How to Add Hidden Storage to Your Living Room Bookcase

Your living room bookcase is the tallest feature of your living room and so the focal point. Years past, bookcases were made to hold our books. All our books. With the popularity of kindle and other digital reading apps, our collection of books has been scaled down to the ones we bought as a keepsake or as a display. Or maybe you're like me and just want to curl up with a book I've ready three times over. You could also let your bookcase pull double duty and use it as a display cabinet but figurines and picture frames only take up so much space. So what do you do with all the other empty bookshelves? 

Empty white bookcase in an apartment living room

What we never have enough of is storage in our homes. Now that the bookshelves are empty and the living room is a prominent area of your home, why not utilize your bookcase for storage purposes.  It's better than storing in the garage because sometimes garages aren't attached and tougher to get to than your living room. So your living room would be a great space to store things because it is the biggest room in the house and central so that you can easily grab the things you sometimes need. 

So how do you add storage function to your living room bookcase without it looking like you are storing stuff in your bookcase? It's not the same as stuffing and stacking your garage with storage bins. Like the books you so neatly have sitting on the bookshelves or the picture frames you have angled a certain way, storage on your bookcase need to be treated as part of your home decor too.  The trick is to utilize decorative bins or ones with a nicer silhouette to dress up your bookcase as if the bins and boxes were part of the display. Below are some dos and don'ts for adding hidden storage to your bookcase.

DO use fabric baskets

Fabric baskets give off a soft and warm aesthetic compared to plastic or solid molded ones. They are great to hold toys, easy to wash if stained and fold compact if you change your mind or don't need them at the moment.  Fabric baskets are stylish and come in lots of fun prints to match your home decor.  

grey fabric canvas baskets with nautical rope for toy storage in bookcase

Grey 2pc Fabric Storage Basket $31.99, Click on image for detail

DON'T use clear bins. 

I know clear bins are popular right now and they look great in IG photos. But we are talking about storage that you want to hide away.  PLUS, unless you are treating your stored items like display items, it's like having all your clutter in view but just corraled on your living room bookcase for all to see. 

Clear acrylic bins for bathroom storage for towels and lotions

Clear Storage Bins 6pc set $32.99, Click on image for detail

DO use semi-see thru bins. If you don't like the image of solid boxes on your bookcase, try for baskets that have a design to their walls so you can add a pop of color to your bookshelf and still be able to see what's inside of them. These are the perfect storage tools for items you have to grab more frequently so you aren't messing with lids and stacked bins. 

Clear Storage Bins 6pc set $32.99, Click on image for detail

DON'T use standard solid white bins.

There's nothing wrong with them, but just not for this setting. Their body shape and design is geared more towards hiding away in a closet or cabinet. We are trying to highlight and dress up your living room bookcase with hidden storage. Although if you think they'd be perfect to pull off the look you're going for, have at it! 

White plastic storage bins in kitchen and pantry cabinet

White Storage Bin Large $10.99, Click on image for detail

DO go for solid bins that have a curveture or nicer silhouette to their body.

This will greatly add to the aesthetics to your home decor and help dress up your bookcase nicely. Solid molded bins are also more adept at storing heavier or bulkier items than fabric baskets. 

Mainstay Storage Bins 2pc Blush Pink $16.99, Click on image for detail

DO utilize decorative molded bins with lids to add drawer function. 

Bins with lids help you corral items within a body like a drawer does and you can stack them like the drawers of a dresser would.  Go with smaller sized bins though because bookcases aren't usually very deep.  Plus this way they can help you sort thru all the smaller items such as remote controls, batteries, crayons, etc. 

Glad grey plastic storage baskets as a mini bookshelf bookend

4pc Stacking Storage Bins with Lid Grey $16.99, Click on image for detail

DO decorate and add storage to how it'd be beneficial for your household. 

Break away from these tips if they don't work for you and I'm glad if you found them useful. At the end of the day, your home is your haven and you are the only one that should feel comfortable coming home to it. And that is our better living goal at X-nrg for you. 


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published