Storage space is never easy to come by, but this is especially true in the living room, where you want to maintain a level of formality and comfort. This might mean stocking your living room with throw blankets, books, and magazines for cozy nights in while also having a place to tuck those aforementioned items away when guests come by. Since it'll require some creativity to get the most out of every nook and cranny (particularly if you live in a small space), we came up with a list of seven unexpected and transformative living room storage ideas.
Some of these storage solutions are great for those redecorating or shopping for their first home, so they'll require a bit more planning. We also made sure to include a few simple but less obvious tips that anyone with access to a hammer or an Amazon account can try in their own homes. So get organized and clutter-free by scrolling through our list of seven stylish living room storage ideas below.
Use Every Surface Area, and Opt for Clever Furniture
In this living room, we're digging that the sofa provides extended storage with a built-in wood surface, proving that stylish statement furniture can also be functional and comfortable. Notice how it offers up a large side table and a backboard to hang your loose items, like a pair of headphones. If your space isn't large enough for a sofa like this one or you've already invested in a sofa and don't want to buy a new one in this style, the trick is to utilize all your surface areas to keep things looking clean.
Take advantage of every flat surface area in the room. Instead of cramming all your candles, succulents, books, and decorative objects on the coffee table, put some on the fireplace mantel and some on the windowsill. If you have an extensive magazine collection, try stacking them under the coffee table. Or pile them high, and use the magazine tower as a side table. Of course, you don't need to leave your coffee table completely bare, but if you spread everything out throughout the space, it will look thoughtfully styled rather than messy.
Ditch Bulky Furniture, and Reach for the Ceiling
No matter how many nooks and crannies you utilize, sometimes there just isn't enough room to store all your things. But that doesn't mean your belongings have to stay strewn about your furniture and floors. Instead, think about ways to use your walls and ceilings to make your living room feel larger and more organized. Floating shelves are both stylish and functional, and hanging hooks are also a great way to keep linens, blankets, and hats nice and tidy. We also love how this room used a bench to keep things neat.
Place a cushion on a bench or get it upholstered for a cozier feel. Then stack your books and shoes underneath it (something you can't always do with bulky couches).
Consider Cubbies, and Use the Mantel
Cubbies are not just for kindergarteners. As you can see in this living room, a simple, cubby-like shelf can function as a great storage solution without taking the spotlight away from the statement pieces and overall ambiance. If you tuck them away in the corner, you can hide technology and other devices as well. You can hardly even see the speakers peeking out from behind the chic coffee table books in the image above, and our eyes are too busy looking at the abstract wall art anyway. Low, two-tier shelves or a bench with a shelf will do just the trick. If that still doesn't provide you with enough storage space, start stacking your belongings atop the mantel or the windowsills like we suggested previously.
Display Your Bar Cart
Bar carts are great because they function as makeshift shelves, side tables, and drawers. They're particularly great for lofts and studios when the dining, kitchen, and living areas flow into each other. This is because they have qualities that seamlessly mix the casual vibe of a cooking area into the more dressy environment you'd try to achieve in a living room. In the room above, the bar cart is used traditionally, stacked with barware and spirits. You can just as easily use it to display your decorative items and store your necessities if you're not worried about concealing them.
Reinvent What You Already Have
If you leave your blankets laying around, they can make your space feel more cluttered and less formal, so tuck them away when you aren't using them. In the warmer months, it'll probably just get in your way. And you don't have to hide a beautiful throw blanket in a concealed dresser just because you aren't using it; it can still be displayed if you let it peek out of a basket, for example.
We love how effortlessly elegant this little corner looks. It's the perfect example of how to stay organized in a small space or on a budget. Rather than just shoving everything into a closet or buying a large chest of drawers, you can make use of the furniture you already have. Who says an understated side chair can't become a side table or that an affordable set of baskets can't be treated as dresser drawers? The gorgeous photograph established just the right touch of refinement.
Get Accent Pieces That Double as Storage
We love how friendly and liveable this space is while also retaining a degree of formality. It was also designed with stylish storage solutions in mind. There's a magazine rack between the two club chairs to minimize a large pileup on the coffee table, a ladder leaning against the wall to drape throw blankets, and a media console with shelves for anything that should be tucked away. And although you can't see it in this image, there's also a basket next to the ladder for other random knickknacks (this is a great option if you have kids who leave their toys around from time to time.) Each storage solution also happens to be a stylish accent piece.
Consider Customizing Your Space
If you can afford to invest in customized furniture that provides built-in storage drawers, it's definitely worth it. Not only will this add a more personalized touch to your home, but it's also great for families with lots of belongings to organize and store. If your media console is already packed to the brim, you can tuck your remote controls and other devices in a drawer underneath your sofa. This living room also features a sitting area that's built into the wall, which makes the room feel a lot larger.
If neither of these ideas seems feasible, opt for a sofa with space underneath, and place some bins or trays there to tuck your things away when guests come over. You were probably looking for an excuse not to vacuum under the sofa anyway, right?