If you live in an apartment or a tiny house, storage is likely limited. While you can get around this by moving seasonal items out of your home or living a minimalist lifestyle, there are easy ways to turn your living room into a hidden storage oasis without compromising the aesthetics of your space. Read on to learn our top nine living room storage ideas for small spaces that don’t require expert handiwork to bring to life.
- Get Two-Tiered End Tables and Coffee Tables
- Turn a Storage Ottoman Into a Centerpiece
- Take Advantage of the Space Beneath Your Couch
- Use a Sideboard, Buffet or Credenza as a TV Stand
- Bring Out the Baskets
- Hang Plants From Ceiling Hooks
- Install Wall Racks and Floating Shelves
- Opt for Lighter Colors
- Amplify Your Space With Mirrors
- More Living Room Storage Ideas for Small Spaces
1. Get Two-Tiered End Tables and Coffee Tables
Working with a small living room means that every piece of furniture should ideally do double the work. Though the surfaces of end tables and coffee tables are great for books, remote controls and decor, the best options are two-tiered to provide a second level of storage for miscellaneous items like board games, books, blankets and more. If you’re worried that it’ll look cluttered, opt for a lift-top coffee table or Wigington end table instead.
2. Turn a Storage Ottoman Into a Centerpiece
You can ditch the coffee table altogether and make a sleek storage ottoman the centerpiece of your living room instead. Though ottomans are typically footrests, their versatility makes them an excellent alternative to coffee tables with greater storage capacities and more affordable price points. Plus, unlike coffee tables, they can be immediately transformed into an extra seating bench when you have guests over. If you’d like to rest items on top of a storage ottoman, buy a few trays to lay across the surface, or find an ottoman like this one that comes with a custom-fitted tray.
3. Take Advantage of the Space Beneath Your Couch
You may never have considered it, but there’s an unexplored (and unexploited) world beneath your sofa. As a storage area, it’s surprisingly useful even if your couch rests low to the ground. You can easily find under bed containers — like this box with wheels from the Container Store — to store stray magazines, puzzles and DVDs as well as clean canvas options with handles for guest blankets, slippers and other items. If you’re having trouble finding a sliding storage solution that can fit underneath your couch, consider adding some sturdy furniture risers to add the perfect amount of height.
4. Use a Sideboard, Buffet or Credenza as a TV Stand
Sideboards, buffets and credenzas aren’t traditionally used as a TV stand, but they’ve become a popular option to add character and timeless style to your living room. In fact, they can be all-around better than an entertainment center, which tends to offer less storage and come in fewer unique designs. If you’re wondering what the differences between a sideboard, buffet and credenza are, the simplest way to think about it is in terms of height and size. Credenzas have short (or no) legs and hover low to the ground. Sideboards have taller legs and are larger than credenzas, and buffets are essentially the same as sideboards, except even bigger. Using one of these statement pieces as a TV stand can offer plenty of discrete storage for DVDs, remotes, game systems and more, as well as conveniently hide any unsightly cords. If your credenza is too low to the ground, consider turning it into a floating fauxdenza — though you’ll need a bit of DIY magic to make this happen.
5. Bring Out the Baskets
Hidden storage doesn’t always provide enough space for you to stash your items. If you need storage solutions that will hang out in the open, we recommend using chic wicker baskets that are so eye-catching they’ll look like decor. A round coiled rattan basket on the floor is the perfect way to keep your throw blankets in close reach of the couch, and smaller woven trays are wonderful vessels for mail and trinkets. Since they come in endless shapes and sizes, baskets can be stored pretty much anywhere — on the lower level of a coffee table, as its own end piece, on top of a credenza or even under the couch. You can check out these 23 wicker baskets to find the best one for your space and needs.
6. Hang Plants From Ceiling Hooks
Hanging plants from your ceiling is an easy way to add a pop of green to your living room without taking up valuable shelving, counter or desk space. You’ll want to start by choosing the plants that work best with your aesthetic and lighting situation, then pick a suitable pot. As Molly Williams from Apartment Therapy notes, you’ll want to think carefully about the materials of the pot — plastic is cheaper and lighter than heavy ceramics, for instance, and requires different hardware and tools — as well as the logistics of watering (and draining) your plant.
7. Install Wall Racks and Floating Shelves
Wall racks and floating shelves are one of the most versatile storage solutions for any type of home, from the boho enclave to Japandi oasis. Not only can they free up the tops of your nightstands, dressers and desks, but they can also double as artistic displays, creating visual variety on open wall space. Consider color-coding your books on floating shelves in your bedroom or using them in the kitchen to store kitchen tools from mortars and pestles to cocktail shakers, herbs, ceramic vessels and more.
8. Opt for Lighter Colors
Whether it’s white paint on the walls, a credenza crafted from ash or another paler shade of wood, or a neutral-colored couch, choosing lighter colors in your living room can create a sense of openness in otherwise cramped spaces. This doesn’t mean you can’t get creative with your interior design: there’s still plenty of room to play with expressive textures and shapes.
9. Amplify Your Space With Mirrors
It’s a well-known hack, but mounting wall mirrors in a range of sizes or propping an oversized standing mirror in the corner of your living room can create an illusion of greater space — especially if they’re able to catch light from a window or nearby standing lamp. Be sure to avoid more ornate frames, which can distract the eye, unless you have minimal wall art.
10. More Living Room Storage Ideas for Small Spaces
There are dozens of additional storage ideas for small spaces that you can use to optimize to your living room. Here are some more ideas to consider:
- Add personality and contrast to your living room by going for a trunk instead of an ottoman or coffee table
- Use a daybed as a couch and turn the trundle into a storage space instead
- Invest in modular shelving
- Wall mount your TV
- Distribute multiple sources of light — each one at a different height and angle
- Take the “biophilic” approach and create an open path to a balcony or patio
For more inspiration on small space storage ideas and home organization tips and tricks, check out our blog.