Whether your family congregates in an informal living room, a family room, or a den, that’s the place where such activities like playing games, reading, watching television, and listening to music occur. Every one of these activities involves paraphernalia. It’s easy to understand why such areas seem to attract clutter.
Because they’re so versatile, modular wall systems are especially popular in family living areas. Equipped with adjustable shelving cabinets, drawers, television bays, and other specialty options, these units can organize myriad objects. But virtually any piece of storage furniture or built-in can help contain the clutter. You can buy or build cabinet systems such as a base for a television set with drawers that open to reveal ideal storage spots for DVD players. Sound systems, and entertainment-related magazines.
In more formal living areas, use wall systems that combine open shelving and cabinets to exhibit art objects and prized collections as well as to conceal audio equipment and other accessories.
Keep books on open shelving where they can be easily seen and reached. In general, it’s best to place heavy books and reference works on the lower tiers of a shelf system. Art books can go at eye level, and paperbacks can be arranged on higher shelves. Coffee tables and other low pieces of furniture are also handy places to keep books and magazines – they give guests something to do when waiting for dinner or your company.
Unless you recycle them regularly, magazines can quickly overwhelm their designated storage space. For easy reference, consider special binders or magazine holders that slide onto shelves like books. Or buy inexpensive wicker baskets, or other handy storage bins, and keep magazines in a neat pile near couches. You can also store magazines in flat stacks, ideally behind cabinet doors. Ensure shelves are strong and well supported enough to handle heavy magazine stacks.
How you display special pieces such as heirlooms, fine china, and sentimental family favorites depends on how much you plan to protect them from theft and breakage, and whether you want to accent their worth by using subtle lighting techniques, for example. A ready-made or built-in storage unit with glass shelves, sliding glass doors, and interior lighting allows you to enjoy your collection and, at the same time, keep it safe, secure, and clean. Some collectibles can be kept on open shelves, whereas you might find it safer and less nerve-racking to store them in drawers and cabinets when a lot of people come to visit at once – especially if they include children.