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3 Guaranteed Ways to Clean Up Your Act + Hide Clutter In An Open Concept Home

It’s the end of a long day and you are washing dishes in the kitchen. While you’re elbow deep in suds + dirty dishwater… you’re staring at the mess in the living room.  Ugh!

Then, when you finally finish, you want to kick back and put your feet up on the coffee table. So you settle in, get comfy, and realize that you’re now staring at the pile of papers on the counter. 

Ahh… the joys of an open floor plan.

Clutter is an annoying part of life in any home, but it is especially noticeable (and extra annoying) in an open concept space.

Although big, open living spaces are common requests for families looking to remodel or purchase a home, homeowners can quickly discover a hard truth after they move in. It’s hard to keep all that unobstructed space looking presentable!

All the “stuff” we use on a daily basis has a way of congregating in the living area like an unruly mob of paper stacks, random shoes, and baseball cards (can you tell what’s actually scattered on my living room floor at the moment?).

But we won’t let the clutter win!

I’ve lived with it. And learned from it. And helped clients deal with it too.

Today I’m giving you 3 solutions to consider if you’re having a hard time keeping an open concept home looking clean. 

Plus, I’m sharing shoppable collections of my favorite storage solutions to get the ideas flowing.

Read on to learn 3 ideas to help you combat clutter anxiety and get back to enjoying all the best parts of this laid back living arrangement!

1. | Baskets

College Cottage Project | Photo Credit: Brian Martinez
Shop: Shelf

In every single room of the house, baskets are a cheap, easy and effective solution for controlling clutter.  They are especially crucial in an open concept space. 

Here are my favorite ways to use baskets to hide clutter in your open concept living space:

  • Line open shelves or a bookcase with a set of matching baskets.  This could be done in a dining space, on open kitchen shelves, or on the shelves of living room built-ins. 
  • Select fully opaque baskets (not wire or mesh) to keep things looking uniform. The goal is to hide what’s inside.
  • Throw a big tray-style basket on the coffee table or on a side table to help keep loose items like magazine, glasses, and remote controls contained to one dedicated space.
  • Tuck a BIG floor basket behind the couch or in an empty corner and fill it with throw blankets or toys for kids or pets.
  • Line the floor of your pantry with large baskets to store bakeware and cutting boards vertically.
  • Place a small basket in an out of the way space on the counter to hold mail, permission slips, and other odds and ends until you get a chance to handle them. Just remember to empty it and deal with the contents regularly!



Add Texture, Hide Clutter

2. | Freestanding Storage

If you will be investing in new furniture for your open concept home, keep an eye out for every opportunity to bring storage into the mix.  Even if you don’t think you’ll need it now… you’ll be glad to have it eventually! 

There are a variety of furnishings that provide the kind of sneaky storage you’ll be glad to have in your open concept living space. 

Storage Coffee Tables

Storage coffee tables are always worth looking at, especially when you need to hide clutter in an open concept room.  I have personally owned a few different types of coffee tables with added storage over the years and I can say from experience that they make keeping your living room clean much easier. Especially if you have young kids!  

  • I love coffee tables with drawers underneath because they can store electronics, toys, and papers in a way that is easy to access.
  • Another great option for storage coffee tables are tables with lift off tops.  These are perfect for storing larger items like stuffed animals and blankets/pillows.  Access is a little more difficult since you have to lift off the whole top.  If you want to keep items out on top, consider putting them on a tray to make it easier.
  • If you already have a basic coffee table, you can create your own storage by adding baskets, storage cubes or floor bins underneath  Use that valuable space!


Storage Coffee Tables

Add texture, Hide Clutter

Consoles + Sofa Tables

College Cottage Project | Photo Credit: Brian Martinez
Shop: Lamp | Console | Similar Mirror

A console is a prime opportunity to sneak in a little storage while decorating your open concept house.

Depending on what you need to store, you might consider a table with a few drawers, folding doors, or even a full dresser!

  • Often, homeowners choose to incorporate a storage console as a media unit.
  • If you have extra space in your dining area, you might use it more as a buffet.
  • Sometimes designers will place a console behind a floating sofa that opens into the open concept living space to separate the seating area from the rest of the living space. They’ll accessorize with a lamp (or two), decorative boxes, and perhaps some family photos. 

A console is a perfect place for storing serving ware and linens, out of season pillow covers and throw blankets, or seasonal gear like mittens and hats.


Storage Consoles

Perfect for Entry, Under the TV or Behind the Sofa

Bookcases + Cabinets

College Cottage Project | Photo Credit: Brian Martinez
Shop: Media Unit

Lately I have seen a lot of examples of homes incorporating beautiful large scale storage pieces into the design of a room. 

They add architectural interest, drama and STORAGE to your space without the commitment level of permanent cabinetry.

Some ideas I’m loving:

  • Add two large glass door cabinets or bookcases on either side of a fireplace for a symmetrical layout with lots of added storage for media as well as styling opportunities.
  • Find a large baker’s rack or open-back bookcase and add it to an empty wall in the kitchen.  Style with serving ware, stacks of plates, collections or (ahem) more baskets.
  • Pick a killer bar cabinet and place it on any open wall in an open concept living space that’s easy for guests to access.


Bookcases + Cabinets

Fill a Blank Wall and Add Interest

3. | Built-In Storage

Built-In Storage Benches For an Open Concept Floorplan
Photo Credit: Brian Martinez | Styling: Suzette Gebhardt
Construction: Deko Design + Construction

Last but not least, have you considered adding built in storage to hide clutter in your open concept living space? 

Yes… this type of project is a commitment and an investment.  But the warmth and depth that a permanent architectural element can add to your home is unmatched.

Keeping storage and design in mind, you can hide clutter in your open concept home in a beautiful way.

For example, the clients in a new-build I recently worked with had an ENORMOUS dining room on the floor plan that was way too large for their needs. 

They converted the space into a living room, and had the builder create a wall of lower cabinets that spanned the entire length of the room. 

Next, they placed a TV on top and now have a HUGE counter space to use as a bar, snack serving station, and art display area.  Plus there is a massive amount of storage underneath the counter for board games, kitchen overflow, books, and all the other “stuff” that would otherwise be out in the open. 

I love how this creative use of space helped create order in their open floor plan.  

More built-in ideas to consider:

  • Add additional cabinetry to the end of existing kitchen cabinets, such as a pantry cabinet
  • Build matching media cabinets on either side of the fireplace with display shelves above
  • Add a bar area to an unused wall (lower cabinets plus upper cabinets or open shelves)
  • Install flip-top or drawer benches beside the fireplace or in the kitchen with storage inside
  • Spring for a second kitchen island if you have space to spare


Your Favorites

& Save It For Later!

If you’re looking for more tips for decorating your open concept living space, check out this post for more ideas.

An open floor plan home has its challenges, but it truly is a great arrangement for connecting with others and living well in our homes.

Hopefully this post helped spark some ideas that will help you hide clutter in your open concept home so you can enjoy your space even more!



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