The Bread Box Breakdown

If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you are bound to have noticed the little obsessions that enter my mind, rattle around a while, and then leave as quickly as they came.  Most of those ideas are decor related, and once I satisfy the obsession, my mind moves on to something else.

For today’s look into my crazy mind, we’re going to talk about bread boxes and my desperate desire to have one in the kitchen.  My family doesn’t even necessarily eat that much bread at home, but something tells me that it would taste so much better if it was removed from the plastic bag and placed in a bread box (Don’t even kid yourself about my ability to bake a loaf of bread, okay?  My bread is totally store bought).  We’ve been storing our bread on top of the refrigerator so that it doesn’t get smushed in the pantry, but the heat is making it go bad pretty quickly.  A bread box is supposed keep its contents at room temperature and allow just enough air in to inhibit mold growth, so it’s probably a better bet than my next option of putting the loaf in the pantry.

Plus, bread boxes are just plain darling.

My conundrum comes with selecting a winner from the oodles of bread boxes sold in stores. From what I can tell, there are two basic styles of bread boxes – metal and wooden.  Let’s go ahead and toss the wooden one out the window, because I don’t want anymore wood in my kitchen due to my dark cabinets (that I desperately want to paint turquoise one of these days) and dark counter tops.  Let’s check out some metal contenders.

Crate and Barrel offers two sizes of bread boxes – one holds 2 loaves and the other (above) holds 3.  I really like the shape of this box, but it’s too chrome-y for me.  I envision lots of little finger prints on it, so this one doesn’t win the prize of getting to come home with me.

West Elm offers a white enamel bread bin in a gorgeous shape.  I love that it sits on a wooden base and and has an interesting shape.  I just wish that it came in a color other than white, although it is definitely better than chrome.  At this stage in my home, I need my kitchen accessories to bring in some color since my cabinets don’t.  But, I am a sucker for enamel.

Since color is what I crave, I’m really crushing on this red retro-style bread box at Williams-Sonoma.  It looks like a little steel safe, doesn’t it?  Hands off my bread, crooks!  This one is definitely in contention, although it’s price ($80) is a little hard to stomach.

And of course, I had to include this little cutie found on Amazon.  I’m drawn to anything I find in this deep turquoise color.  I just always have the feeling that anything unbranded and unrated on Amazon is probably not worth the time and money to order.  Thoughts?

My other option, and one I will likely further explore, is to actually go vintage.  Upon quick glance, there are many options available on Ebay, including some fun mid-century designs.  But, I question the type of paint used to coat those beauties.  Was it lead?  Perhaps I should roam around my favorite local vintage shops with a lead paint test kit, swiping all of the bread boxes in sight.  Don’t put it past me, y’all!

Do you have a bread box?  Did you grow up with one on your kitchen counter?  Please pass along any wisdom you may have while this current obsession still occupies my mind.

Filed Under: Decorate Your Home

About Lindsay Ballard

Lindsay Ballard is a former college mascot turned political geek turned DIY fanatic who is conspiring to live in a Technicolor dream world. Her designs are bold and graphic, while her spirit is fun and full of color. Lindsay chronicles her projects and design ideas here at Makely, where she shares daily tutorials and inspiration. Lindsay lives outside of Austin, Texas with her husband (Tom), children (Zack and Emma) and dogs (Jack and Duke).


  1. Rebecca M says:

    I have a breadbox on my counter that holds a loaf of bread and can also hold some hot dog or hamburger buns and a couple of left over odds and ends like the last muffin, biscuit, etc. It keeps all that stuff together and undercover, which I love on both levels. I keep the stuff in ziploc bags, however. I’m not sure the breadbox would keep them fresh without the extra help. I got mine at a garage sale, and it’s a little too chromey for my taste, too (but it was $2).

  2. Natalie P. says:

    I just purchased a breadbox from Target a few months ago. It was a metal one on clearance for $6 – very simple style. They offered white, black, turquoise, and red. I chose the white one because my kitchen cabinets and countertops are dark. I really love color, but I thought I could always add colorful vinyl decals to my white breadbox to spruce it up in the future. I love having it corral all of my breads, bagels, buns, etc. without taking up too much counterspace.

  3. Funny you ask – I was just on a breadbox hunt and found the vintage one of my dreams at a yard sale! Check it out:
    Have fun finding one that suits!

  4. Love the retro one for sure. Never had a bread box as a kid but always wanted one. Dont really like the old ones. Something about putting my food in a rusty old box sounds kinda yuk.

  5. I have a bread box. It’s crammed with all things bread. Probably some mouldy bits too if I keep thing very real. Thing is, I keep the bread in bags in the box. Never thot not too…now I’m not sure what to do after reading your post. I think I’ll just try it without the bag and see what happens…..stay tuned :)

  6. I definitely would leave the bread in the bags. All the bread boxes I’ve ever seen aren’t air tight enough to keep the bread from going stale or moldy.

  7. Wow….when did bread boxes get so fleeeeeping expensive? 😛 I have a metro shelf along one wall, and keep my bread in a basket on that. Everything stays in its bag and I can see what I have.

  8. I have a stainless steel one I got from Ikea years ago when I too had this breadbox obsession and only SS would do. I loved it for a long time. Thing is, it’s actually too small for my family of five – when I bought it, it was just the hubs and me. So I’ve been looking to upsize. I constantly have bread overflowing on top of it, on my counters. I make sandwiches for school lunches every day – we go through mountains of bread. It annoys me to no end. I need a better solution.

  9. I don’t think there’s anything nicer than an antique, valuable or not. I have a handmedown wooden bread box from my grandmother with blue & while tiled scenes on the front, which is fine for my eclectic kitchen. good luck finding one that suits your style!

  10. We had a wooden bread box growing up. I’ve been crushing on a vintage Norwegian metal bread box, don’t think I’ll be just happening across one here in the US. So I continue to crush, and might settle for something else one day :)

  11. Loving the white enamel. Pretty hard to go wrong with it and I really like the vintage feel, especially for a kitchen. Love your site!

  12. Shelby – that box you found, wow! HOW did you get that kind of LUCK?

  13. judy in carefree says:

    My bread box is a hand painted roadside mail box that has an antique finish and wonderful hand painted strawberries. I’ve had it for about twenty years and it holds a large loaf of bread and is easy to clean with a damp cloth. I didn’t want any of the ones I saw in stores and was so excited when I saw one at a craft fair. I asked the artist to custom paint mine with the strawberries because at the time my kitchen had strawberry curtains and a red sink.

  14. How about spray paint in a favorite color on the one from West Elm? Such a great shape! Vicki

  15. Well, I didn’t know that I needed a bread box until I saw your post…now I’m thinking it would be a good idea. So, I started looking around on the Internet and it seems that some of the complaints are the quality…not strong or sturdy enough. So I started thinking, how about a galvanized box. I found a good one: But wondering… How much air flow does a bread box really need? Could I just drill a could of holes in the back? Really curious…

  16. Oh i like these ideas! The enamel one is adoreaaable! I don’t have a breadbox, but often freeze my bread. The last breadbox I had was wooden and things went moldy in it so quickly! :( But i like these alternatives!

  17. Beth McHale says:

    Hi Lindsay, just wanted to let you know that the retro safe looking breadbox from Williams-Sonoma only holds a small loaf…not at all worth the $80 price tag.
    I have a stainless one I found at a thrift store that I converted into a charging station for all our phones.

  18. Shell We says:

    Oh I know the bread box crush all to well. I picked up 2 vintage wooden ones in Germany a few months back. Target has some vintagey looking metal ones & the last time I looked at them they were being marked down so maybe you can find one in a color you like. I was seriously contemplating the turquoise/teal one.

  19. Jennifer says:

    This bread bin from Anthro is pretty, but $158??? In my dreams.

  20. I have always loved bread boxes and have wanted one as well. I was so happy to see this and all of the cute ideas. I think when it comes down to it though I would hate to give up my space on the kitchen counter. I put my buns and chips in a basket in my pantry. But seriously, they are so cute!

  21. nopinkhere says:

    Go with West Elm and alter it!

  22. You might try etsy for vintage ones as well. For some reason I much prefer it to eBay, even before I became a seller. If you’re worried about lead perhaps you could coat it with some kind of clear sealant?

  23. Debra Harlan says:

    I have an aversion to bread boxes. My parents always had one and everything in it was always molded/stale. It’s just a storage trap in my mind. Bread, top wicker pantry shelf, in original bag. No collecting. New bag in…old one out! Funny how those things stick with you…memories that is.

  24. I like the red retro-style bread box.
    I love bread! Hands off my bread!

  25. Jodi T. says:

    I saw one similar to the white and wooden one at Target a few months back… And it was TURQUOISE. I almost bought it.. But I had just gotten a new one… Oh, and it was on the clearance isle 😉

  26. We never had a bread box when I was a kid. Always kept the bread in the freezer and microwaved it if it didn’t thaw out fast enough. Yeah, we had a few hockey pucks for sandwiches. So when I got a hand me down bread box just given to me, I never thought about putting bread in it. It currently serves as a really handy place to store all the miscellaneous medicines that my family takes including Advil, tylenol, tums, etc. It doesn’t sound like a lot of stuff but the box is full and the bottles are corralled in the box. My box is light oak and my kitchen is sterile white, even the counter tops are white, so I can totally relate to your need for color. And with bugs loving the kitchen, I would definitely keep the bread in the plastic bag.

  27. Julie Walker says:

    Just finished with a vintage wood roll top breadbox I found at a local thrift store; didn’t want the heaviness of the wood so I painted with a linen white and antiqued the edges to hold the charm of the box. Lucked out with a old wooden potato/trash bin we had stored in the barn and gave it a matching antique paint job and updated with a metal knob. Thinking of doing the currently sterile white cabinets to match the two pieces and bringing soft pastel green color in with linen colored stenciling on the wall. My entire kitchen has been inspired by this <$5 thrift store bread box project.