We don’t think of the living room as a space for planning storage. Architect Shabnam Gupta dispels your preconceived notions and shares some storage hacks for the living room
The living room is the heart of the house. That’s where the family meets and relaxes, and guests are entertained. No doubt, everyone pays extra attention to doing up this space. It also boasts the largest area in the house, and as we grapple with space crunch in urban homes, it holds immense potential for storage.
Of course, it has to complement the overall decor and not compromise on the feeling of expansiveness a living room offers. So you need some careful consideration before planning the storage.
“A living room will always have a sofa and a centre table which can be turned into covert storage units for books and other things,’’ says Shabnam Gupta from The Orange Lane.
The in-built storage under the sofa can be used for cushions, bed linen, pillows, toys, etc. A wooden chest used in place of a table or coffee table with a sliding top can provide storage for things that you need easy access. Chest of drawers and console can double up as coffee tables while also holding crockery, napkins, dinner ware, etc. A storage bench with a seat that lifts up so you can throw large items in also works wonderfully.
“Cabinets or racks can be created to accommodate books, mementos, photos, artifacts, etc,” says Shabnam.
When it comes to creating storage units, it’s important to understand space-saving and enhancing tricks. “A vertical stacking always saves more space than the horizontal one,” she adds.
One great way to store things without using the surface area is on the walls. “Decorative and floating shelves add character and colour to your walls,” says Shabnam. Since floating shelves seem to jet out directly from the wall without hooks or brackets, they make for an elegant and clean shelving option.
Tap the wall space
“Small niches can be carved out from the walls to create space for artifacts,’’ says Shabnam. This will free up other surface space on table and console tops for keeping handy things. Also, entire wall space can be used to create cabinets and racks.
Pull clutter together
Depending on the décor theme of the living room, use colourful baskets or containers to keep odds and ends, newspapers and magazines. They can be of any make or material – wicker, metal, wooden.
You can also use attractive bowls or trays for small things that float around -- like remotes, coasters, keys.
Often, the things that clutter the living room are things left behind by family members in the living room. These can be put together in baskets from where their owners can pick them up.