10 Times Built-in Storage Has Transformed a Living Room
From sleek shelves to hide-it-all cupboards, built-in storage can boost both the functionality and appeal of your living room
Luckily, creative solutions abound. These spaces show what an asset clever storage can be, helping to keep a living room tidy, but also contributing to its aesthetic; providing display space for those pieces you want to enjoy, and a home for those you prefer to hide.
Knocking two rooms into one can create a spacious living area, but it can be tricky to give a purpose to all this open space, and one side can become rather underused.
Solve this problem by building in bookcases and even adding a ladder to create a library feel at one end, successfully zoning an open-plan living room, as well as creating masses of useful shelf and cupboard space.
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Building storage into chimney alcoves is tried and trusted, but the storage in this beautiful living space updates the traditional approach. It avoids the usual design of shelving above and cupboards below. Instead, shelves painted in Farrow & Ball’s Blue Black stretch floor to ceiling, creating a discreet space for the TV which, thanks to the dark colour, almost disappears when not switched on.
The shelves were also designed to sit proud of the chimney breast, providing deep storage and framing the fireplace beautifully.
Adding colour takes built-in storage to a whole new level, moving it beyond the practical and picking it out as a fun, exciting feature of a living space. Here, a rainbow of shades has been used to liven up the various shelves and cupboards in this wall of units, brilliantly giving it the ‘wow’ factor.
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This built-in window seat offers a place to sit and read, but also open storage for books beneath.
Mounting a wood-burning stove on a simple, built-in brick structure solves the problem of how to store logs and kindling neatly. Leaving open cavities in the design creates room for stacking logs or tucking in a basket. It’s a streamlined, space-efficient option.
This alcove storage has been cleverly designed with a cut-out section for the TV screen. Below, the key consoles and pieces of tech are neatly stowed, but the doors also open to reveal further storage…
Floor-to-ceiling storage is much-used in bedrooms, but it works equally well in a living space. Using panels, tongue and groove or textured materials prevents the doors looking dull when shut…
Where space is tight, creative storage can perform multiple tasks to squeeze maximum functionality from a limited footprint. In this tiny cottage, simple built-in sofas hug the walls, providing both ample seating and storage, which is concealed beneath the cushion pads.
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Depending on the depth of a chimney breast and its flue, there may be space to build shelves in above the fireplace, but if you don’t want to lose this surface for displaying art or hanging a mirror, consider doing both! This home has a gorgeous painting over the fire. So far, so normal… Behind, though, shallow shelves for books are neatly built in.
This beautiful shelving is probably no more than 500mm or so deep, so it barely eats into the room’s overall space. Nevertheless, it provides a wall of storage, interest and colour, turning what might otherwise be a completely plain, unremarkable surface into a thing of beauty.
Continuing the shelving above the door is a clever touch that makes use of every scrap of space. It also gives this wall a more sleek, designed feel, steering it away from looking simply like two bookcases either side of the door.
Do you have any tips for creating clever storage in a living space? Share them in the Comments below.