22 living room storage ideas that will transform this key space

Check out these fabulous living room storage ideas to store your clutter in style

living room storage ideas, white living room with white sectional, tan leather armchair, matching custom storage each side of door, baskets, vases, black floor lamp, black accents
(Image credit: Barrett Oswald)

If you're after living room storage ideas that are both practical and pretty, look no further. We've become somewhat experts in finding stylish storage solutions that look fab but also do the job of... storing and stowing stuff.

In living rooms in particular, storage can be tricky. Often full of furniture (including your sofa, an armchair, and media bits and bobs) they are usually in need of a storage solution that allows them to feel spacious without sacrificing style. 

The key to getting your living room ideas spot on is choosing pieces that offer as much storage potential as possible. Think of a coffee table with storage such as a shelf and drawers, built-in shelving solutions, or box cabinets that can be wall-mounted.

Living room storage ideas that are stylish and practical

It can be hard to find the right living room storage ideas – it depends on the style of your room and how much you need to store. Our ideas will inspire you to try a range of storage solutions that will keep you neat and tidy in no time. 

Prices were correct at the time this article was published.

1. Upright storage will use less space

Gray living room with upright wood and metal storage unit, upholstered bench with yellow seat, starburst mirror, grey hardwood floor,

(Image credit: Lorna Gross)

A simple shelving unit can work wonders in a living room, the key is to pick a design that works with your scheme and then to bring the colors across so it looks seamless. They can be used for books, but also for vases, candles, and keepsakes. 

According to Lorna Gross, founder of Lorna Gross Interior Design, they're great for hiding everyday living room essentials,  "There are numerous ways to stylishly camouflage storage items on bookshelves. Small objects like keys can be discreetly hidden inside wide-nosed vases and bowls, while items such as remote controls, playing cards, pens, and notepads can be tucked away in decorative boxes. These creative solutions keep your shelves looking neat and organized while adding a touch of elegance to your space."

Headshot of Lorna Gross
Lorna Gross

Lorna Gross is an accomplished interior designer, speaker, and lifestyle authority. Her work has been featured by Architectural Digest, Veranda, Southern Home, House Beautiful. Home and Design, The Washington Post, among other publications. Lorna’s Design savvy has graced homes throughout North America and London and she has received the coveted Designer of Distinction Award from the American Society of Interior Designers

2. Console tables are a great slimline option

Open plan living dining space, with table and chairs, console table against wall, grey and blue patterned tiles, coastal theme

(Image credit: K+Co Living)

Console tables are an ideal storage idea as they're narrow and can fit into awkward spaces well. 

You can choose designs that are colored and stand out to make a statement or go for a neutral that blends in well. Not only can you store pieces on top, but also underneath - some have shelves (check out Amazon's Leica Home 11431-WR Mixed Metal and Wood Console Table for a sleek and stylish option).

"I always like to optimize spaces that may otherwise be left empty with clever storage solutions," says Karen B Wolf, founder and creative principal of K+Co Living. "A rattan or wicker basket under a console table is a beautiful yet functional way to store things like throw blankets, magazines, or other items you may otherwise not have space to display in your living room. Consider adding some decor accents near the storage to make it feel more intentional as opposed to a utilitarian solution."

Karen B Wolf headshot
Karen B Wolf

Karen B. Wolf, owner and creative principal of k+co LIVING based in Short Hills, NJ, is known for her signature style – "modern elegance,” which speaks to livable luxury, balanced color usage, clean lines, and layered spaces. 

3. Invest in custom built

White living room with white sectional, tan leather armchair, matching custom storage each side of door, baskets, vases, black floor lamp, black accents

(Image credit: Barrett Oswald)

Jen Noseworthy, professional organizer, The Simply Sorted Home, says: "If you can swing it, custom built-in shelving ideas are what storage dreams are made of. With a combo of open shelving and cabinet doors, you can disguise even the biggest of messes, and store everything from books to toys and games, while creating an attractive display above."

If your budget doesn't stretch to custom-built yet, recreate the look with these buys below. 

4. Choose a glass coffee table with a shelf

Dark green walls with retro furniture, mid century modern style, rattan hanging chair, coir carpet, glass and metal oval coffee table,

(Image credit: Little Greene)

Coffee tables can be as subtle or as statement-making as you like. This uber-cool design is a bit of both. The glass top helps it blend, but the white shelf highlights whatever you place on it.

We love the curved ends though – they will certainly save leg bruises when walking around it! 

For a similar style try Wayfair's Gailanne Oval Coffee Table, it's a good starter design and has a retro feel.

5. Match open shelving with cabinetry

Living room with open shelving on left of TV, matching cabinetry, couch on right, baskets and ornaments on shelves

(Image credit: Living with Lolo / Life Created)

Cohesion is king if you want a scheme that's easy on the eye and it's these details that make a room feel 'designed'. 

Open shelving creates a light and airy feel in any room but works particularly well in living rooms as extra storage that's not 'heavy' to look at. Match yours to the cabinetry you have below for a well-composed look.

Amazon's Floating Shelves are a good match to this O&K Furniture Farmhouse Sideboard Cabinet in brown

Top tip: Storage furniture doesn’t have to come from the same range, but keep wood colors or finishes consistent and look for harmony between different pieces.

6. Place a credenza behind your couch

White living room dining space with credenza behind couch, hardwood floor, living area o

(Image credit: McCaffrey Design Group / James Carriere)

There's often a bit of dead space behind a couch especially if you can see and walk behind it. In this case, it pays to use that space for a narrow credenza – not only will it provide vital storage, but also hides that often plain visual expanse behind the couch. 

Katie McCaffrey, founder and principal of McCaffrey Design Group explains, "This piece was designed by me and fabricated locally. It was built for extra storage but also anchors the space. The credenza serves as a division between the living room and dining room performing both as a low buffet but also as a sofa back table. Its doors are wrapped in Phillip Jeffreys grasscloth and the top is marble for durability."

We've sourced three credenzas below that will look great placed behind a couch. 

image of interior designer Katie McCaffrey from McCaffrey Design Group
Katie McCaffrey

With over two decades of experience in interior design, Katie leads McCaffrey Design Group with a warm hearted approach and a curatorial eye. Her guiding vision is to design bespoke spaces that truly reflect each client’s individuality and create homes which function beautifully for her clients’ lives. 

7. Consider concealed storage

Modern living room with hidden storage on one wall with fold down desk, blue couch, wallpaper on ceiling, foot stools, rug, pendant lighting, Mendelson

(Image credit: Mendelson Group / Eric Piasecki)

Not wanting your storage solutions on show? Tired of open shelving? Then conceal your pieces behind closed doors. 

This could be storage for books, games or even a hidden desk that's used in the evenings or weekends for working from home or homework. Super useful but can also be hidden away when not in use for a cleaner asethetic. Amazon have a Walker Edison Secretary Hutch Home Office Storage Desk that's freestanding, it's ideal for extra storage in a living room, pop it in a corner. 

8. Include storage around your TV

Modern living room with hidden storage on one wall with fold down desk, blue couch, wallpaper on ceiling, foot stools, rug, pendant lighting, Mendelson

(Image credit: Maestri Studio / Jenifer McNeil Baker)

Utilise every inch of space by adding storage around your TV. This clever design encompasses the TV whilst providing a shelf above it and somewhere for it to sit.

The surrounding cabinetry can be used for toys, books, blankets, and extra cushions. Keeping it white makes it less distracting and it provides a frame around the TV. For a similar look, Wayfair has a contemporary Colima Floating TV Stand that has a streamlined look. 

9. Layer your storage

Off white living room with stone furniture, rattan coffee table, vintage chest of drawers, artwork, vases, shutters at window, rug,

(Image credit: The White Company)

It's important to use a variety of storage solutions and to layer them – look for pieces with different heights but with the same feel as your scheme. Take this beautiful living room as an example. 

Chrissie Rucker OBE, founder of The White Company says, "I think it’s so important to think about adequate storage so that you can hide things away and not have too much clutter, it creates a fantastic sense of order. A calm home is an organized home – and this makes such a difference in how we feel. Beautiful, calm spaces need to be tidy and clutter free and for this, we need well-organized cupboards and for everything we own, to have its place. Freestanding cabinets can add much-needed storage and become a visual break in your room, and if you decide to move it can come with you."

Top tip: Think about the full range of storage options for a living room: fitted and freestanding pieces, as well as those that conceal their contents from view, and those that display their contents. All of these styles are useful, and you might prefer a combination of all of them.

image of Chrissie Rucker, owner of The White Company, a blond woman wearing a white sweater
Chrissie Rucker OBE

Chrissie Rucker OBE, started The White Company in 1994, when, unable to find well-designed, beautiful quality white bedlinen that were affordable. Today, it's one of the UK's fastest-growing multi-channel retailers and trusted lifestyle brand.

10. Blend your storage to your decor

Black and white living room with black credenza in alcove, black cushions, tv, fireplace, bold wallpaper, white couches, black pendant light,

(Image credit: Demi Ryan Interiors)

We don't always want our storage to stand out and might want it to be part of our chosen color scheme. 

This alcove has been cleverly designed so it's decorative and practical with a striking wallpaper design that draws the eye up. The rest of the monochromatic scheme ensures the storage blends in resulting in a modern-style living room. We love Wayfair's Celese Solid Wood Sideboard in black – perfect for a monochromatic scheme. 

11. Save floor space with nesting tables

Aqua living room with wallpaper and wainscotting, pink ceiling, modern furniture

(Image credit: Divine Savages)

A great and versatile option for a modern living room where floor space is limited, choose a stylish set of compact nesting tables that can nestle snugly at the end of your sofa, or provide extra surface space for snacks and drinks when entertaining guests. Nesting tables make a fantastic coffee table alternative too. 

Incredibly versatile, you can usually pick from two or three 'nests', below we showcase our top buys. 

12. Assign a place for everything

White living room with pull-down table

(Image credit: Karen B. Wolf Interiors; Photo: Raquel Langworthy)

Brenda Scott, professional home organizer and founder, Tidy My Space, says: "The tip to storage in a living room (actually any room) comes down to determining how you want to use the room, what activities are going to take place in that room and what you need for that activity. Measure, measure, measure! Leave enough room between furniture for foot traffic and getting around, nothing's worse than a room crammed full with furniture."

Assign a place for everything: "For example, the remote goes in the basket on the table, magazines go in the basket or stacked on a shelf, books go back on the shelf. When everything has a home and can be stored quickly and easily, then any room will look like it has lots of storage solutions even if it doesn't."

13. Paint your shelving and wall in one color

A modern living room with alcove and sky blue wall paint decor

(Image credit: Chris Snook)

For a cohesive look paint your shelving the same color as your walls, it gives it a spot of color drenching and blends the space perfectly. 

Like the hue selected for this blue living room idea? St Giles Blue by Farrow & Ball is a close paint color match that'll revitalize a boring wall recess.

14. Choose modular to create an individual look

A living room with modular shelving unit and striped monochrome area rug

(Image credit: Utility)

If you want to create something that perfectly suits your needs, a storage system would be the way to go. You can customize the size, the layout, or how much open and closed storage you have. Plus they look super chic too, perfect if you like a more modern living room with a contemporary Scandi style in your home. This flexible shelving idea means you can add and take away sections as and when you need to.

"Modular, open shelving provides a great way to fit storage into small spaces. The best thing about modular furniture is that it really can be installed anywhere," explains Peter Erlandsson, co-founder and director of String

"There are only two things you need to consider. The first is making sure your shelving is deep and tall enough to store your belongings, but narrow enough that it doesn’t compromise your precious square footage. The second is making sure you use a mix of open shelving and cabinet styles to create a display unit that is flexible enough to hide the things you don’t want on show."

Top tip: Invest in a modular system if you think your storage needs are likely to expand so that they can be increased accordingly.

15. Make a feature of your book storage

A white living room with books stacked on shelf and assortment of framed wall prints

(Image credit: Ikea)

Living room storage isn't always about hiding everything away. Sometimes a bit of clutter is a good thing. Curate the clutter by picking color schemes and still planning where everything is going to go. We love the rustic look of these short bookshelves in this living room, it almost creates the effect that the books are floating on the wall for a shabby-chic home library idea.

The good thing about bookshelves is that you can handcraft them yourself with scrap wood and some basic home improvement equipment. If you're in need of inspo, we've lots of DIY bookshelves that range in difficulty.

16. Add a window seat for hidden storage

A hanging chair in a loft living room corner with indoor tree houseplant

(Image credit: Fiona Murray)

If you are lucky enough to have bay windows, why not use that space for storage by adding a window seat? They are perfect for storing spare cushions, blankets and bedding plus they look gorgeous and create a real feature in your living room. 

Curate a seating area with the best hanging chair – the perfect place to cozy up with a cup of tea and book... And voila, you have a reading nook idea too. 

17. Install a combination of floating shelves and wall units

A rustic traditional living room with wooden cladding

(Image credit: Malcolm Menzies)

If you are after some quick living room storage that you can put up yourself in just a few hours, floating shelves are the one. They always look lovely and double up as decor too so you can use them to bring some texture and personality into the room. 

We like how these are wall-mounted above the television – perfect for it you want to make your TV less of the focus in the room. See more living room TV ideas for clever ways to display or disguise your set.

18. Think outside of the box

Black living room with artwork, pale floor, couch

(Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

If you have a living room that's on the smaller side then your furniture has to work extra hard, so picking pieces that can double up as storage as key and often vintage pieces work well. Coffee table ottomans are great for this, but even if you don't have room for an ottoman, cute vintage side tables that can double as tables are a winner. 

Another idea is to use a pair of designs, and place them on each side of your couch, rather like you would in a bedroom – Wayfair's Pake 2 Drawer Tall Iron Nightstands will look great in a vintage-style living room. 

19. Source a couch with underneath storage

A low slubby sofa in living room with Herringbone detail wooden flooring and framed wall art

(Image credit: Rachel Manns)

Now, we know even the best sectional sofas haven't always been in style but they are making a comeback. 

"Having spent prolonged periods of time at home with the whole family, we've certainly seen a shift away from occasional seating, to much more expansive comfort. Large-scale corner formats and softer fillings are taking center stage, now that we're lounging more than ever," explains Ruth Wassermann, design director at MADE.COM.

The second best thing about larger sofas, after being super comfy, you can get plenty of options that have storage compartments which are an especially good idea for apartment living rooms. Amazon's 4-in-1 Convertible Pull Out Modular Sectional Sofa Bed Living Room Couch comes with a reversible storage chaise. 

20. Show off your collections behind a glass cabinet

A grey living room with grey velvet sofa and glass cabinet

(Image credit: Ikea)

We are loving the eclectic feel of this dark gray living room, and it's another space that proves not everything has to be hidden away. Clear glass cabinets like Ikea's HAVSTA offering are perfect for creating displays in your living room and giving you room personality. 

Plus choosing a glass cabinet over a solid one means light can still flow through so your storage feels less bulky and doesn't break up your room.

21. Keep clutter off the floor

A family living room with woven baskets hung on wall with pink sofa

(Image credit: Future)

If baskets placed on your living room floor feel a bit too relaxed, organize them on your wall to free up some space underfoot and add interest to bare walls. It's a living room wall idea that'll add depth and dimension to plain paint decor.

Top tip: Keep a 'lost and found' basket in your living room for all the things you take in there with you throughout the day that need returning to their rightful place. Put them in the basket, then when you head to bed at night, take the basket with you to put stuff away en route. Kid's toys, lip balms, hair ties, the sweater you discarded earlier – they can all go in the basket to be transported to their rightful home.

22. Embrace color with your storage

A console table with lampshade lighting fixture and assortment of colorful hardback books

(Image credit: John Lewis & Partners)

When you are squeezed for space it can be tricky not to just make all your small living room storage super practical and not focus too much on what it actually adds to your space. But we reckon even in the smallest of spaces, storage can still be pretty and actually become a feature of your room. 

Need book storage ideas for your small living room? Don't just stack them all haphazardly on shelves, use them as part of your decoration. Arrange them in colors and pick out accessories to match. See practical and stylish.



What is the best storage for a living room?

The key to effective living room storage is to have a mix. You'll want spaces to keep things on show so shelving is always a good option as you can use them to add decorating too. 

But you'll also want storage you can use to hide away all that un-aesthetically pleasing stuff that you need in a living room like remotes and wires and manuals, so consider adding in some closed storage too in the form of a cabinet or console table. Yep – they're not just for hallways.

Then you've got the sneaky storage which can be great if you're in need of living room ideas and don't want to fill your room with furniture. Storage sofas, ottomans, windows seats – multi-purpose furniture makes for great living room storage.

To create storage space in a living room you are first going to want to declutter and see exactly how much 'stuff' you need to fit back into the space. When looking at how to choose furniture for a living room, vertical storage always works well because it has a minimal footprint so look out for pieces like ladder shelving and slimline units. Shelving is another great option for the same reasons, it provides plenty of storage without taking up any of the valuable floor space.

Christina Chrysostomou
Former acting head ecommerce editor

Hi, I'm the former acting head ecommerce editor at Real Homes. Prior to working for the Future plc family, I've worked on a number of consumer events including the Ideal Home Show, Grand Designs Live, and Good Homes Magazine. With a first class degree from Keele University, and a plethora of experience in digital marketing, editorial, and social media, I have an eye for what should be in your shopping basket and have gone through the internal customer advisor accreditation process.

With contributions from