Splurge on a bank of built-ins for optimal storage. These are great for entertainment centers because they serve up both style and function. Mix and match fronts for a varied look. Consider glass-front doors, open shelves, and basic paneled doors and drawers to make built-ins feel less massive in a living room.
Frame a large living room window with built-in storage. This genius solution for small spaces is often used as an entertainment center, but framing a window has numerous perks. Add in a bench seat and have all your favorite books and magazines on hand for a private reading nook. Use the built-in storage to display decorative items as well as necessities.
Tip: Paint the cubbies the same color as the wall to make them blend in with the space.
Once you have the storage, you only have to worry about keeping it organized! Labels are a great way to keep your living room items in place. Label magazine holders, boxes, baskets, and jars with DIY tags. With a storage system this clear and easy to use, cleanup will be a breeze.
Sofa tables, also known as console tables, are our secret storage weapon. If your couch is close to a wall, a very narrow table can sit tucked against the back of the couch as a place to hold drinks or remotes. In an open floor plan, a larger sofa table can be used in conjunction with storage baskets. Two pull-out baskets beneath this sofa table corral magazines and media while keeping the surface available for displaying keepsakes.
If your living room hosts both playdates and coffee dates, hide the evidence of the former with oversize baskets and hampers. Round up toys and books into the containers and tuck behind a couch or chair during grown-up events, allowing for easy access at the next play session. Attach chalkboard labels to each basket to teach your kids to put things back where they belong. For tykes still learning to read, include small pictures on the label of what's inside.
Small trinkets can get lost in a large living room, but when arranged together, they make a statement. Turn a vintage storage cabinet into a display shelf for favorite family memories. Let books pile up and fall over, gather delicate seashells, and frame various destination images. Apart, these items look out of place. Behind a glass door, this eclectic collection becomes a work of art.
Make your storage look like the rest of your decor, and you’ll have a hard time telling the difference between hardworking organization and the living room’s design style. Use boxes and bins that mesh with your living room color scheme or an ottoman that coordinates with the sofa upholstery. This is a great opportunity to try your hand at a DIY project. Upcycle a vintage chest that doubles as a coffee table by painting it a color that matches your living room.
Buy once, use thrice. This console table sits within arm’s reach of both chairs in this living room, providing storage shelves, drawers, and a display surface on top for decorative items. In the open baskets, place everyday items such as the remote control or your current book. The drawers are perfect for holding seasonal items, such as extra throws or board games. Store smartly to make your life easier.
When a formal living room needs to be tapped for extra storage space, maintain your space's style with a clever facade. Drape a skirt or tablecloth over a side table, and tuck your storage units beneath the table—no one will be the wiser. This is a great place to hide extra folding chairs, blankets, or video game consoles that you'd rather keep out of sight.
Use shallow trays to corral coffee-table treasures. Trinkets and necessities, such as remotes, will look more orderly when organized on a tray. A tray with handles doubles as a movable console perfect for summer months. Top it with fresh flowers, a favorite book, or a magazine and carry it to the back porch for a relaxing morning cup of coffee enjoyed outside or on the couch.
Give presence to shelves of books with decorative objects. Place pretty bowls, jars, or statuary between rows of books to keep them upright and to add panache to utilitarian storage. This is also a great place to display vacation mementos like shell collections. For an impressive literary collection, organize your books by color. A rainbow of book spines looks cohesive, organized, and smart.
Hide clutter by integrating storage with your decorating style. Corral odds and ends into containers that flow with your style, such as wicker baskets for cottage-theme spaces, colorful metal bins for contemporary living rooms, or carved wood boxes for traditional rooms. You can also opt for furniture that doubles as storage, such as ottomans with a removable top. These hidden features are perfect for storing spare blankets for movie nights or extra linens for guests.
For projects or items that move from room to room, invest in easy-to-carry baskets with sturdy handles. Stock a basket with your reading materials or your current craft project so you can be on the go and have everything in one place. We suggest finding a weather-proof bag that you can take poolside or to the beach.
For larger projects or supplies, a movable cart allows you to work in the office, in front of the TV, or while supervising a playdate. Try to find one with larger wheels to make rolling over bumps and thresholds smoother.
Give each family a designated bin to keep in the living room. When one of their possessions is left in the room, simply slide it into the bin. Then, when the bin is full, it’s that person’s responsibility to put the possessions in their rightful place. These clear containers slip comfortably on the bottom shelf of a bookcase to keep clutter in check. The low location also makes it accessible to the little ones in the family.