Drôle House Blog

Postcard 3

{Postcard 3} - "How can I get more efficient storage into a small living room?" - Submitted by Laura

Laura's challenge includes a narrow living room with:

  • toys, books and electronic equipment to store
  • a large fireplace mantle smack dab in the middle
  • limited circulation around a sectional couch

Ah, toy storage...the bane of parents' existence. Having kids certainly compounds the storage woes of old homes because kids not only grow out of things so fast, but you can't quite get rid of anything in case you have more kids! Generally speaking, if you were to reduce the toy-load by half, the living room would open up. If you do need to build something, it should at least hit two birds with one stone. In this response, a wall to wall built-in bench with storage drawers below also adds seating to the small living room. Keeping vertical storage to a minimum helps the space look wider, and can feature the window more prominently. 

Can anything fun be done with a fireplace you don't use? Televisions have long since replaced them as the hearth of a home. As a bonus idea to this challenge, here is a reimagining of the function of the fireplace mantle. Traditional looking on the outside, fun and flexible when opened up!