. For example, the Gucci Flora bag loves to slouch a bit, so in addition to using air paper, I have the four corners inside filled out with the acid-free paper .

  5. Brenda Lawrence says

    Your gorgeous handbags and accessories look so beautiful all organized in one room Susan! You over did it, but in the end well worth it. Now you can rest and reap the rewards of how beautiful this looks as you pass by and be reminded of how hard you worked on it! Hugs, Brenda

    • Thanks so much, Brenda! I wish I didn’t always think everything had to be done right now! lol Once I start a project, it haunts me until it’s finished! Argggh.

  6. Thanks again for hosting this lovely party every week! I know how much time and effort goes into doing so and I want you to know that it is greatly appreciated!! Stay safe, healthy and happy!!
    Hugs,
    Debbie

  7. Wanda F Bradey says

    Looks wonderful! I love that you can see what you have. A nice display! I’m still using the clear bags you shared in the past to store mine. Thanks for always sharing great ideas! Wanda

  8. I love your decorating. But…I would really like to see the guest room updated. How about updating the window treatments to begin a more modern soothing look? A calming look is now the style and you have such great taste to update this busy fabric room.

    • I never follow trends, just do what I love and I still very much love the fabrics I’ve used in here. Thanks for the suggestion, though.
      XXX

  9. Margaret says

    Who would have thought bags would look so pretty (well, me, for one!)? I’m a Frye bag fan.

  10. Saysee Rizental says

    That looks fantastic. Great job!

  11. Susan, you are amazing! Martha Stewart couldn’t hold a candle to you in taking on this project. This project is not for the faint of heart. It took strength and patience and some carpentry skills. Take a bow! Plus all your bags look beautiful and you have a wonderful collection. Everything looks pristine.

    • The carpentry part was pretty easy since Ikea makes their shelving so easy to assemble. I wish Ikea would give other furniture manufacturers lessons in that! lol Thanks so much, Maureen!

  12. DawneMarie Anderson says

    Susan! Thank you for the bag tour! Your bags are absolutely stunning.
    You done a great job of installing the cabinets. I also own a stud finder and use it frequently.
    Thanks again for the gorgeous visual dream tour!

    • DawnMarie, is your stud finder extremely accurate? Mine will sometimes give a false positive so I never fully trust it without the pin test. lol I wish I could find one that was always 100% accurate.

      • Dawnemarie says

        My Stanley Stud Finder, which also detects AC, not extremely accurate. I sometimes measure 18” to be sure. I have a heavy plate wreath to hang, will try the pin trick! TY for that!

        • I was thinking studs 16 inches apart. I may be remembering wrong. Hope the pin trick works for you, DawnMarie!

          • DawneMarie Anderson says

            My Dear Susan! I think you’re absolutely right! 16” on center. Together we brushed up on our stud research! Good to know. Thank you. Pin trick here I come!

  13. Your organization skills always blow me away! All your handbags look brand new, and what fun to have them displayed like they are in a fancy shop! Thanks Susan

    • Thanks so much, Jenna! I used them all, but I do try to keep them out of the sun when I’m driving in the car. I think that helps a lot.
      Hope you are having an awesome week so far! Stay cool, it’s blazing hot here this week!

  14. Oh my gosh, that was lots of work, but I would do it just the same ’til I see the pretty bag collection in full display. 🙂

  15. This is so fun, and they for sure need to be displayed. They’re little works of art!

  16. Beautiful cabinets and lots of luxe designer handbags beautifully displayed! Sigh……this is something I wish I could have out in the open in my master bedroom, but that would probably make my husband’s head explode LOL!

  17. Jill from Southern New Hampshire says

    Wow! So glad you did what makes your heart happy – and what an extraordinary solo effort of putting everything together, too! I would be peeking my head in there at least 15 times a day to ooh and aah at everything! Also so clever that you made excellent use of an existing wall without having to move furniture, too. You’ve got me thinking of new ways to store my bags inside our guestroom closet or office closet on display for easy access year round – they’re filled to the brim with my hanging off-season clothes with my off-season shoes in clear boxes above on the shelf (a perk of being a sample size in the corporate offices of a shoe company) but the creative wheels are spinning of how to make it work! Thanks for the beautiful, practical and inspiring project!

    • Oooh, that sounds amazing…all those awesome samples! Thanks, Jill! I have peeked in a few times, always tweeking it a little here and there. lol

  18. Wow Susan, another amazing organizational/display arrangement. Would you share what air paper for stuffing in bags is? Where does one get it? Also, someone referred to plastic storage bags? Can you share those again? Thanks Lovely display and hopefully nothing will ever go missing after hosting guests! Ha!

  19. Brilliant! Inspires me to display my collections style-ishly. Thanks for this post. Looking forward to what comes next.

  20. Your handbag display is awesome. It could rival any closet display on The RHOBH!! 🙂 I am always amazed at the physical work you do! I’ve had grown men workers that probably couldn’t do as well as you. And they take at least 2 smoke breaks every hour (ugh-my worst nightmare) and wouldn’t stay until 2 in the morning. Bravo!
    Seriously, it looks so pretty and I love how you’ve arranged everything to it’s best advantage. You must be so proud to have that job done. Sit back in your comfy blue check chair and enjoy a glass of Rose. You’ve earned it!

    • Thanks, Anne! That sounds like a plan!
      Ha! I’ve never seen that show but from what I’ve heard about it, I think they have a few more bags than I do. lol Handbags are so addictive!

  21. Susan, I am amazed at your ability to tackle such big projects! Getting the cabinets upstairs would be a huge chore but then you put them together all by yourself! I don’t know how you do it! I’m so impressed! And they look great! Good job!

    • Thanks, Sheri! Whenever I’m faced with a big task, I try to mentally break it down into small parts to keep it from feeling too overwhelming. Then I try to accomplish the first small part, moving on to the next. My problem is when I start a project, I can already see it completed in my head so I have a hard time making myself stop for silly things like sleeping and eating. 😉

  22. Great job with the cases. You’re right, we are getting to an age where we need to do big projects in stages. In my humble opinion, though, there is too much busyness going on with the boxes on top. The top distracts the eye from the prettiness of the purse collection. Also, the top fights with the window valances on the other walls. Empty space is needed for the eye to rest as it takes in all the nice pattern of the room. But, that’s just me…

    • I tried it both ways and I was surprised that I prefer it with the boxes. I may find after a while I get tired of seeing them. If that happens, I’ll take them down. Right now, I kinda enjoy seeing them since each represents a favorite brand/bag.
      I hadn’t noticed it fighting with the window treatments in that room. I guess because I’m typically looking at one wall or the other and not both at the same time. I’ll def take a look at that though. Thanks, Robin!

  23. You are amazing, Susan. I cannot believe the extraordinary effort involved in completing this last project! You not only succeeded, but you did it all in one session!! Bravo to you! Your collection is outstanding! I would just sit in that room all day, staring at it. Or, at least I would stop and stare every time I went down the hallway!You thoroughly outdid yourself and should be proud of the results. I’m in awe…(shame on me for not even organizing my clothes closet that has now gotten out of control!)

    • Thanks so much, Rosie! Appreciate that so much! ♥ I have popped into the room several times each day since I finished it, just to see if it really did happen or if I just dreamed it. 😉 I’ve been hoping to do this for so long, it’s nice to finally have it done!
      XXX

  24. Cyndi Raines says

    Great job, well done Susan! Now all your pretty bags are all together just like you wanted them to be and so beautifully displayed. Happy for you!

  25. I think if I were you, I’d spend the night in this room, and enjoy waking up and the first thing you see would be your beautiful collection. Would be like Christmas morning.

  26. What a fun idea to place them in cabinets so you can see what you have. I keep mine in an old armoire and I forget what I even have! Ikea is a great option! Thanks for sharing your idea!

    Karin

  27. Just beautiful, Susan! You have a great talent for decorating and a good eye for its spacial elements. And your handbags are simply gorgeous!
    I like the boxes on top of the shelves, too — a nice touch.

  28. Tina W Reynolds says

    Impressive! And so beautifully and artfully arranged.

  29. Cowgirl Diva says

    Love how you have organized your beautiful handbags..!! As a “horse girl”, my favorite is the Dior Saddlebag, of course..!! ;D THANKS for the great ideas..!!

    • Thanks so much! I’ve been watching all these videos on Instagram and YouTube lately about horses and it’s made me wish I had a horse! They can be so sweet and are so smart! I love the Saddlebag too–it’s such a unique bag!

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