I am currently in the “thinking stage” for better ways to maximize the space of our lower level. We have a
bowling alley narrow open floor plan and it is time to do some better space planning. One of our never-ending problems seems to be storage solutions! You might remember that a few weeks ago I shared with you 5 Ways to Create a Kid-friendly Living Room but one of the main items left out of the mix was CREATIVE STORAGE! We all know that if you want to keep your family/living room looking chic, organized, clutter-free and functional, then you need stylish storage solutions. But how do you go about containing the never-ending problem of toys, books, gaming devices, DVD’s, etc.? Maybe the answers lie in built-in bookshelves, multi-purpose furniture, and storage baskets!
Built-in bookshelves make the most of empty wall space and can work miracles in hiding clutter! Consider using base cabinets for the bottom of your built-ins in order to store the more unsightly items. Open shelving on top are great for housing books and decorative accessories.
Often times our flat-screen televisions are the main focal point in the room. Creating built-ins around your flat screen beautifies this focal point while providing ample storage for electronic devices, board games, and toys.
Of course, custom built-ins can quickly become cost-prohibitive for many of us. Fortunately, the DIY community always has a cheaper solution! Consider buying several ready-made bookshelves and creating a “built-in bookshelf” using molding and painter’s caulk. Just a Girl gives a great step by step tutorial on how to create your own built-in bookshelves from Ikea Billy bookcases. I am so hoping that we can create some built-in shelving this next year!
Built-in benches and window seats with hidden storage are fantastic options to consider when space planning your family/living room.
Instead of adding a sofa to an open wall, consider building a storage bench that can also function as additional seating. We have a great space to implement this idea in my current dining room, perhaps soon to be seating area.
Coffee Tables and ottomans are another area that you can sneak in extra storage! Make your ottoman work harder and smarter for you by finding those with removable tops.
If a new ottoman isn’t in the budget, create a family friendly coffee table that is ready for game night. Store board games beneath your table and coat the top with chalkboard paint for some added whimsy! So cute!
Baskets are my all-time favorite “go-to” solution for clutter control! I use baskets in every room in my home to organize and disguise unsightly messes. Seriously, I cannot think of one room or closet in my home that doesn’t contain a basket! (I might be slightly addicted to pretty storage containers. )In the bookcase below, all of those pretty matching containers could be hiding legos, puzzle pieces, card games, children’s magazines, craft supplies, and even play-doh! Granted, I typically keep those items more easily accessible for my kiddos but if you are tight on space and don’t want to sacrifice beauty it can certainly be done.
A wall of baskets hides a plethora of family fun. If you’re not able to devote an entire wall in your family room to basket storage, try incorporating baskets on book shelves, beneath end tables, and beneath coffee tables. Both of my end tables and our coffee table have basket storage hiding books and toys.
These baskets under the coffee table are on wheels for easy toy and book access!
So how do you contain clutter in your family/living room? I’d love to hear your tips in the comments!