Wheelie bin storage ideas – the very best ways to disguise your outdoor bins

These ingenious storage ideas will ensure your garden or drive stays wheelie bin-free while keeping them easy to access

wheelie bin storage with living roof
(Image credit: Linsey Evans Garden Design)

Finding wheelie bin storage ideas isn't something that's usually considered a priority, but it can make the difference between having a good or bad first impression of your home. And who doesn't want to have an exterior that's as attractive as it can be, without any unsightly bins obscuring your view? 

The dilemma, of course, is that we need our wheelie bins – they're an everyday essential, and as such we need regular access, often at the front of our homes. No one wants to have to dig them out of the back of a shed every time they need them, or have to lift them over hurdles to get them to the front of their drives on bin day.  

The good news is that whether you're blessed with a large driveway, looking for front garden ideas, or have a more compact exterior where every inch of space is precious, there are a range of ways you can make your wheelie bins less conspicuous. 

Wheelie bin storage ideas

From bespoke structures with living roofs to formal hedges, charming trellis with climbing plants or even rust-proof gabions filled with stones, there are plenty of options to take your wheelie bins from unsightly to inviting. If you decide to take on a DIY project, make sure to use the right tools for the job, especially when it comes to paint.

'Disguising a wooden wheelie bin store is so much quicker and easier than ever before using quick-drying all-weather resistant products like Cuprinol Ducksback,' says Marianne Shillingford, colour expert and creative director at Cuprinol. 

'If you have foliage around the storage unit, try a colour like new Dusted Aloe or Delicate Pine, and if you want it to disappear into the soft shadows try Misty Heathland or Herring Grey. With minimal space for it to hide away, you may well want the whole thing to blend into the house, so pick a Cuprinol Garden Shades colour that is the closest match to your brick, stone or painted render (and try out a sample before you commit).'

'If, however, your bin store is a thing of beauty and you want to make a classic design statement for the neighbourhood, paint it in classic Black Ash or simple White Daisy.'

Ready to glean some much-needed inspiration? Read on to find a design that works for you and your home…

1. Add greenery with a living roof

wheelie bin storage with living roof

(Image credit: Little Terraced House)

What's not to love about a clever design that stores your wheelie bins and gives you the opportunity to squeeze in more planting, too? These structures feature a hiding spot for the bins, with a living roof on top, and whether you choose to grow flowers, succulents or herbs, it's a great way to encourage wildlife and make your bin store area look, dare we say it, pretty!

'We have three big wheelie bins – four if you count the garden waste too,' says Melissa Richie of Little Terraced House. 'They take up the whole front garden and are a bit of an eyesore. Creating the bin store was the perfect way to not only hide them but also sneak in plants to the front garden. The bees love the sedums when they are in flower and it has totally transformed the small front garden area.'

2. Hide bins with a hedge

front garden with hedge hiding wheelie bin

(Image credit: Future PLC / Brent Darby)

One of the most attractive ways to hide your wheelie bins from view is with a neat green hedge that's easy on the eye – just make sure to leave room to wheel it out from behind it when needed. Not only will it disguise your bins but it gives you added privacy from passing traffic and makes a great source of interest – plus it's better for wildlife. 

Of course, not everyone is lucky enough to inherit a hedge, so if you're wondering about the best fast-growing hedging plants to grow your own, try varieties such as cherry and bay laurel, bamboo and privet. Start with more mature plants to get it established quicker and look to plant in autumn to early spring. Alternatively, container-grown hedges can be planted any time of year.

3. Use trellis as a disguise

garden trellis with flowers growing

(Image credit: Future PLC / Colin Poole)

A trellis is the perfect garden screening idea for hiding any eyesores in your garden, such as the bin area. Grow pretty climbing plants and flowers up the trellis panels for a design that is pretty and functional. It's not the cheapest material to buy, but they are available at B&Q and you can choose from rattan, wicker, PVC, composite and even metal designs – or have a go at DIYing your own.

'Apiece of trellis with an evergreen climber is a great option and works well in shaded areas (try Trachelospermum jasminoides – an evergreen scented Jasmine),' says garden and landscape designer Linsey Evans. 'You'll need to set a couple of posts into some concrete and attach the trellis between them. I would choose the diamond trellis with the smaller gaps. 

'Dig a hole by each post and plant a climber in each hole, keeping the climber tied in until it's established. You could also plant roses, clematis or honeysuckle – whatever takes your fancy. If you have a bit more to spend there are some really lovely composite slatted screens that give a more contemporary look.'

4. Go for a gated area

gated area with wheelie bins and hedge

(Image credit: Linsey Evans Garden Design)

Creating a separate area for your wheelie bins, complete with a gate to allow access in and out, makes for a functional and attractive option, as shown here with this design from Linsey Evans Garden Design

'The practical elements of any garden always need careful consideration,' says Linsey. 'All households have wheelie bins and in many cases, there is no option except to put these at the front of the house. They are ugly and wherever possible need to be hidden. This garden design included a bin enclosure screened with curved Hornbeam hedges. A bespoke curved iron gate that matches the iron railings provides access to the bin storage area.' 

5. Screen it off

wheelie bin storage with screens

(Image credit: Charles & Ivy)

If a timber bin store isn't for you, why not invest in some smart bin screens to disguise the area? These ones, from Charles & Ivy, come in a range of designs, sizes and colours, so you can tailor them to suit your space. Not only are they weatherproof but they're also easy to install, whether it's on concrete or decking.

6. Make it bespoke

wheelie bin storage with wood doors

(Image credit: WBS Ireland)

If DIY isn't for you, then why not invest in a smart storage design that you'd never know hides bins inside? This triple waste bin storage from WBS Ireland comes in varying materials, such as this cedar design, which is easy to access and open. 

If bins aren't the only items you want garden storage for, you might want to look for a combination design that can also house bikes etc, in another compartment alongside your bins, for double storage. 

7. Match it to doors and windows

If you want your wheelie bin to look in keeping with the front of your home, why not go for a design that matches the colour of your front door or window frames? This bin store – shown on interiors account @hometransformationwithclare – is an anthracite colour, which works well against the exterior's red brick and can be locked up for security.  

How can I hide my wheelie bins cheaply?

You don't need an all-singing, all-dancing bespoke store to ensure your bins are well hidden. 'A large, evergreen plant is ideal,' says garden and landscape designer Linsey Evans, 'mine are behind a huge Fatsia japonica and completely invisible despite being in my front garden. You can also use Prunus Lusitanica (Portuguese Laurel) and clip it into a tight hedge. 

'Make sure you plant far enough away from the bins though, as you'll need to allow for the plants to grow and still have room for accessing the bins,' she adds.

How can I make a wheelie bin store?

If you're good at DIY and fancy having a go at making your own wheelie bin store, check out the price of materials against what a ready-made design would cost you (and of course, you'll need to factor in the time spent making it). Mel at Little Terraced House created her own living roof bin store using timber, cladding and planters. You can see the full instructions on her blog.

Can I keep my bins at the front of my house?

The side or the rear of your home is the usual place to keep wheelie bins, but you'll need to make sure it's not in the way or blocking any paths. 'Some housing developments have covenants specifically disallowing residents to keep bins out the front,' says Linsey Evans, 'so it's best to check your house deeds. 

'Even if you are not specifically forbidden to keep bins in your front garden, neighbours can get upset if people are keeping ugly bins out the front and making the neighbourhood look untidy. It's always best to screen them and keep your neighbours happy if you can. 

'Another thing to consider is the smell – bins do get very whiffy in summer – and if you live on a terrace and share a path with neighbours it's not pleasant walking by a smelly wheelie bin every time you enter and leave your house, so try and be considerate,' Linsey adds.

Laurie Davidson

Laurie Davidson is a professional stylist, writer and content creator, who lives and breathes interiors. Having worked for some of the UK’s leading interior magazines, styled homes up and down the country and produced sets for TV shows, adverts and top brands, it’s safe to say Laurie has had a pretty exciting career. Find her on Instagram at @lifeofaninteriorstylist or over at lauriedavidson.co.uk