Struggling with a small living room? Or simply not making the most of the space you have? Take a look at these ideas and see how you can maximize wasted spots, from tricky corners to slim alcoves.

1. Go up and over. How often do you think about the space above the doorway in your living room? Probably not that often. But this underappreciated spot can be a handy place for adding storage.

Here, the homeowners had narrow shelving units built above and down the sides of the doorway to maximize the wall area.

2. Turn a window into a shelf. This snug room is cozy and welcoming, but the petite proportions mean every inch has to work hard. A coffee table in the center of the room would have obstructed the pathway. By tucking a low table into the window recess, the owners have created a neat perch for a coffee cup without cutting into precious floor space.

3. Use vertical space. Think you don’t have room for a bookshelf? These homeowners tapped into their apartment’s vertical space by installing metal shelves on this concrete pillar to support a tall stack of books. This is an idea that could work in any sliver of wall space.

You can try a book tower like this one, or use compact metal bookshelf brackets which can be attached to the smallest of wall spaces to create instant shelving.

4. Maximize slim alcoves. The clever storage choices in this slim alcove ensure that no space has gone to waste in this living room. It would have been tricky to install full-height cabinets in such a shallow spot, so a single row of closed base units that slightly extends into the room has been built instead. Narrow shelving for displaying smaller items covers the rest of the wall.

Now everything — books, ornaments, even fireplace logs — has a home.


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