Built-in shelving took this living room from cluttered chaos to serene and spacious

See how this living room got a whole dose of personality with one key ingredient

living room with black painted cabinetry and fireplace
(Image credit: Bespoke Carpentry London)

Living rooms are where most of us spend our evenings and they need to work hard as a space to relax and express ourselves. However, if the layout or storage isn't quite right it can leave the space looking cluttered and overwhelming. That was the case with this living room. 

Living in London, the homeowner, Francesca, was keen to update her living room ideas which were missing a few key ingredients that would take it from a pretty living room to a fully-functioning masterpiece. 

'We wanted to give it more personality,' she says, 'as well as adding more storage and tying the decor in with the colour of our sofa.'


living room before with fireplace

(Image credit: Bespoke Carpentry London)

Beforehand, the room was devoid of living room storage ideas with an empty alcove on either side of the fireplace. 'We had a TV and a couple of pieces of furniture,' says Francesca. 'The room had irregular-shaped walls which made it difficult to decorate, but we wanted some sort of bookcase to fit in the alcoves.'

Bringing on board Bespoke Carpentry London, Francesca had a designer visit her house and prepare a design, based on her requirements. 'The bookcase was designed to fit the alcoves perfectly and turned out to be a proper work of art itself,' she says. 'Once agreed on the sketch and the paint colour, the carpenters came to adjust and assemble the storage on site. it didn't take more than a week for the final result.'


living room with black painted cabinetry and fireplace

(Image credit: Bespoke Carpentry London)

The dramatic black design makes good use of the space either side of the fireplace, with cupboards to hide things away as well as shelves on which to display favourite accessories. 

'I love the fact that the storage perfectly fits the whole wall,' says Francesca. 'The room has an Art Deco feel to it and the bespoke finishes really make it.' 

living room with black painted storage and fireplace

(Image credit: Bespoke Carpentry London)

Despite the dark colour of the wall, the room feels beautifully light, thanks in part to the overmantel living room mirror idea that helps reflect light around the room. A smaller TV now fits on top of one of the cabinets, blending in rather than being the focus of the room as it was before.

living room with grey sofa

(Image credit: Bespoke Carpentry London)

On the other side of the room the walls have been kept light, creating a monochrome aesthetic that works perfectly with the existing grey sofa. 

'The room looks more spacious and when you enter the room the bookcase stands out as the protagonist of our living room,' says Francesca. 'Having such a unique and bespoke piece has given it a lot of character now.'

Laurie Davidson

Laurie Davidson is a professional stylist, writer and content creator, who lives and breathes interiors. Having worked for some of the UK’s leading interior magazines, styled homes up and down the country and produced sets for TV shows, adverts and top brands, it’s safe to say Laurie has had a pretty exciting career. Find her on Instagram at @lifeofaninteriorstylist or over at lauriedavidson.co.uk