I'm looking to build a warehouse / storage area to house the ever-growing amount of resources that my friends and I mine, but...I don't just want to build a longhouse with chest after chest after chest in it and it looks awful. Does anyone have some big storage facilities that actually look nice or some ideas on how to build one?
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The only method I regularly use is chests on end, alternating with trapped chests, and using an item frame on the end with an item of the chest contents in it. The Item frame contents kinda make the design a bit more colourful IMO, like so:
I like the quirky stuff myself. I was always fond of Monstro the Whale that I built in a 1.10 modded SSP
A flush piston door allowed ingress by opening up the whale's mouth, and all the chests were set up in the innards. Netherwart blocks for the tongue, and the shelves were made of bone blocks.
It was on two layers and there was an item sorter for mob drops on the lower level so I could dump all my rotten flesh and stuff in a chest at the entrance and collect it downstairs when I needed it.
Another one I made in a different world was the Tetris Building (of course: it's where I keep my blocks!). Inside's not that exciting, just a bunch of glass floors with chests set up against the walls, but it looked pretty cool from the outside.
I've also seen a few different people building giant chests, pumpkins or other oversized reproductions of Minecraft blocks to put their chests in.
Chests are going to be THE most efficient and easy method, but they're surely not the only one. I believe you can place some blocks via dispenser/dropper, and if so then this means you can build an automatic variation of what I call a gravity silo. At the top would be your dispenser or glitch-exploiting cheaty machine (ie, sand duplicator), and at the bottom of the drop shaft would be an access point for you to on-demand mine out what you need. The manual version that I normally use has a ladder or some other means to get to the top where I place every block above the hole to let fall down.
Blocks that can be automatically generated in-world (ie, cobblestone and smooth stone) can be stored in a piston-wall cube of whatever shape you desired (up to 13 blocks on a side). They're a bit slow and you'll be limited decoration-wise.
One idea that at least on paper seems like it'd be really, really cool would be to have a C-shaped droppervator continuously raining items downwards. Whenever you needed some of that item, you would just walk into the stream to automatically grab a bunch. It would not be as compact, and because of the redstone if not also the sheer number of entities (in a decently-sized storehouse) it'd probably even be super laggy. You could cut down on the lag by triggering the flow manually via button/lever/pressure plate/tripwire, though that sort of defeats the whole "cool to look at" angle.