Living Room Storage Guide

For this page on the living room storage guide, the general aim is to keep the floor of the living room as clear as possible to create space for the various activities such as family gathering and entertaining guests. This is all the more important since most living areas contain large pieces of furniture e.g. sofa, which eats up floor space. The secret to keeping this room neat, organized without compromising too much on space, lies in clever living room storage. But how?


First evaluate the room and see it with a fresh and possibly critical eye. Note the existing storage solutions you have and decide if they are adequate. If they do not, do they compromise the right sort of storage? Do you need more of the same, variations on a theme or something completely different?

To help you decide, make a list of all the activities that take place in the room, both regularly and less frequently. Then think of what items and equipment those activities require. Now you must consider what you want on view and what to keep hidden. Some people, for example, like to keep the sound and television system hidden as part of the minimalist theme, while others like these to be on permanent view.


To cater to the various activities, you’re likely to need more than one type of storage – from open shelving or drawers to cupboards with either hide-away or see through fronts. As part of the living room storage guide , consider also storage needs which can be met by the pick-up-and-go variety, such as baskets and boxes. One way to put all these in a consolidated look is to build a multi-purpose living room storage cabinet that runs the length of a large wall with open shelves above and cupboards below. You may store the entire library of books on the open shelves while the cupboards can conceal wine store, printer, stationery, DVDs, board games and toys.

It’s also good to keep an open mind on the various types of storage found from cleverly-designed, contemporary living room furniture with multi-functional usage in mind. For example, ottomans with hinged upholstery that allows the top to be opened for storage.

Instead of a side table at the end of a sofa, try lacquered antique chests or old cabin trunks which can be both decorative and increases the storage space for lesser-used items. I mentioned this to illustrate the point that you should have a flexible approach and use whatever solutions meet your needs.

Suitable Storage Solution

For the living room storage to be practical and appealing, one has to carefully consider the style and size of the room. This is all the more important for the living room as it’s where your taste and way of life is judged by your guests.

When evaluating living room storage solution, it has to work with and complement the other pieces of living room furniture. So for example, a set of shelves on one side of the room will look best when it is balanced on the other side of furniture with equal ‘bulk’, visually. If you’ve trouble detecting that, I’d suggest you enlist the help of a professional.

You must also consider the size of the living room. For a large room, you may consider breaking up the space with a divider that doubles up as storage. Divisions not only add scale but also a sense of warmth for the pockets of space of domestic life. Room-dividing storage fits the bill with ease.

As for a small living room, take a cue from designers and use large scaled pieces of living room furniture to give the illusion of a bigger room. Be bold and think about converting an entire wall with storage. This not only provides a home for everything that is necessary for your living room activities but magically leave the rest of the room clutter-free and feeling spacious.

Shelving for the Living Room

Be it freestanding storage units, shelving within concealed cupboards or fixed wall shelving, this is a mainstay for living room storage.

It’s a practical piece of furnishing to keep books, magazines and entertainment systems within the living area. For the collector amongst us, open shelves provide a convenient place to display the items collected or to prop pictures and photographs.

Blend In or Stand Out

This is what I’d expect of living room shelves; they must either flow seamlessly into the furnishing or be dramatic enough to add character to the room. This has been the focus of contemporary designers who create shelves that are practical as well as they are beautiful.

Built-in Shelves

This is especially good for those who have awkward spaces to work with. Alcoves on each side of the chimney are an example. They make good use of otherwise redundant spaces. Having built-in shelves cover an entire wall is a robust architectural solution. Bear in mind the stronger and more graphic the framework, the greater the sense of visual cohesion.

You may also want to take a look at:

Living room decorating guide

Home organization tips

Home storage ideas

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