Not every home has the space for a separate playroom, which is precisely why toy storage ideas for a living room are so necessary. It is, as its name suggests, a room to be lived in, and so, all signs of family life are part and parcel of this area within your home. While some people are more than happy to leave anything from Lego in its thousands to a doll’s afternoon tea party strewn across the rug and central coffee table, most (like interior designer Elizabeth Krueger whose living room design, above, has lots of potential for hidden toy storage) prefer to tidy it all away when playtime’s over to return it to its grown-up glory.
Toy storage ideas for living rooms can be incredibly easy to integrate or they can be more complex, made-to-measure solutions. These top five considerations should make life a little more orderly without you ever feeling as though you’re spoiling their fun.
1) Hide Toys in Decorative Baskets
Sizeable wicker baskets don’t simply make for perfect log baskets, they’re well-suited to storing larger toys. They’re made for throwing everything in because there’s no internal compartments or shelving, meaning you needn’t worry about careful organisation. Children will love rummaging for their favourite something too, or tipping it all out again. The real beauty is that you can use it to keep a few spare blankets in to conveniently conceal the contents and the exterior will add further colour or texture to your room’s decor.
Remember that not all toys are big and bulky, and that smaller toys can be stored away in decorative trinket boxes. See this as an excuse to indulge in any treasure boxes that you’ve had on your wishlist and that will be a welcome addition to a bookcase or console table.
2) Clear Out Coffee & Console Table Drawers
Living room toy storage furniture is often already in-situ, staring back at you. Making the most of your existing living room furniture is always a convenient and helpful place to begin. Identify which items have storage space that you’d be happy to consider freeing up – it’s important not to surrender every piece of storage space, because this is a room for everybody to enjoy.
Perhaps you have a storage coffee table, a console table or sideboard with drawers aplenty, or even an ottoman or trunk that lifts to reveal hidden depths. Once you’ve taken stock, now it’s time to declutter. Take a few hours one weekend morning and get the whole family involved so that you can take on the task together and encourage each other’s ruthlessness. If you have enough drawer space, you could allocate each child a drawer of their own to take care of their respective toys. They’ll enjoy having a space to claim as their own and it means you’re not always tasked with the tidying.[/image_block]
You can apply the declutter rationale to furniture in other rooms nearby and relocate some toy storage elsewhere so that it’s not all necessarily kept within the living room’s confines.
Image Credit: Ali Budd
3) Utilise Built-in Storage Cupboards
If you’d like to avoid having extra furniture taking up floor space, or if you’d like to keep your living room furniture separate to toy storage, then having fitted cabinets recessed into your walls (if they have the depth available) is worth considering. Or, having bespoke cupboards built that will have a minimal footprint but well-thought out storage configurations inside.
Adjustable shelving so that you have the flexibility to store different sized items, storage racks attached to the door insides and drawers at the base give you a highly versatile, focused place to keep children’s toys all in one place. But from the outside, they will appear as elegant as the rest of your living room’s interior.
Image Credit: Elicyon
4) Use Bay Window Storage
Bay windows aren’t solely an object of beauty in a sitting room, but they provide you with a vast amount of space to transform into both seating and storage. Having a window seat built is one of the best ways to utilise a bay window – or any window with a deep and generous sill. It gives you extra seating in the room and has such calming, romantic connotations attached to it. The depths beneath are perfect for turning into storage cupboards. If you really want them to blend into the background, choose the same colour as your walls and a touch-catch mechanism.
Better still, if your room has panelling or patterned wallpaper, this will disguise the cupboard’s opening greater still. Again, have shelving fitted so that you can use the full volume of the space in an organised way and have some fun with how you decorate the cupboard’s interior, like decorative wallpaper lining the inside or contrasting paint colours.
5) Display Children’s Books on Bookcases
It’s far from uncommon to have a bookcase in your living room. In some instances they’re vast, wall-to-wall, ceiling-to-floor showcases that can house nothing but books, or a more intriguing collection of curios, books and even a section as a mini bar. Other times they’re more modest, narrow designs, but still with plenty of shelf space for filling.
Instead of putting children’s books in you boxes or in a cupboard, make them a part of your display shelving. Dedicating one shelf to a mixture of children’s pocket-sized books, colourful pop-out books and illustrated short stories is a lovely way to tell your family’s own story. Position them at child-friendly height so that they can come in, help themselves and find somewhere comfortable to read along – with you or with the company of a cuddly toy pulled out from nearby toy-laden basket.