This is a guest post by Ray Ko, who has been creating effective visual merchandising and interior design strategies for retailers for more than 20 years. Today, he is the senior e-commerce manager for shopPOPdisplays, a leading designer and manufacturer of stock and custom acrylic products.
Combining savvy storage with wise furniture buys and a bit of sleek design will transform your tiny living room into a space of endless inspiration and enjoyment.
A small living room space can encourage you to limit your belongings and to ensure that every inch of space is dedicated to something functional, by trimming down to what is undeniably essential. But keep in mind that getting back to basics doesn’t mean you have to deprive yourself of things that are purely creative and inspiring, and you won’t have to — as long as you can prioritize on how to use your limited space effectively. Begin by thinking about activities you love to do, and that you want your living room space to support.
For example, if you are working from home, then having a space with sufficient desk space and an area to work are important setups in the living room. If you like to entertain guests, it is important to focus on creating a cozy, comfortable sitting area, and then work around that.
Next, be creative in how you organize and store all of the items that you need to support your favorite living-room activities. Organizational elements are central to every small, living-room space, to avoid clutter quickly overwhelming the visual aesthetic and functionality.
Here are some storage ideas that are really effective when organizing space in a small living room.
Use hidden storage
In order to maximize storage, create space by choosing furniture that provides hidden storage in unexpected ways. Like an ottoman or an upholstered bench that doubles as both comfortable seating and a storage drawer. These are inexpensive and readily available.
Disguise your tech with creative solutions
Working from home demands large tech pieces like laptops, printers and scanners, and these can take up a lot of space in your living room, if you want it to double as your preferred workspace. So, put these electronics away inside right-sized drawers to keep them hidden from view until you actually need them. Choose furniture and built-ins that make computer monitors and TVs fit seamlessly into a cabinet or the wall, and find furniture that will hold the printer, which is often the bulkiest piece of equipment. Mount a power strip on to the back of your desk or underneath, and use cable ties to wrangle any cords that get plugged into that power strip, running them along the back of the furniture where they’re out of sight.
Use stackable acrylic trays or boxes
Rather than your typical office storage bins, keep baskets, boxes and containers on your living room desk and fill them with your essential stationery and work items, so you have what you need within easy reach. Acrylic boxes with lids are ideal for compartmentalizing your go-to office accessories, and you can easily stack them on top of each other to save space. Trays, which come in a variety of dimensions, are perfect for corralling small items inside a living room drawer, on a desktop or a shelf.
Ditch the wire baskets holding your books and magazines, as nothing looks more tacky. Instead, corral all of your things and choose inexpensive yet high-quality, sleek, acrylic bins and boxes to store them. Acrylic is a great alternative, and is completely transparent, making it easy to see what’s inside. You can also label them easily and customize them online to fit your specific space requirements.
Besides its durability, acrylic also disappears into the interior design of your living room because it is optically clear. It’s also easy to clean with a soft cloth, so maintaining its sleek look is easy. And, acrylic can be personalized in a wide range of color choices, standard shapes or custom sizes easily. Clear, acrylic boxes are the best choice for storing items away neatly in a small living room, and come in sizes that you can conveniently customize to match your particular requirements. Since they are transparent, items can be easily reached again when you need them.
Invest in well-made shelving
Well-made shelving units are a costly investment, but for a small living room they are essential and can artfully make use of lost space. Floor display cases are ultimately worth it for what you get out of them—a ton of storage space, premium features and finishes, including hinged, tempered glass doors fitted with custom locks and oftentimes becoming the showpiece of a room. If you don’t have enough space against the walls to accommodate a standing display case, another option is a more flexible, compact four-shelf display that customizes quickly according to your space.
Your living room will most likely mirror your modern lifestyle, where things are not always straightforward one way or another. Your living room will fulfill a multitude of functions — from offering a space to relax with family and friends and also a space to concentrate on office work. Well-planned storage is the key to successfully pulling this off in a small space.
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