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13 Clever Ideas for Living Room Shelving

Veer away from the classic alcove shelves in your living space and check out these smart alternatives. Looking for some inspiration for your living room shelves? These brilliant ideas will help you design the perfect storage to fit into your space, whatever its shape or size.

Keep everything behind closed doors

If you want to hide all your items away, consider adding some doors to your shelving. This nifty storage unit has room for all sorts of stuff, including media items. Everything is arranged neatly so it looks good while open, but for a more streamlined look, the doors can be closed. This simple, smart design leaves space for the television and media equipment to remain on show.

Reverse the idea of chimney alcoves

If your property is a new build, chances are you don’t have a chimney breast. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t recreate the look.

This clever design has turned the idea of alcove shelving on its head. A wood-burner sits on a sleek, grey platform and is flanked by two shelving units either side. The fire sits in the alcove, while the shelves are protruding. It’s a great way to add character to an otherwise flat wall.

Frame a window

Another way to bring in the look of alcove shelving is to use a window as your central element instead of a fireplace. Here, the wall spaces either side of the sash window have been turned into attractive storage features.

Make the most of recessed shelving

Shelving that’s been cut into the wall is a lovely, neat solution that doesn’t intrude on a room. You can allow the recessed shelves to blend into the wall, or you can make a feature of them.

These shelves have been designed to form an unusual shape, and painted in a contrasting colour to the purple wall so they stand out. The result is both practical and striking.

Combine hidden storage with open shelves

Fitted cupboards and drawers are a practical way to provide lots of storage. However, an entire wall of units can look overpowering. Break it up a little by including some open shelves in the centre. These shelves provide an interesting twist to the expanse of units and turn the storage solution into a unique design statement.

Put your eyes to the floor

Maximise any unused space at ground level by tucking in some storage that can be pulled out. Here, a wide wooden container looks beautiful in the recess and provides plenty of storage space. Make the container easy to move by adding some wheels to the bottom.

Colour-code to prevent clutter

For an eclectic look, include a variety of shelving units in your living room. When mixing and matching storage, it’s a good idea to be clever with your styling. Here, the owners have used colour-coding to arrange their books neatly and prevent the room from looking cluttered. The effect is both eye-catching and fun.

Go up and over the door

Think you’ve run out of wall space? You could always use the area above the door. The shelves here go all the way up to the ceiling and over the door frame. Not only does it provide a vast amount of storage, it also makes a feature of the door. Don’t forget, though, that you’ll need a library ladder to access the top shelves.

Style up your staircase

If your stairs are in the living room, it makes sense to turn them into a feature. Here, the banister has been replaced by a floor-to-ceiling shelving unit that provides ample storage and looks fantastic.

Plump for a modular design

For shelving that’s flexible, opt for a modular system. This wall is covered by a flexible design that allows shelves to be added or adjusted whenever the need arises. The modern design looks sleek and stylish and adds an industrial edge to the period property.

Maximise space with a ladder shelf

If you want to add some attractive freestanding storage, you can’t beat a ladder shelf. The design is simple and elegant, and the angled shape makes it unobtrusive. A pair of ladder shelves have been tucked into a corner of this living room, providing a useful storage feature that doesn’t block the light from the window.

Pop a shelf in your seating

Make the most of the space below a seat by adding a shelf. This cosy room features a custom-built bench, with a comfortable cushion along the top and a handy shelf below.

Turn log storage into a feature

If you’re lucky enough to have a wood-burner in your living room, you’ll need storage for your logs. Firewood looks lovely when it’s stacked, so it makes sense to turn it into a feature. This industrial-style steel shelf has been hung on the wall, transforming the logs into a work of art.
United Kingdom
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