Storage space in the living room can often feel awkward or out of place. While you want to maintain a level of formality, you also want to create a comfortable retreat with easy access to essentials like throw blankets, books, other entertainment essentials. With a little creativity, you can get the most out of every square inch (particularly if you live in a small space). Scroll through our inspiration guide to lose the clutter and gain plenty of storage.
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.
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).
Use the Mantel as a Shelf
A wide mantel can act as a bookshelf, a place to store little treasures, or a way to display artwork. Whatever the main use, choose items that compliment the style of the fireplace mantle and your living room.
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. 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 as storage.
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. Don't drink? You can just as easily use it to display your decorative items and store your necessities.
Choose Accent Pieces That Double as Storage
Incorporates stylish storage solutions as part of the desgn. 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. Each storage solution also happens to be a stylish accent piece.
Find a Sofa with Built-In Storage
A sofa with built-in storage drawers is definitely worth the extra price tag. Not only will it help you declutter, but it's also great for families who need to organize and store lots of items.
Add a Wall of Bookshelves
If floor space is at a minimum, turn your walls into storage units. Build a wall-sized bookcase, and fill it with more than just books. Use the shelves to hold plants, artwork, or travel souvenirs.
Store Blankets and Other Bulky Items Inside an Ottoman
Find furniture that does double duty as seating or table space while also offering storage solutions. You might rest your feet on the top of the ottoman while reclining or add a tray on top in lieu of a coffee table. Inside, use the space to store thow blankets and other items.
Turn a window Seating Area into Storage
If you are lucky enough to have a window bench, use the space underneath the seating for storage. Add drawers or turn the seating top into a flip-top bench to access a chest of space beneath.
Hide Desk Clutter with a Roll Top Desk
Whether you work from home or only use a desk occasionally, desktop surfaces are a clutter magnet. Antique roll top or secretary desks offer a generous workspace with built-in storage, and when you're done, you can simply flip down the cover to hide the work mess/
Add Extra Seating with a Storage Bench
We can't get enough of furniture that does double duty. A bench that provides a comfy seat and storage is a great idea, especially for small spaces or studio apartments where floor space is at a minimum.
Create a Kid-Friendly Corner
Families who juggle a desire for stylish design alongside the need to store lots of kid stuff can get creative and do both. Dedicate a corner of the living room to the kids' play or art area and use rolling carts or under table storage to put it all away at the end of the day.
If you aren't able to hide away your belongings in a small space, make them all part of the decor. Use shelving to show off colorful books, and mix and match storage units to add color and organization to small living rooms.
Use Built-Ins For More than Books
Those who live in pre-war apartment units or homes built in craftsman or bungalow style may have classic builts-in shelving units. Think beyond books or China storage and fill the shelves with pieces of artwork, small plants or treasured decor items.
Use Every Inch of Hall Closets
In smaller spaces creativity is key. If you have a hall closet or nook beneath the staircase, use every inch for storage. Replace a closet rod with shelves to double or triple the amount of closet storage.
Create a Book Nook
When shelving alone won't do, transform a wall into an entire reading nook. DIY a bench within a deep bookcase that provides seating and organization. Then lose yourself for hours while reading a good thriller or favorite poetry collection.
Hang Floating Cubby Shelves
Use the wall to your advantage and create vertical storage. Beyond bookshelves, look for options that mach your style preferences and create floating cubbies or floating shelves to hold books and small trinkets.
Turn Wasted Space Into Storage
A trick used by tiny home builders and micro-apartment architects is to use every surface inch. There are several cubic feet of unused space under most staircases. Instead of leaving blank walls, install roll out shelving or storage cubes.
Gather Candles in One Place
To create a uniform space that feels a little tidier, gather all your candles in one place. Stack wax or flameless candles inside an old fireplace, windowsill, or alcove for a clever way to add warmth and organization.
Cut the Back out of Storage Cabinets to Hide Cords
TV, video game systems, and sound systems all have multiple cords that look messy no matter how you arrange them. While specialty TV stands typically have cord holes cut out in the back, you can easily DIY your own. To repurpose an old cabinet or storage unit for electronics, drill small holes in the back to allow easy access for electric cords.
Combine Shelves and Cabinets
Instead of doing floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, create a wall that combines both. Use bookshelves for display, and store clutter in the well-designed cabinets. The combination also creates a vertical interest along the wall.
Create a Plant Wall
Houseplants add a sense of calm and a pop of green to any room. For small living rooms, store your plants vertically. Stack them on shelves or use tall plant stands that utilize wall space instead of floor space.
Tuck Electronics Away in the Coffee Table
Don't leave the remote or tablet on the coffee table. Store it inside instead. A coffee table with hidden shelves or drawers adds more usable space and will help keep your living room tidy without extra cleaning
Hide Shoes in a Cabinet
For homes with a front door that leads directly into the living room, there's a constant struggle to keep shoes tidy. Instead of leaving them on the floor, clear up the clutter and tuck them away in a shoe cabinet. Find one that has a top shelf or cubby shelf and you'll also have extra space keys and other small items.
Steal a Bathroom Organization Idea
Towel hooks in bathrooms or coat hooks in the hall entryway let you easily store items you use frequently. Steal the idea for your living room. Use pretty hooks to hang throw blankets when not using.
Use a Stack of Books as a Small Shelf
Need a place to set down your cup of coffee or a candle next to the couch? Gather large books (library sales are a great place to find art books and other coffee table books at a discount) and stack them to form a small shelf.
Use a Room Divider
Sometimes, even with your best cleaning efforts, you can't store all the mess. Hide it instead. A room divider adds architectural interest and will hide problem areas in the living room. This one does double duty as a room divider with shelves.
Repurpose an Old Fireplace
If you have an older home with a gorgeous mantle and empty fireplace space, don't let it go to waste. We know you're already using the mantle as a shelf, but don't forget the old fireplace, too. Fill it with books for a literary space, or stack items like these wooden logs to add visual interest and decoration.
Store Small Items in Neat Baskets
For smaller items that need to be tucked away when not in use, opt for small, decorative baskets. They can be stored in shelving units or placed in less conspicuous places like behind the sofa.