How to organize a living room

10 tips and tricks from professional organizers and interior designers

1/11 ● Living Etc
tap to see next page

1. CHOOSE A HARD-WORKING STORAGE PIECE

Photo: JMorris Design.

Perhaps the most effective way to help the organization of your living room is to invest in storage - and it’s wise to go for the biggest your space will take to keep the clutter at bay.

In this cozy living room project, Jennifer J Morris, Principal Interior Designer at JMorris Design, opted for a long and low console to run the length of the room.

2. INCORPORATE FLEXIBLE SOLUTIONS TO DEAL WITH EVERYDAY CLUTTER

Photo: BoND.

While it would arguably be a lot easier if our homes - and indeed our requirements of it - remained at a constant, in reality this is never the case. They are ever-evolving spaces that need to respond to a great deal of changing demands, which makes implementing organization all the more tricky - and this is especially true of living rooms.

The answer? Create a space that can adapt easily and remain orderly while doing it, a feat achieved by Daniel Rauchwerger and Noam Dvir, co-founders of architecture and interior design firm BoND, in their own New York home.

3. TAKE SHELVING TO THE CEILING

Photo: Veronica Rodriguez. Design: Interior Fox.

When it comes to organizing, the key is to make sure each area of the room is reaching its full potential.

This is true of the square footage, but also the wall space too, as professional organizer and decluttering coach Kenika Williams explains, ‘Maximizing your vertical space by mounting shelves will add greater functionality to your home, providing additional space for both storage and display.’

4. ENSURE PLACEMENT OF STORAGE SERVES THE FUNCTIONALITY OF THE ROOM

Photo: Mel Yates. Design: Roselind Wilson Designs.

Not only is storage essential to the organization of a living room, but also where you choose to put it will have a huge impact on how streamlined the space feels - and this elegant living room idea by Roselind Wilson Design is the perfect example.

5. CHOOSE ONE WALL FOR ORGANIZED STORAGE

Photo: Laura Cattano.

Depending on the amount of stuff you need to store, it can really help the overall feeling of tranquility if you can limit the amount of wall space you take up.

‘Instead of having lots of smaller furniture pieces dotted around the room, I’d suggest concentrating the storage to one wall,’ says professional organizer Laura Cattano. ‘This will help to keep the space feeling light and open. You could have one wall of open shelves above with drawers or cabinets below, or long low cabinets along a wall with art and display objects above.’

6. USE BOOKS AS STYLING OBJECTS

Photo: Aaron Leitz. Design: Lisa Staton Design.

‘Books help to give a home warmth and personality,’ says Lisa Staton, principal designer at Lisa Staton Design. ‘They can also be used to add height to smaller objects.’

A stack of books creates the perfect pedestal for your favorite vase, and curating several of these groupings makes for a dynamic shelf or coffee table display.

7. CURATE YOUR COFFEE TABLE

Photo: Albion Nord.

‘Avoid having lots of small items, as that can make a coffee table feel cluttered,’ she says. ‘Instead, play with scale and display larger items like big art books and backgammon boards with smaller bowls or objets.

Fresh foliage, flowers or a plant is a must, but make sure it feels relaxed and usable rather than staged or untouchable.

However beautiful the arrangement, practicality is very important so make sure there is enough room to put everyday things down such as a cup of coffee or a magazine.’

8. TRY A BLANKET LADDER

Photo: Milk and Confetti.

While you may like to cozy up under a blanket when you’re relaxing in the evening, you might not want it on the sofa all day. To manage your collection while also creating a style feature, professional organizer and decluttering coach Kenika Williams offers a solution to manage your collection while also creating a style feature; ‘I love using blanket ladders in spaces. They add a decorative spin to the space while also serving a purpose.’

In the home of content creator and lifestyle blogger Sarah Nantel, a blanket ladder perfectly suits the effortless Scandi vibe. Her blog also offers a step-by-step guide to making your own, if you fancy a living room DIY project.

9. ORGANIZE WITH A STORAGE OTTOMAN

Photo: Dormy House.

Multifunctional living room furniture ideas are always going to be invaluable when trying to keep a living room organized and orderly. ‘My top recommendations for a living room space are ottomans because they are multi-purpose,’ says Kenika Williams. ‘They can be used as seats but also as storage too.’

Holly Waterfield, interior designer with The Brooklyn Home Company agrees; ‘I love clever storage solutions such as benches or ottomans that also have storage components,’ she says. ‘These are great for extra throw pillows or blankets that you wouldn't necessarily leave out but can easily grab as needed.’

10. CONSIDER CLOSED STORAGE

Photo: Daniel Villarreal. Design: Interior Fox.

As beautiful as open shelving can be within a living room, it might not be the best solution for you. Being able to close the door on unsightly items will do wonders for clutter management, and allows for a simpler backdrop to other furniture.

‘Tall freestanding closed cupboards are a welcome addition to the living room,’ says Jen & Mar, co-founders of Interior Fox. ‘They provide ample storage that can be neatly stored away behind doors.’

Cool Kids' Room Ideas

Be inspired by these kids room ideas to create stylish spaces that both you and your children will love