Storage Ideas: Rethinking Dressers

Our living room is where a lot of life happens for us. We don't have a dedicated playroom, so toys and children's books are a big part of this main living space. We use a lot of bins and baskets to store the toys, but the real storage stars of the room are the dressers.

Dressers are just brilliant—so many styles and colors and sizes! They offer a place to hide the things you don't want to be seen (storage) and room on top for things you need or want to show (surface). And doesn't it seem like people are always offering up free dressers? We have two dressers in the living room and they are a big part of why the room functions so well, I think.

First up is this short little guy I received from my grandparents. It sat in their entryway. In our house, it sits front and center under the window and holds puzzles, instruments, and books that are a little advanced for the girls but I don't want to forget about entirely. Our older daughter can pretty easily access the drawers to pull out what she'd like to play with.

Dresser Storage Options—Living Room and Playroom Combined

In addition to storage, this dresser also doubles as a side table for the two wing chairs. Last week, I had a friend over after the girls were in bed and we stayed up late drinking tea and eating cookies and catching up. This is where we sat. The dresser top isn't big, but it was a good landing spot for our cups and plates and napkins. For the time being, we don't have a coffee table. That was an intentional decision because we like having the floor space. But I have been thinking of adding a coffee table back in. We'll see.

The second dresser in the room is the ubiquitous and wonderful IKEA MALM. I bought this years ago, when we were living in a condo, and we used it in our bedroom. But I love it in our living room.

Dressers as Living Room Storage—IKEA MALM

Ah, the computer. We have mostly moved to laptops but that desktop computer is a good screen for watching things on Amazon Prime and for playing our iTunes. We can't seem to give it up, so we keep it tucked away in the corner on top of the MALM. The dresser's top is a good size for it. And the storage in this dresser is great! Four big drawers with lots of room for stuff. I recently stashed an extra sheet in here so we can have quick access to fort-building supplies. Because when you need a fort, you need a fort. Winters are long in Minnesota!

(On a side note, this week I stumbled across this stylish and simple MALM hack and I'm considering it.)

So! Dressers! Hidden gems of storage bliss! And not just for bedrooms. My sister-in-law Maggie keeps a big low dresser in her kitchen and uses it as a buffet. At birthday parties and showers, that's where she sets out cake and drinks and such. It works well and looks beautiful. Where do you need storage and surface? Rethink those dressers, guys. They are where it's at.