Living room storage ideas – Forbes Advisor
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In today’s world, your living room has to meet a multitude of requirements. Not only is it a place to hang out with your family, but it should also function as a place where you can work a few hours, entertain a few guests, and relax on the couch watching your favorite show. Often all in one day. With so many needs to be met, it is not surprising that living rooms require as many storage solutions as uses.
Read our tips to help you transform your space into a place where you and your stuff can live in peace.
1. Make your furniture run twice as long
Built-in furniture, like a built-in sofa or window seat, is a great opportunity for hidden storage. Don’t feel like going custom? Look for coffee tables with drawers or a lower shelf to maximize your surface area. Storage ottomans are also a great option for extra seating and a place to store those spare blankets.
2. Go Tailored with Built-Ins
If your space is more like a cluttered library than a living room, use full-height shelving to give you plenty of storage for your collection. Custom wall shelves are a great way to maximize your linear feet and tailor every square inch to your needs.
Running out of floor space? Build furniture into your bookshelves or create the perfect corner to slide in a sofa and mount your TV. With custom shelving, the sky really is the limit.
3. Keep it simple with shelving
If the custom bookcase look isn’t in your budget, use regular bookcases to create a semi-custom look. Sew them together to create a seamless storage wall or flanking your fireplace, as in this example from Sarah Montgomery Design’s Cortez project, for the elevated elegance of a custom room with more eclectic charm.
4. Vary the heights for your unique pieces
Make sure you get the most out of your storage areas by tailoring your shelving to your specific needs. Maybe you’re not a book lover, but more of a collector of fine ceramics or vintage records or quirky tchotchkes. Whatever your style, customizing your shelving heights will ensure each item has a perfect place to nestle.
5. Go modular to customize it
Modular shelving systems are a great way to get all the customization you need now with the ability to mix it all up again later. Choose a system that matches your aesthetic, then let your imagination run wild. From small home office nooks to elaborate bookcase shelving systems, there’s a size and style to suit every living room.
6. Lean on the wall shelves
Wall shelves are by far the most versatile type of living room storage. Stack a few for a minimalist shelf or hang a single shelf above the sofa as an art shelf. Floating shelves are great for a modern look, while wall-mounted shelves on brackets can add rustic charm. Whatever your taste, there’s bound to be a wall shelf that suits your style and budget.
7. Close your clutter
While keeping your items on display can add a lot of character to a space, sometimes you just need a dark drawer to throw all your junk in. Closed storage, like these built-in cabinets, is great for keeping everything organized and, most importantly, out of sight. This is especially handy if you live in a home that lacks storage space. Who can tell if there are board games, linens, or all of your guests’ coats behind those doors?
8. Have fun with the furniture
Who said dressers were just for bedrooms? If you find your living room storage needs a few extra drawers, look for a piece of furniture that can meet your needs and add a lot of character to a space.
Low, warm mid-century credenzas are ideal under a TV, while a tall dresser or hutch could fit well in that niche next to your fireplace. If you want things to stay sleek, look for wall-mounted options with minimal hardware.
9. Create a dust-free screen
Although china and curio cabinets may seem like a relic of the past, they make great display pieces. Whether you prefer an all-antique style or choose a more modern option, glass-fronted storage can give you the best of both worlds. Keep your most precious pieces inside to keep them out of dust and little hands’ reach while still seeing them.
10. Create a work-from-home area
In the age of working from home, our living rooms double as offices, classrooms and workshops. Using a rolling desk or large hutch is an easy way to keep work, and anything cluttered, out of sight and out of mind. With a room large enough, you can even keep a printer inside and provide a place for computers and tablets to charge when not in use.
11. Get the best of both worlds
It can be difficult to decide whether to hide your things or expose them, so why not do both? By striking a balance between open shelving and closed storage, you can ensure you have maximum versatility.
Use your open shelves to display your finest pieces and special items while your tattered paperbacks and toy boxes live in cabinets below. If the built-in route isn’t for you, try hanging open shelving above a low dresser or credenza for a similar look.
12. Keep your shelves low
If you need a little storage, but aren’t ready to sacrifice all the wall space, try using lower shelves and credenzas in your space. Like this example from @coco.kelley, having a mix of lower shelves and cabinetry leaves plenty of room for artwork, plants, or other taller items. Not to mention, it’s a great place for a lamp to add a little more ambiance to your space.
13. Use your nooks and crannies
When it comes to keeping clutter at bay, every little nook and cranny can serve a purpose. Fill those awkward voids and unused spaces with floating shelves for a little extra storage. You can even have shelves custom made to fit perfectly into any alcove you need. No strange corners in your house? Use your windowsills to display meager objects and piles of books or artwork on your mantelpiece to add a touch of simple elegance.
14. Put your decor to work
When in doubt, get storage accessories. Baskets are a great way to add warmth to a space. Place a few smaller ones on a shelf to hide clutter or tuck a large one in a corner for extra blankets. If you like flea markets, take the opportunity to find interesting objects that can be used for storage.
Use an old apothecary cabinet to hide matches and batteries, while also serving as a side table. Save a taller planter to hold your umbrellas or a sleek trey to house your remotes. Any object can be transformed into clever storage with a little imagination.
15. Put the sheets away or display them
Antique trunks and crates make great linen storage for extra blankets and pillows while also serving as side tables. If you prefer to display your throws and blankets, try hanging them from a ladder or wall hooks where they can add texture to the space. If in doubt, you can always opt for a large basket. You can never have too many baskets.
16. Maximize your stacks
If you’re prone to collecting books that don’t fit as well on a shelf, stacking them cleverly on the floor can provide nice visual levels and practical surfaces. Use a small stack of sturdier books to act as a plant stand or low side table. Do you have many magazines? Stack them neatly under benches, coffee tables and side tables to keep them out of the way, but always within reach.
17. Put it on wheels
Bar carts are a great tool for displaying your cocktail making equipment. Neatly arrange your wine and liquor bottles on the top shelf or display your collection of water pitchers and coffee carafes if liquor isn’t exactly your cup of tea.
Mobility is the key feature of a cart, so use these wheels to your advantage. Store kids’ toys and crafts for easy cleanup when you need to quickly transform your space from parent mode to party mode.
Whether you prefer a maximalist living room or a minimalist approach, with these inspiring ideas, you’re bound to find the perfect storage strategy for your space.
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