While rain may be in short supply, beautiful rain barrels are not. According to brand research, during heavy rainfalls, your very own roof can channel hundreds of gallons of water. If captured, this sky harvest can reduce your home water use by up to 40%! Be sure to check with your municipality first, however, because some areas prohibit the use of rain barrels in times of drought.
Nature-inspired without being kitschy, Impressions 50 gallon water barrel is a piece of garden art in its own right. Besides being beautiful, this 50-gallon rain saver is resistant to puncture, impact, cracking, fading, and breakage. It is weatherproof and comes with a one year warranty. Our favorite features are the two brass spigots for simultaneous drainage, and an internal reservoir for easy care and upkeep. Best of all? The built-in flower pot, which doubles as a lid. Choose from three earthy shades of green, oak, and sandstone. Available at Target; $74.99.
The Impressions 50 gallon Downton rain barrel channels the look of European cobblestone streets. If your home or patio area are faced with stone, this elegant rain harvester will blend right in. Select from five natural hues, from light granite to red brick. Made of durable polyethylene plastic with brass fixtures, it is waterproof and weather resistant. The integrated overflow channel diverts any excess water and prevents flooding. Worried about debris or insects in your water? This rain barrel comes with a screen to filter out unwanted substances. Two brass spigots and an eye-catching flower pot lid complete the look. Available on Wayfair; $112.99.
Another member of the Impressions family, the Nantucket 50 gallon rain barrel is made of sturdy plastic – but looks like wicker. With a gentle hourglass shape, brass fixtures, and two fade-proof colors to choose from (black or dark brown), your Nantucket rain barrel will never fray or leak. With standout features including a built-in diversion channel, fine plastic-mesh screen, and twin spigots for easy draining, you can collect rain water without worrying about insect debris or overflow issues. The lid contains a 4-inch channel which doubles as a planter – perfect for that herb garden you’ve been meaning to grow. Available on Amazon; $112.99.
If good looks and heirloom quality sound appealing, check out Good Ideas rain barrel wizard. The terracotta-colored, faux-oak barrel is actually made of resin, which is UV resistant and won’t fade over the years. Yes, it’s a bit pricier than other models, but make sure you also factor in the savings. A rain barrel can pay for itself after just a few rainy seasons. This barrel has a front-side overflow channel to prevent flooding, and a single spout for drainage. The unique “flat-back” design allows the barrel to sit flush against your house, saving you space. The only note of caution: Keep your barrel above freezing temps, so store it in your garage during the coldest wintery days. Available at Target; $170.99.
For folks living in areas that get a lot of rain, why not invest in a 55 gallon rain saver? The extra five gallons will shrink your water bill. And with this subtle column design, you won’t have to sacrifice home aesthetics. Good Ideas Savannah-style rain saver is made of deep gray polyethylene resin. The color will never fade due to weather exposure, and the sophisticated design won’t dominate your garden. With a forward-flowing diversion channel, and a brass spigot, this column style “rain barrel” comes with a debris screen to keep unwanted floaters out of your water. Position it close to your home, under your eaves, and plant some bright, water-loving flowers in the lid. Available at Target; $249.99.
Claiming to have the “easiest diverter installation in the industry,” Earth Minded’s RainStation is sleek, efficient, and stress-free. Just situate your RainStation near any downspout around your home, garage, or outbuilding and the patented diverter promises to simplify installation and usage. The 85% recycled resin body is available in natural shades of black, terracotta, and granite. With a 45 gallon capacity and a snap-on lid that doubles as a planter, Earth Minded’s barrels come with illustrated instructions and are a convenient size for balconies, decks, and patios. Available at The Home Depot; $103.99.
Go for a classic. With its matte finish, this pottery-shaped urn is actually made of high-quality, UV-stabilized polyethylene. It features a 50 gallon capacity with a single brass spigot and a mesh screen guard for purity. In its functional yet decorative lid, you can display a potted plant or store garden tools. While the brand does not recommend using the collected water for drinking, rainwater can serve a host of other functions, from gardening to cleaning. Choose from two earth-tone hues: terracotta and brown. Available from Gardener's Supply Company; $139.
If money is not a major concern – but beauty and longevity are – look no further. Exacto Trading’s Slatted Rain Barrel has an extra-large 92-gallon capacity, and a slim profile. Constructed of low density, UV stable polyethylene, the wide slats will trick you into thinking it’s real wood (without the rotting and upkeep). Instead, you can expect lasting quality, weather resistance, and easy use. This rain storage system has a drain hole, brass spigot, and Universal Downspout Connection Kit, which can be installed into any standard rectangular downspout. Made with precision and modern elegance in mind. Available from Gardener's Supply Company; $699.99.
Koolscapes 75-gallon rain barrel is built for extremes. With an extra-large capacity, it can also handle hot and cold temps, thanks to its “rotational-molded plastic construction.” This process avoids defects in the form, and also strengthens the material. A built-in threaded fitting allows you to easily connect a soaker or garden hose. With its evenly balanced base and secure grid, Koolscapes barrel is childproof and designed for stability. It may be plastic, but you’ll think it’s stone. A brass spigot completes the look. Available at The Home Depot; $179.44.
With its contemporary profile and affordable price, Wayfair’s Camarillo rain barrel stores up to 49 gallons of free water. With a two year warranty, the flat silhouette will save you space and is crafted from UV-resistant plastic (not BPA free however). A four-foot hose, nozzles, and corrosion-proof screen guard are included in your purchase, for a complete rain harvesting system. The lid doesn’t double as a planter, but looks especially clean and modern when decorated with smooth river stones. Available on Wayfair; $103.99.
Is this a rain barrel? Or an architectural feature? Good Ideas Savannah rain saver disguises a 50 gallon barrel as a chic white planter. A great choice for brick, colonial, and other traditional American homes. Built of heavy-duty polyethylene resin, the strong, clean lines look like painted wood – but are weather-resistant and crack-proof. With a flat-back design to save you space, this barrel is outfitted with two brass spigots and an overflow channel to prevent water from trickling into your home’s foundation. Topped with a deep trough for planting flowers, this pretty rain saver will save money, boost your green cred, and enhance your curb appeal. Available at Target; $159.99.
Providing camouflage and a 42-gallon rain gathering capacity, Good Ideas rock rain barrels are a great landscaping addition to your garden. They look like big boulders, but are made of plastic. The downspout diverter keeps your rain barrel full and also prevents overflowing. With their naturalistic look, these barrels are great for hiding unsightly sprinklers and pipes—and watering your life as nature intended. Available on Wayfair; $115.99.
Look Good While Doing Good
Make sustainable choices for your house without sacrificing on style.
If you have the money to hire a handyman for every household woe, go ahead. But if you want to hang on to your cash and exercise some self-sufficiency, check out these clever products that solve a million and one little problems around the house. Go now!