When decorating a room, we don't tend to give much thought to the waste receptacle. But the decorative details can be important.
"They can make or break your best efforts," says Diane Henkler, a decorator in Lake Murray, South Carolina. "The details are the fine tuning; you should give them the same thought and planning that you give to the major elements in the room."
You could plunk any utilitarian plastic bucket in the corner, but why not add something with a little dash to stash the trash?
Some options that would make a space look pulled together and cohesive:
Los Angeles designer Brendan Ravenhill calls his clever, clean-lined bin "the love child of a trash can and dust pan." It's made from a durable, powder-coated steel that resists chips and scratches; a handy dust pan made of birch, with coconut-skin bristles, attaches to the side of the dustbin with magnets. (www.brendanravenhill.com)
Lidded bins are a smart choice for the bathroom. Simple Human's 10-liter, rectangular model has a slim profile that slides nicely between vanity and toilet. Easy-to-clean, odor-resistant metal, a sturdy foot pedal and a well-fitting lid make it a durable option. Or if you're a tech lover, you might appreciate Simple Human's 58-liter can that comes in several finishes, including trendy burnished bronze and rose gold. No need to tap the pedal or lift the lid; the can has a hand and voice-activated sensor. (www.simplehuman.com)
If you don't need a lid but would still like to use a liner, consider Rubbermaid's Executive Series 3.5-gallon can. You fit your plastic waste bag over an inner liner, then a black-and-chrome outer bin slides over the top like a collar so the plastic bag won't show. (www.rubbermaid.com)
Lexmod takes a whimsical approach with their Lava bin made of plastic molded to look like crumpled paper. It comes in white, black and an emphatic red. (www.lexmod.com)
More whimsical bins are to be found at www.overstock.com, including one made of resin molded into a tree stump, with a mother bear and cub climbing up the side. A trio of Kokopelli dancers cavorts around another resin bin in traditional Southwestern hues. Or art lovers might appreciate Van Gogh's "Autumn Blossom" rendered on canvas and wood with a leather trim.
Umbra Studio's designer Henry Huang has created an elegant yet minimalist wood bin with an integrated handle. Choose from matte-finish stains in on-trend colors like teal, espresso and misty blue. (www.umbra.com)
Metallic accents add flair to a room. Urban Outfitters has a simple yet chic copper cylinder that would work in bed, bath or office. Also here, there's one with a silvery, iridescent finish. (www.urbanoutfitters.com)
Designer Annie Selke's trio of copper wire bins could be used to hold crafts or accessories. (www.pineconehill.com)
Another option: The creative folks at Martha Stewart Living suggest combing antiques fairs and flea markets for old cracker barrels, sap buckets, woven baskets or ceramic canisters that can be used as wastebaskets. (www.marthastewart.com)
Or make your own. Henkler bought an inexpensive woven bin, spray-painted it and then worked strips of coordinating fabric through the basket weave. (www.inmyownstyle.com)
Repurpose an existing trash can by giving it a new outfit. Choose felt, fabric or a decorative paper -- gift wrap, scrapbook, newsprint, glossy magazine or handmade -- and roll the can along the paper to trace the outline. Attach with glue or tape, and add top and bottom ribbon trim if desired. Leftover wallpaper or contact paper also works well. Add embellishments like stencils, pompoms or trinkets. Instructions can be found at www.hgtv.com and www.shelterness.com.