Piles of paper, books, CDs and DVDs threatening to take over? Then conquer the clutter and use the resulting space more effectively. This hard-working room is used every day by the whole family and can become a bit of a dumping ground. Finding more space here is all about rearranging things to suit your needs, working with the room’s attributes to pack in storage without ending up with a messy look, and using visual tricks to create an illusion of space.
How to Organize Living Room
- Move furniture away from the walls and take a little space from the middle of the room to create extra concealed storage areas. For example, a console table will fit well behind the sofa, while bookshelves or storage cubes will slot behind the armchairs.
- Invest in furniture on castors. Your room will be easy to rearrange, whether you want a family set-up focusing on the TV or an entertaining space when guests come over.
- Plan the room’s flow. Make sure there’s space to walk around comfortably without any furniture impeding doorways and so on. Equally, make sure there are floor areas free for the little ones to play or for teenagers to stretch out in. Laying a rug is the easiest way to mark these out.
- Cheat with some space-enhancing tricks: swap a pendant for flush-fitting spotlights; hang pictures high to draw the eye upwards; use gloss paint on the ceiling to help reflect light; and choose furniture that matches the background’s colors.
- Think small or dual purpose. For instance, swap bulky stereo systems for an iPod with docking station and use a footstool with integral storage for keeping CDs or DVDs.
Create concealed corner storage
By placing a cabinet or sideboard at a diagonal across the corner of a room, you create a useful pocket of space behind it that is totally hidden from view. You can use this extra area to store items you don’t use much and don’t want to show, such as folding chairs for when you have lots of guests or a basket of logs if you have an open fire.
Cut down on the amount of furniture
Instead of crowding your room with lots of pieces of furniture, swap several of them for an all-in-one. If you have a bay window, make the most of the space with a window seat with storage drawers underneath, which you can use to tidy away children’s toys. Store magazines or DVDs in pretty wicker storage cubes that double up at side tables. Choose a coffee table with drawers and shelves underneath to keep your favorite books on display, and hide coasters and remote controls in the drawers.
If you don’t have a spare bedroom, just replace your sofa with a sofabed.