Straighten your family room—and give it an upscale look—
with storage strategies that conceal electronics, games, and toys.
Do trade out a standard coffee table for a flip-top ottoman that can store blankets, throws, and extra pillows near the sofa. Then place a large tray on top of the ottoman to corral reading material and hold drinks when needed.
Don't choose a coffee table with limited storage. Living rooms tend to collect extra stuff -- the last thing you need is nowhere to store it.
Do employ decorative bins and baskets to group toys and games. Opt for containers without lids for items that are used often, and stick with a simple color scheme when choosing storage containers. It will create a sophisticated and cohesive look for your living space.
Don't waste the coveted shelving of built-in cabinets only for decorative items or fill cabinets with disorganized clutter. Try to create rhyme and reason by combining storage with function.
Do add organizers to the top of your console table to create a handy drop zone for phones, writing utensils, or daily mail. Place large baskets under the console table to make use of otherwise wasted space. Give each person his or her own labeled basket to ensure items are organized and easy to find.
Don't bother with extra furniture and accessories you'll never use. If one lamp sufficiently lights a space, it's pair doesn't need to be nearby and extra seating can be unnecessary and cumbersome.
Do store out-of-season or infrequently used items near the ceiling to maximize storage space. Also, consider choosing a media cabinet with doors and drawers that can hide the TV and other electronic equipment when they're not in use.
Don't put decorative items up high. They'll be difficult to dust and a challenge to see.