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The word of the day in many living rooms is “contemporary”.

As fashions for living room furniture change and evolve with the times, many homeowners and decorating specialists have begun to lean towards cutting-edge, contemporary styles for most living rooms.


While the word can mean a lot of things to a lot of people, the backbone behind most “contemporary” decoration styles is an ideal of minimalism. Smooth surfaces, tasteful and unobtrusive wall art, and lightweight furniture (mostly with ‘natural’ elements like wood, glass, and bronze) are the order of the day and the ideas are gaining traction in a lot of circles.


While it’s a look we love, it does beg the question—if you’re going for a streamlined, modernized living room, where are you supposed to store everything? Even the most contemporary living rooms have things that need to be stored safely, like DVDS and cable boxes, and the slim lines of contemporary living room designs can begin to get in the way of this.


These storage problems can be solved with a little imagination, though. One good thing to focus on is using all the flat surface available. Instead of using every spare inch of the coffee table (which could break the lines and disrupt the flow of your living room), look for other spaces to hold things like candles or photos. Windowsills and fireplace mantels are an excellent solution for decorations and collectables, and if space allows you could line the area with some small-frame end tables and side tables to provide further space.


Of course, this presents other options. The trick with contemporary living rooms is to keep the sightlines as clean as possible, so the areas underneath coffee tables are always going to be fair game. Stack magazines as close to the table legs as possible for a more low-profile storage option—and it has the added bonus of keeping them in the front of your mind so you can recycle or donate them when they’re too old to be readable.


Once all the table and floor space is spoken for, it may be time to look elsewhere. Namely, the walls and corners. Contemporary living rooms tend to shy away from bulkier installations like cabinets or bookshelves; instead, you can use lighter living room wall shelves to provide the same amount of storage in a more low-profile, low-impact way without detracting from the rest of the room. If you have space in a corner or against a wall, parallel to the couch (to create a consistent look), you could even line the space with a storage bench to keep things like shoes off the floor, clearing some of the clutter.


For a more mobile storage idea, many living rooms are turning to bar carts for long-term storage. Not only do they provide easy storage for your favorite wines, cocktail mixers, and glasses, but their mobility provides an easy serving tray for guests—or if you don’t want to keep getting up to top off your rosé.


With a contemporary living room, the only limit is your imagination—and how much space you have. If you find a low-profile organization style that helps you beat the clutter, then you’re already doing great.

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