Are you running out of places to store things in the living room? You’ve got some neat curios, interesting coffee table books, and other things you’re not quite ready to get rid of, but you might not have a choice. These Living Room Storage Ideas will help you get everything organized so you can have a neat and clean living room without throwing anything away.
1) DIY Triangle Floating Shelf
Shelves are a simple and easy way to keep things accessible without having to spread them out across tables and other usable surfaces. These triangle shelves are a unique way to store odd-shaped objects, like the feathers shown in the picture. This way, odd-shaped knickknacks are displayed the way they should be. This shelf will also be out of the way, so you don’t have to worry about somebody knocking over a bowl or cup that you stuck your odd-shaped decorations in.
2) Rotating Cubes
These rotating cube shelves are like something you’d see in a high-class gift shop or sci-fi movie. The shelves are big enough for books or full-sized DVDs, or you can put decorations in them. You can choose the angle you want each of the four cubes to be at, so you can make it a square shelf, turn all the cubes so that none face the same direction, or rotate a couple of cubes to face whichever direction you want. This feature is excellent for an awkward spot because you can have each shelf facing the most convenient direction.
3) DIY Tree Bookshelf
It turns out that there are many ways to build living room shelves. Watch this video by How We Make Things to learn how to make a tree-shaped bookshelf. The tree looks incredible, though you’ll want to find a fairly large wall spec to put it in. If you’re trying to create floor space, this is a creative way to put things on the wall instead of the floor. The shelf will take up a fair amount of wall space, but it’s a neat way to bring nature and unusual shapes into the room while eliminating a freestanding bookcase.
4) Shelf Dividers
You have shelves in your living room, but they look…cluttered. A handful of coffee table books leans against a large decorative vase, and your video game collection leans against your set of Lord of the Rings novels. Adding shelf dividers like the ones in the picture creates a cleaner and more organized look, so you can find everything you need. It also separates functional and decorative space, so you can make some areas for organizing books and games, and other areas solely for decorations.
5) Storage Inside Table Top
If you’re just trying to eke out every bit of storage you can get, you need furniture that you can store things inside. While you’ve probably tried sticking shoeboxes under tables and chairs, and tried to find other ways to use the underside of your furniture, there are less visible ways to use tables as storage. This coffee table from Amazon has a large compartment that, when closed, looks like part of the tabletop. It also has a rack underneath, so you can move the table around without disturbing things on the floor underneath.
6) Rustic Metal Storage Ottoman
If you have a rustic theme, you don’t have to be as secretive with your storage. These storage ottomans look like metal barrels, which fits an industrial or rustic living room, but they’re actually stools or end tables. This way, you have a stool or table that looks like a repurposed barrel, but it still functions like the original barrel. This is best for items you want to store for a long time, if you don’t want to keep clearing things off them or ask guests to move if they’re using them as stools.
7) Large Entertainment Center
Do you need storage for video games, DVDs, or, you know, entertainment? Instead of adding more shelves and stands and ultimately cluttering up your living room area, create or buy one large organizer and TV stand like the one in this picture. The sleek look makes it seem less cluttered, but you can have hidden drawers and cabinets to store things. A storage space like this is a great way to make your living room look modern, and if you customize it, you can make sure all the hidden drawers are the exact size you need.
8) DIY Turn Shelves Into Cabinets
If you have a set of shelves already, but you’re not satisfied with the way they look or want to store items in a more protected area, try this hack. With the instructions in this article, you can add cabinet doors, either made from clear glass or from solid wood, to turn old shelves into new cabinets. This is a more private storage method, and you don’t have to worry about guests knocking over knickknacks and vases. You can also choose decorative glass to make them look better than plain bookshelves.
9) Large Cloth/Rope Basket
Sometimes you just need a big place to stick everything. If you have kids, that might be a toy box, or it might be gloves and hats from a living room entryway. This sizeable woven basket can hold a lot, but only takes up a small amount of space. The great thing is it’s also a decoration. The basket looks good in a classy living room or a more rustic one since it’s made with rope and cotton.
10) Recessed Shelves
If you’re looking for unique storage opportunities, you don’t just want another bin, chest, shelf, or cabinet. You want a variety to liven up your living room. One way to create variety is to have storage that’s recessed into the wall, instead of sticking out into the room the way most storage does. Consider making recessed shelves like the ones in this picture. You can trim them to make them more prominent, or leave the edges smooth to blend them in for a modern look.
11) $27 Coffee Table With Storage
Coffee table space is often wasted. Some coffee tables have storage underneath, but most coffee tables are designed so you can’t fit anything underneath them. You don’t want them to get cluttered and look bad, so they end up being wasted space most of the time. In this video, Zack of All Trades shows how to build a coffee table with storage, so that space is no longer wasted, and the great thing is, it should only cost $27!
12) Jute Rope Floating Shelves
If you don’t want typical-looking storage, but you want to display decorations and knickknacks, try to find unique shelf styles. This shelf style, for example, looks like a ladder made from jute rope. Instead of screwing these into the wall, you hang them from the wall by a rope. It gives them a rustic, farmhouse, or even nautical look that will make your living room unique. The neat thing about this is that it could also be a do-it-yourself project some weekend, as long as you trust your knot-tying skills!
13) Farmhouse Coffee Table With Storage
If you have a rustic, farmhouse, or homemade/DIY theme, you’ll love this next idea. Coffee tables have surprisingly little storage to them, but there’s no reason you can’t make them into a more functional piece. Follow these instructions from Karin at Renovated Faith to build a lovely farmhouse-style coffee table with storage underneath. The storage is simple baskets that give it a rustic and homespun look, and the great thing is that you can remove the storage bins, and you’ll still have a wonderful-looking coffee table with storage, and no ugly tracks from pulling out a drawer.
14) Long Entertainment Center
If you have a lot of games, DVDs, and Blu Rays, they may have begun to spill out from the entertainment area. You might have a couple of cheap freestanding racks to hold everything. If you’re not planning to get rid of things, you need one storage space for all your entertainment. Try building or buying a long entertainment center like this one. It looks cleaner than multiple sets of shelves, and it doesn’t take up much space in the room interior. Since it’s short and wide, you can even use it as extra table storage.
15) Divided Lift-Top Coffee Table
Do you like to eat in front of the TV, or maybe you do crafts or paperwork at a TV tray? You might have TV trays for these things, but there are better ways to use your space. One option is to get a coffee table with a top that lifts up, but then you need to keep the entire coffee table clear to be able to use it. Instead, get a table like this that lifts up in sections. This way, you can keep half of it clear to lift it up towards your seat.
16) DIY Hidden Compartment
If you’re looking for a way to store valuable decorations or family treasures that are only put out for guests, you might not want your storage to be prominent. One way to make convenient storage that’s not easily found is to build a hidden compartment. This video by SimpleCove has instructions for building a trunk with a secret compartment. Since you’re making it yourself, you can make it more modern than rustic, or change the size of the compartment for your needs. Meanwhile, the top part of the trunk will be a beautiful place to store everyday items.
17) DIY Walnut Storage Trunk
Solid wood is always a beautiful look for a rustic or classic living room, but it can be expensive to get custom furniture. In this post, Keith Brown from rag ‘n’ bone brown shows you how to make a cheaper storage trunk that looks like walnut. The great thing about this video is that Keith Brown talks about ways to build the trunk around odd shapes. If you have any protrusions in your walls, you can use this video to cover those areas with a storage trunk.
18) Tray-Top Ottoman
If you need storage in your living room, you should have plenty of ottomans. They can be a seat or footstool, but inside they’re hollow to create plenty of storage room. This storage ottoman is big enough to use as a coffee table. Since each of the four lids flips over into a serving tray, you can set the trays on top of it to make a coffee table, then flip them back over to have a comfortable footrest for anybody sitting on your couch.
19) Ladder-Like Shelves
If you have an industrial theme, ladders, metal, and rough wood are a big part of that look. If you don’t want a rope ladder shelf, either because it seems unstable, or because it doesn’t fit your look, try this freestanding one. The shelf narrows at the top to resemble a ladder, and the rustic mottled brown makes it look like something from an old warehouse. While each shelf is thinner than the lower one, you still get more storage than a table or the same size, and the ladder shelf itself is a decoration.
20) DIY Storage Ottoman With Built-In Cushion
Ottomans are an excellent choice for a storage footrest or table, but they also work as seating. You can page through these eNotes from My Home, My Style, to learn how to build your own storage ottoman and seat. The seat has both table space and a comfortable seat, so it’s great for an entryway in the living room, or just for turning what would be wasted space into guest seating. If you decide you don’t like the seating, you can always add a temporary or permanent tabletop, since it’s the perfect height for a coffee table.
21) Barn Door
Sometimes, you want open shelves to display decorations, knicknacks, and antiques. Other times, though, you want all those precious items to be covered. With this cabinet, you can slide the single barn door to either side to protect some things and display others. Since it only has one door, it’s easy for you to switch which side you conceal, and the barn doors look right in a rustic-style living room. Consider using one half of this for a bookshelf and the other for knickknacks.
22) DIY Shelf Between Studs
If you have a small living room and need storage ideas to optimize space, there are ways to increase the room’s size effectively. This storage idea won’t take up any space, except, of course, the space you need to stand in to access it. Use these instructions from Jennifer on The Craft Patch Blog to create shelves between the studs in your living room. This way, you’ll have recessed shelves inside your wall without taking up and space in the room. Just make sure you don’t try this on an exterior wall.
23) Lamp Shelf
If you’re trying to optimize your storage space, try turning furniture, decorations, and lighting into shelves. For example, you can buy or build a lamp that’s built into a table, instead of getting a simple floor lamp. You can also get a lamp like this with a base made of shelves. This will have a lot more storage space than a normal lamp table, and the lamp base isn’t much wider than any other standing lamp. This has the added benefit of light to see each shelf clearly, too.
If you’re more worried about your organization than the amount of space you have, cubbies like these are a great storage choice. The work as well as bookshelves, but they have dividers to organize them easily. The dividers take up little room, so you’re not compromising storage space for the ability to organize things. If you want, you can take it a step further and add a short lip to the end of each cubby to keep things from sliding off or even turn them into storage bins.
25) Rustic Concealment Coffee Table
Some of your storage, like bookshelves and chests, will be visible and obvious. Some may be visible on purpose if you’re using it to store knickknacks. This coffee table idea is all about invisible storage. Watch this youtube video by Wood Nerds to learn how to make a concealment coffee table for your living room. While they chose a rustic design, you can choose anything that works for you. Try different stains or paints to match your existing decor.
26) Wall of Shelves
This idea is a clever way to conceal your storage without concealing it at all. What does this mean? Simple. In the picture, you can see that the builder created a wall of shelves around the fireplace. While they look like recessed shelves, they’re actually shelves that somebody built against the wall. Since they filled the entire wall with shelves, it looks like the shelves are recessed. The recessed look makes them less prominent and more attractive than freestanding shelves. It’s great if you want recessed shelves but can’t build into the wall because it’s an outside wall.
27) Cube Organizer
Cube organizers are an amazing and versatile tool that should probably be in every house. You can use them in any room, but let’s talk about the living room. You can change the shape of cube organizers like this to fit any shape, so you can turn them into a side table with cubbies, use them for shoes if you have an outside entrance to your living room, or create a display shelf with three tiers at different heights. The ability to change the height and customize the piece makes it one of the more versatile ways to display things.
28) Repurposed Library Catalog
If a standard shelf or trunk isn’t doing it for you, you’ll need to get creative. One way to do this is to repurpose old items as household storage. For example, how many people do you know who have a library catalog as living room storage? Since library catalogs like this one have small drawers, you’d want to combine drawers into multiple large drawers but keep the original drawer faces. Then, use the old pieces to create a facade that looks like catalog drawers.
29) DIY Turn Storage Cube Into Seat
If you’re not a full-blown do-it-yourselfer, but you also can’t find the right storage for you, there’s a solution. Buy something manufactured, like the IKEA storage cube these Abbie M used in this project, and turn it into the storage you want. You can follow the instructions in this post to turn cubbies or a storage cube into a seat with storage underneath. Customize it by adding wheels like the ones in the video, by choosing the type of wood top you want, or by painting and adding cushions how you want them.
This picture is a bit cluttered, but it’s hiding a good storage idea behind all that clutter. In the picture, many bottles are hanging from the ceiling. Try hanging baskets and other containers from the ceiling to remove them from lower surfaces and keep the floor clear. You can hang up your plants instead of sitting them on tables or hang other decorations that you might have had to store otherwise. Carefully consider where they’ll look best; even though they’re hanging, you’ll still want to make sure they’re not in any walkway!
31) Cloth Drawers
Instead of using solid wood and permanent storage choices, try something versatile. Cloth drawers are nice because they don’t usually have drawer hardware, so you can always take them out if you want to gain shelf space instead. A side table like this one is even more versatile because you can store a few things out of sight in the cloth drawers, and use the shelves to show off your decorations. Then, if you don’t want to use the drawers, fold the drawers up.
32) Curved Edge Storage
If you’re not sure if you need a shelf or drawers, or if you could use a little of both, a curved storage container like this one from The Home Depot could be perfect. The container has a flat bottom so that you can store decorative items in it, but the front is raised to let you store round items or things that could fall from a shelf. You could use it as storage in a living room entryway, or display odd-shaped knickknacks.
33) DIY Repurpose Garage Storage
If you have old storage containers around the house, don’t throw them away! Take old storage containers like this one and repurpose them for your living room. The storage in this picture has small drawers, so you’ll want to use them for smaller items, or cut and redesign them so that they’re bigger. If you make the drawers bigger, try keeping the original look but making each drawer look like more than one drawer. A metal piece like this gives a unique touch with a military/industrial look that would go great in a loft or basement apartment.
34) Intersecting Floating Shelves
Floating shelves are an amazing decorating tool, in addition to taking up little room. Since the brackets that hold the shelves are invisible, you can create all kinds of interesting designs with the shelves without worrying about brackets getting in the way. These floating shelves from Amazon intersect to create an artistic look, but since they’re square, you can store items flat on the shelves without a problem. You can even store smaller objects in the smaller squares created in the places where the shelves intersect.
35) Totes In Baskets
Instead of relying on the options available in stores, or DIY projects you build yourself, try combining some simpler storage methods to suit your needs. For example, totes are a great storage and organization device, but they’re not the most attractive. In this article, Sarah from Grace in My Space describes how she picked the right baskets to build pretty and useful storage space in her living room without cutting, sawing, or other difficult DIY work.
36) Under Coffee Table
Coffee tables are one of the most common pieces of living room furniture, but they probably also waste the most space. They’re designed for sitting and having coffee or setting a book down, not for storage use. When you choose your coffee table or replace your existing one, get one like this that has storage. This one not only has baskets underneath for storage but a rack you can set things on. Leave the baskets underneath, or use the baskets for storage elsewhere while you stack things on the shelf underneath.
37) Baskets In Cubbies
If you’re looking for a creative and beautiful storage space that doesn’t take a lot of cutting and carpentry work, try a simple DIY hack like the one in this article. In the article from Iron & Twine, the do-it-yourselfer puts together playroom storage by assembling some cubbies she got online, then putting pretty, round baskets in each cubby. The baskets make good storage for small items, and they look a lot nicer than a handful of items scattered on a shelf.
38) Built-In Fireplace
Your storage choices should be functional, but you also want something that looks good and incorporates decorations. This TV stand with a fireplace had plenty of storage room for your electronics, with some side space for DVDs, Blu Rays, or games. It also has a central fireplace that’ll add a decorative touch to the whole thing. That, combined with the natural wood of the stand, will give a rustic look to the entertainment center, and match a rustic or farmhouse living room.
39) Basket End Table
Baskets are really an ideal all-around storage choice. You can stick them almost anywhere, like in cubbies, on shelves, and under furniture. In this case, try getting an end table like this one that has a cloth basket underneath. The deep basket is an excellent catch-all for when you’re clearing off tables, and don’t have time to sort things. Just toss anything on the table into the basket below, and your table is cleared off and looks clean for guests.
40) DIY Floating TV Shelf
Floating shelves are the ultimate space-saving idea. Since all the supporting hardware is inside them, they take up the absolute minimum amount of space, and they tend to look sleek and modern. In this article from Pretty Handy Girl, Brittany gives instructions for building your own floating shelf for an entertainment center. Since you’re building it yourself, you can adjust it for your own cable box, game consoles, and other electronics you need to store.
What kinds of storage do you have in your living room? Did we miss any ideas? Please let us know in the comments below!