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 (mainly 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. The adjustable cushions and simple frame prove 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 tiny treasures, or a way to display artwork. Whatever the main use, choose items that complement the style of the fireplace mantel and your living room. Need extra shelving? Adding a floating shelf above the mantel can do the trick.
Reinvent What You Already Have
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. If you leave your blankets lying around, they can make your space feel more cluttered and less formal, so tuck them away when you aren't using them.
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
This stunning living room incorporates stylish storage solutions as part of the design. 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. With plenty of styles and colors to work with, you're sure to find one that fits your space.
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 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 throw 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.
Choose Furniture That Works Together
When trying to save space, it can be difficult to decide what is necessary and what is simply a want. If you choose furniture pieces that work together, you likely can have both. This living room contains a stunning decorative footstool that tucks away perfectly underneath the coffee table. This way, when not in use, the footstool can be hidden from sight to create more room.
Use Exposed Space
While it's essential to ensure you aren't cluttering up every space in your home, sometimes underrated storage possibilities could be right under your nose. This bench has a perfect view outside and creates an ideal space to read—so the books are neatly stacked and placed under the bench. The books are still displayed yet tucked away to ensure they aren't kicked around.
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. Additionally, you may be surprised how much dećor can be mounted or hung up, creating an eclectic gallery wall.
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 built-in shelving units. Think beyond books or China storage when decorating, though. Feel free to fill the shelves with pieces of artwork, small plants, or treasured dećor 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.
Get a Two-Tier Coffee Table
We always love a stylish coffee table—especially one that stores twice as many items! A two-tier coffee table adds an additional shelf at the bottom to store things like books, remotes, or small dećor items to display without throwing them in a box. It also works well when you need to clear the table for a game night or eat dinner without leaving all your items on the floor or the very edge of the table.
Hang Floating Cubby Shelves
Use the wall to your advantage and create vertical storage. Beyond bookshelves, look for options that match your style preferences. Floating cubbies or floating shelves can hold books and small trinkets, while small hooks can allow plants or other items to be prominently displayed.
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. Unique placement is key here in order to look intentional. Stack wax or flameless candles inside an old fireplace, windowsill, or alcove for a clever way to add warmth and organization.
Get a Console Table With Blurred Glass
TV, video game systems, and sound systems all have multiple cords that look messy no matter how you arrange them. For a simple fix, opt for a console table with blurred glass panels in the front. All your cords and consoles can be tucked away without much hassle, and the fogged glass still gives the impression of what's behind the cabinet doors without needing to open them.
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.
Use a Trunk as a Coffee Table
While there are table options available to create extra storage, it can be easy to repurpose items if you already have them. This vintage trunk creates a sturdy table to balance books and other items yet has plenty of room to store additional items in the living room.
Steal a Bathroom Organization Idea
Towel hooks in bathrooms or coat hooks in the hall entryway let you easily store items you use frequently. So why not 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. You can play around with various sizes and stacking options to achieve exactly what you're hoping for.
Use Under The Staircase as Extra Space
While we've mentioned turning space under a staircase into a place for cabinets and drawers, there are other uses for it as well. Adding an extra chair or small table that may make a living room feel cramped can easily be transported under the stairs to create a simple reading nook.
Repurpose an Old Fireplace
If you have an older home with a gorgeous mantel and empty fireplace space, don't let it go to waste. We know you're already using the mantel 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
When in doubt, using baskets can be a godsend. Opt for small, decorative options for smaller items that need to be tucked away when not in use. They can be stored in shelving units or placed in less conspicuous places like behind the sofa.