This Space-Saving Office Staple Actually Works Better in Your Living Room

published Jul 22, 2023
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living room with gray sofa, natural fiber rug, wood coffee table with white metal legs, baskets, mirror with straw frame on wall behind sofa, cane armchair with gray cushion, gray armchair on other side of sofa, plants on floating shelf, lots of white, wood, natural accents. Back of room has office/desk area, large flat screen TV on wall opposite sofa next to some built in shelves with books and other decor

When it comes to living room storage, people tend to lean toward console tables and TV stands as their go-to pieces of furniture. Your home office, however, is an underrated place to poach storage ideas from — that is, if you’re looking for more budget-friendly, space-saving options. One homeowner and content creator rehomed an office staple in her living room, and this move is one I’m thinking about copying (and you may want to, too!). 

Isabel Sánchez lives in a 1130-square-foot four-bedroom apartment in Barcelona with her husband and their two children. While they don’t necessarily live in a tiny space, Sánchez is still always on the hunt for interesting ways to create high-impact and stylish storage solutions for her family. Sánchez’s favorite space in her entire house is the open-plan living area, and that also happens to be where some of her coolest DIYs and storage tricks are. Case in point: Instead of a typical square or round sofa end table, she pulled a tall, slender metal file cabinet next to her couch.

You typically see file cabinets like this in home offices to store things like papers and supplies, but Sánchez makes a case for utilizing this kind of cabinet in an unconventional way. With the cabinet placed in the corner of the room near the sofa, it appears to function as a plant stand at first glance. She has potted plants and a mirror on top of it, which immediately makes this metal cabinet feel cozier. The cabinet has nine drawers, so it offers plenty of stealthy storage for small things that can be hard to find a place for, and I suspect she has some work things in there, considering how close the piece also is to her desk.

Even though it’s considerably taller than a traditional end table, the filing cabinet still anchors the sofa and provides an area where you could set down a magazine or a drink or snack. But think of the extra space you secure for storage by working the vertical space in your room this way! And if the height differential bothers you, you could always find a shorter filing cabinet instead. 

Sánchez works primarily with neutral colors when decorating her home, so the white cabinet fits right into her space. If you enjoy more color, then the smooth metal finish makes this the perfect blank canvas for a quick DIY if you want to add a coat of paint — or you can shop for something a little more vibrant. The point here? Think outside of the box when it comes to your core pieces because it can pay off.