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5 Outdated And Impractical Living Room Storage Ideas To Avoid 5 Outdated And Impractical Living Room Storage Ideas To Avoid

Interior Design

5 Outdated And Impractical Living Room Storage Ideas To Avoid

Written by: Ethan Hayes

Avoid these 5 outdated and impractical living room storage ideas that hinder your interior design. Optimize your space with smarter solutions.

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When it comes to designing a living room, storage plays a crucial role in maintaining a clutter-free and organized space. However, not all storage solutions are created equal, and some ideas that were once popular may now be outdated and impractical.

In this article, we will explore five living room storage ideas that you should avoid. These ideas may have been popular in the past, but they are now considered cumbersome, inefficient, and not well-suited to modern living room designs. By understanding why these ideas are outdated, you can make informed choices when it comes to creating functional and aesthetically pleasing storage solutions for your living space.

Bulky Entertainment Centers

Entertainment centers were once a staple in many living rooms, offering a designated space to house televisions, audio equipment, and media storage. However, the rise of sleek and slim TVs, as well as the shift towards streaming services, has made the traditional bulky entertainment center outdated.

These large and cumbersome units often dominate the room, taking up valuable space and creating a visually heavy focal point. Additionally, with the advancement in technology, today’s TVs can be easily mounted on the wall, eliminating the need for a dedicated entertainment center.

Instead, consider opting for a wall-mounted TV or a minimalist media console that blends seamlessly with your living room decor. This not only frees up floor space but also creates a more open and modern atmosphere.

Furthermore, with the increasing popularity of wireless speakers and smart home devices, a separate media storage unit may not be necessary. Many modern TVs now offer built-in streaming services and app compatibility, reducing the need for additional equipment.

By ditching the bulky entertainment center, you can create a more streamlined and visually appealing living room, allowing other design elements to shine.

Built-in Wall Units

Built-in wall units were once considered a desirable storage solution in living rooms. These custom-made units were designed to fit seamlessly into the walls, providing ample storage space for books, electronics, and decorative items. However, this trend has started to fade due to several reasons.

Firstly, built-in wall units can give a room a dated and heavy appearance. The fixed nature of these units can make the overall space feel less flexible and restrict your ability to change the room layout or update the decor. Moreover, as our technology and storage needs evolve, these built-in units may become inadequate or poorly designed for current electronic devices and clutter-free living.

Instead, consider incorporating more versatile and modular storage options. Freestanding bookshelves, sideboards, or floating shelves can provide the same functionality while allowing for greater flexibility in rearranging the living room. These alternatives can be easily moved or adjusted to accommodate changing storage needs or design preferences.

Another advantage of opting for modular storage is the opportunity to mix and match different pieces, adding visual interest and personality to the room. You can choose shelves of various sizes, shapes, and materials to create a unique and dynamic display for your books, decor items, and personal mementos.

Additionally, freestanding storage units can be more cost-effective compared to the custom-built nature of built-in wall units. By investing in standalone pieces that can be easily replaced or relocated, you have the flexibility to adapt your storage solution as your needs and style evolve.

Overall, while built-in wall units were once highly regarded, they no longer align with modern living room design trends. Embracing modular storage options allows for greater flexibility, updating opportunities, and visual interest in your living space.

Oversized Ottoman Storage

Oversized ottomans with built-in storage compartments have been a popular choice for living rooms seeking both functionality and style. These ottomans offer a dual-purpose solution, serving as a comfortable footrest while also providing hidden storage space. However, there are some drawbacks to consider when it comes to this storage idea.

One of the main issues with oversized ottoman storage is the limited capacity it offers. While they may appear spacious on the outside, the storage compartments within ottomans are often shallow and may not be able to accommodate larger or bulkier items. This can be frustrating when trying to organize and store various items in your living room.

Furthermore, oversized ottomans can also take up a significant amount of floor space, making your living room feel more cramped and cluttered. This can be especially problematic in smaller living areas, where maximizing space is crucial for comfort and functionality.

Instead, consider alternative storage solutions that utilize the often underutilized vertical space in your living room. Wall-mounted shelving, hanging organizers, or even tall cabinets can provide ample storage without sacrificing valuable floor space. These options not only help keep your living room neat and organized but also create a visually appealing display for your items.

If you still desire the functionality of an ottoman, opt for a smaller, more compact design with a removable or reversible lid. This will allow you to use it as a footrest or extra seating when needed, while still being able to store smaller items inside. Additionally, you can pair it with other storage furniture to create a cohesive and efficient storage system in your living room.

By reconsidering the oversized ottoman storage, you can free up floor space and explore more efficient and versatile storage solutions for your living room.

Suspended Ceiling Shelving

Suspended ceiling shelving is a storage idea that involves installing shelves directly from the ceiling, creating an overhead storage solution in the living room. While this concept may seem innovative and space-saving, there are several factors to consider before incorporating it into your design.

Firstly, suspended ceiling shelving can be visually overwhelming, especially in rooms with lower ceilings. The hanging shelves can create a cluttered and crowded appearance, making the room feel smaller and more cramped. Additionally, these shelves can obstruct the natural flow of light and air in the space, resulting in a darker and less inviting environment.

Moreover, the installation and maintenance of suspended ceiling shelving can be challenging. It requires careful planning and precise measurements to ensure that the shelves are securely attached to the ceiling. Any miscalculation can lead to shelves that are unstable or prone to sagging over time, compromising both the aesthetic and functional aspects of the storage solution.

Instead, consider utilizing the vertical wall space in your living room for storage purposes. Wall-mounted shelves, bookcases, or cabinets can provide ample storage while maintaining a clean and uncluttered look. These options not only optimize the available space but also make it easier to access and organize your belongings.

Additionally, wall-mounted storage allows for more flexibility in terms of design and arrangement. You can mix and match different shelf sizes and styles to create a visually appealing display while still maintaining the functionality you desire in a storage solution.

By opting for wall-mounted storage instead of suspended ceiling shelving, you can achieve a more balanced and visually pleasing living room while making use of the available wall space effectively.

Excessive Open Shelving

Open shelving has been a popular trend in interior design, especially in the kitchen and living room. It offers a visually appealing way to display items and allows for easy access to everyday essentials. However, when it comes to living room storage, excessive open shelving can be both impractical and visually overwhelming.

One of the main issues with excessive open shelving is the constant need for dusting and organizing. Since the shelves are not enclosed, they tend to accumulate dust and require regular upkeep to maintain a clean and tidy appearance. This can be time-consuming and may not be suitable for those with busy lifestyles or who prefer a low-maintenance storage solution.

Furthermore, having too many open shelves in a living room can create a cluttered look, with items on display potentially appearing disorganized and messy. It can be challenging to keep the shelves visually appealing and curated without careful organization and styling. This can detract from the overall aesthetic of the space and make it feel chaotic and overwhelming.

Instead of incorporating excessive open shelving, consider a balanced approach to your storage needs. Opt for a combination of open shelves and closed storage options like cabinets or drawers. This allows you to have the best of both worlds: the ability to showcase and access certain items while keeping others hidden for a streamlined and organized look.

Aim to have a cohesive and thoughtfully arranged display on your open shelves, using a mix of decorative items, books, and personal belongings. This creates a visually pleasing focal point in your living room without overwhelming the space.

Remember that less can be more when it comes to open shelving. Carefully select and curate the items you choose to display, ensuring they add to the overall aesthetic and functionality of the living room. This approach will result in a more balanced and visually appealing storage solution.


Designing a living room with functional and stylish storage solutions is essential for maintaining a clutter-free and organized space. However, it is important to be mindful of outdated and impractical storage ideas that may not align with modern design trends and lifestyle needs.

In this article, we have explored five living room storage ideas to avoid. Bulky entertainment centers, built-in wall units, oversized ottoman storage, suspended ceiling shelving, and excessive open shelving were once popular choices but are now considered outdated and impractical.

Instead of these outdated ideas, consider embracing more modern storage alternatives. Opt for a wall-mounted TV or minimalist media console to replace bulky entertainment centers. Choose versatile and modular storage options rather than built-in wall units to allow for flexibility and style evolution. Use smaller ottomans or alternative storage solutions to avoid the pitfalls of oversized ottoman storage.

Instead of suspended ceiling shelving, utilize wall-mounted storage options to optimize vertical space and maintain a clean and uncluttered look. Lastly, opt for a balanced approach with a mix of open and closed storage options rather than excessive open shelving. This allows for curated displays while maintaining organization and minimizing dusting and maintenance.

By avoiding these outdated and impractical storage ideas, you can create a living room that is not only visually appealing but also functional and efficient. Take the time to assess your storage needs and explore modern and innovative solutions that align with your personal style and the requirements of your living space.

Remember, the goal is to create a living room that is not only a reflection of your personality but also a space that supports your lifestyle and promotes a sense of relaxation and harmony.

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