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 also has to function as a place where you can work for a few hours, entertain guests, and relax on the couch watching your favorite show. Often all in one day. With so many needs to be met, it’s no wonder living rooms require as many storage solutions as uses.

Read on for our tips to help you turn your space into a place where you and your business can live in peace.

1. Make your furniture work in duplicate

Photo credit: Instagram / @ erinmcginn
Design: @moorehousedesign

Built-in furniture, like a built-in sofa or window seat, is a great opportunity for hidden storage. Don’t want to go tailor-made? Look for low tables with drawers or a bottom shelf to maximize your floor space. Storage ottomans are also a great option for extra seating and a place to keep those spare blankets.

2. Make it tailor-made with integrated elements

Photo credit: Instagram / @ joshuamchughphotography
Courtesy of @brownstone_voyeur

If your space looks more like a cluttered bookcase than a living room, use full height shelving to give yourself plenty of rows for your collection. Custom wall-to-wall shelving is a great way to maximize your linear feet and tailor every inch to your needs.

Lack of floor space? Build furniture in your shelves or create the perfect nook to slide a sofa in and mount your TV on. With custom shelving, the sky is truly the limit.

3. Keep it simple with shelves

Photo credit: Instagram / @ margaretrajic
Design: @sarahmontgomerydesign

If the custom bookcase look is not in your budget, use regular bookcases to create a semi-custom look. Sew them together to create a seamless storage wall or flank your fireplace, as in this example from Sarah Montgomery Design’s Cortez project, for the elevated elegance of a custom piece with more eclectic charm.

4. Vary the heights for your unique pieces

Photo credit: Instagram / @ erinmcginn
Design: @moorehousedesign

Make sure you get the most out of your storage areas by tailoring your shelving to your specific needs. Maybe you are not a book lover, but rather a collector of beautiful ceramics or vintage records or eccentric tchotchkes. Whatever your style, customizing the height of your shelves will ensure each item has a perfect place to nestle.

5. Adopt modularity to make it your own

Courtesy of @brownstone_voyeur
Photo: Instagram / @ atanz

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 is a size and style to suit every living room.

6. Lean on wall shelves

Photo credit: natalieranae.com

Wall shelves are by far the most versatile type of living room storage around. 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. No matter what your tastes, there’s bound to be a wall shelf that fits your style and budget.

7. Close your clutter

Photo credit: Instagram / @ victoria_road_restoration

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 trash in. Closed storage, like these fitted wardrobes, are great for keeping everything organized and, most importantly, out of sight. This is especially handy if you live in a house 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

Photo credit: Instagram / @ victoria_road_restoration

Who said dressers were only for bedrooms? If you find that 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.

Mid-century low and warm splashbacks are ideal under a TV, while a large dresser or hutch could fit perfectly into that niche next to your fireplace. If you want to keep things stylish, look for wall options with minimal hardware.

9. Make a dust-free display

Photo credit: Instagram / @ erinmcginn
Design: @moorehousedesign

Although porcelain and cabinets of curiosities may seem like a relic of the past, they make superb exhibits. Whether you prefer to go completely antique or go for a more modern option, having glass storage can give you the best of both worlds. Keep your most valuable coins inside to keep them out of reach of dust and little hands while still seeing them.

10. Create a home work area

Photo credit: Instagram / @ thriftyandchicdecor
Courtesy: @thriftyandchicdecor

In the age of working from home, our living rooms serve as offices, classrooms and studio spaces. Using a desk on casters or a large hutch is an easy way to keep work, and all that bulky, out of sight and out of mind. With a room big enough, you can even store a printer inside and provide a place to charge computers and tablets when not in use.

11. Get the best of both worlds

Photo credit: @vanessawade_

It can be difficult to decide whether to hide your things or display them, so why not do both? By finding a balance between open shelving and closed storage, you can ensure you have maximum versatility.

Use your open shelves to display your most stylish pieces and special items while your ragged paperback books and toy boxes live in the cabinets below. If the built-in track isn’t your thing, try hanging open shelving over a low dresser or splashback for a similar look.

12. Keep your shelves low

Photo credit: @meghanklein
Item: custom shelves and boards
Design: @ coco.kelley

If you need a little storage, but aren’t ready to sacrifice all the wall space, try using lower shelving and splashbacks in your space. Like this example from @ coco.kelley, having a mix of lower shelves and cabinets leaves plenty of room for artwork, plants, or other larger 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

Photo credit: @erinmcginn
Design: @moorehousedesign

When it comes to keeping clutter at bay, every little corner can go a long way. Fill those awkward and unused spaces with floating shelves for a little extra storage. You can even have shelves custom made to fit well in any alcove you need. No strange corners in your house? Use your windowsills to display objects and stacks of books or lean art on your fireplace to add a touch of simple elegance.

14. Put your decor to work

Photo credit: @stacyrisenmay

If in doubt, get some storage accessories. Baskets are a great way to add warmth to a space. Put a few smaller ones on a shelf to hide the clutter or place a larger one in a corner for extra blankets. If you are fond of flea markets, take the opportunity to find interesting objects that can be used as storage.

Use an old apothecary cabinet to hide matches and batteries, while also serving as a side table. Treat yourself to a larger planter to store your umbrellas or an elegant tree to store your remotes. Any object can be transformed into a clever storage with a little imagination.

15. Put the sheets away or display them

Photo credit: @meghanklein
Design: @ coco.kelley

Antique trunks and crates make great laundry storage for extra blankets and pillows while also serving as side tables. If you prefer to display your throws and blankets, try hanging them on a ladder or wall hooks where they can add texture to the space. If in doubt, you can always go for a large basket. You can never have too many baskets.

16. Maximize your stacks

Photo credit: @jesswhitheyphoto

If you tend to collect books that don’t fit as well on a shelf, stacking them neatly on the floor can provide beautiful visual levels and practical surfaces. Use a low stack of stronger books to serve as a plant stand or low side table. Do you have a lot of magazines? Stack them neatly under benches, coffee tables, and side tables to keep them out of the way, but still within reach.

17. Put it on wheels

Photo credit: @margaretrajic
Design: @sarahmontgomerydesign

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 decanters if alcohol 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 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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