Brie Larson's living room storage demonstrates a no-fail hack for small homes – designers say it's a 'genius' use of dead space

The actress makes use of every inch of unused space in her rustic living room with this under-sofa storage trick

Brie Larson
(Image credit: Getty Images / Dave J Hogan / Contributor)

Clutter seems to magically accumulate in every empty corner of the living room, no matter its layout or square footage. From kids' toys to workout equipment, there's quite a bit going on in this catch-all space. That's why honing the living room's storage setup is so vital to creating a stylish, inviting retreat. And sometimes, getting the storage just right means making use of every inch of unused space.

Actress Brie Larson's living room is a stunning example of how discreet under-sofa storage can transform a space. Both functional and easy on the eyes, hidden-away drawers fit seamlessly under the sofa, storing all sorts of essentials without detracting from the room's comfort-forward design scheme. And though under-furniture bins can quickly become a design faux pas when not done right, interior designers love this rendition of the living room storage trick – it makes clever use of 'dead space' in every nook and cranny of the home.

'It’s a room for all seasons and the kind of place to reach for a soft blanket and snuggle up with a book, revel in good company, or practice meditation and yoga when the opportunity arises. That’s exactly why Brie’s sofa storage facilitates, with useful drawers to tuck away those hygge-style throws and extra pillows, are such a great addition to the room. Practical, multi-functional furniture is the perfect way to create flexible and supportive homes, especially when space is at a premium,' says feng shui expert and interiors therapist Suzanne Roynon.

A post shared by Brie Larson

A photo posted by brielarson on

Featuring wooden vaulted ceilings and a calming, neutral color scheme, Brie's living room acts as a serene escape. Lush, nature-inspired textures across the warm neutral walls and furniture, combined with a characterful fireplace, make this space feel earthy and grounded. But designers say that this living room's storage is its true star. It's so sleek and camouflaged that it's easy to overlook.

'Furniture pieces that serve multiple purposes are one of the smartest things you can add to your home. I honestly didn't even notice the storage drawers under Brie's sofa until I really scrutinized every detail of the room – that's the mark of smart storage, when it blends seamlessly into the room,' says interior designer Kathy Kuo.

The 'dead space' (or the empty corners and crevices that go unused) throughout the home is often disregarded, but taking advantage of it is a fast track to storage success. Whether you invest in an ottoman that doubles as a storage bin, or select a compact shelving unit for an empty corner of the bedroom, paying extra attention to these small, unremarkable spaces goes a long way. And due to its clever disguise, Brie's storage setup gets a gold star from designers who use this trick often.

'Brie is using her space so well. Not only is it dead space, it’s what I call "hiding space" for the things we use but don't want to see – and we all have lots of that. I have done the same in both my kids' rooms... It’s amazingly discreet like Brie’s and oh so useful. She is camouflaging the storage by making it a feature of the sofa… it’s kind of genius,' says Christiane Lemieux, interior designer and founder of luxury homeware brand Lemieux et Cie.

Yellow living room with gray sofa, large low hanging chandelier, matching wall lights, low coffee table

A living room with a gray sofa similar to Brie's.

(Image credit: Artinteriors)

Suzanne says that 'getting smart about activating dead areas makes complete sense in every home.' Single-use spaces are increasingly rare, so it's likely you're doing much more than lounging in the living room. Whether you use the space to exercise, work from home, or entertain guests, discreet storage means you can transform the room from one function to another after just a quick tidy-up.

'If you’re obliged to work from home in your living space, these drawers are perfect for paperwork and the laptop when the working day is done. This can even double up as a guest bedroom should the need arise, with everything required for a comfortable night’s sleep right there where it’s needed. Designing in capacity for a range of uses makes the most of any space,' adds Suzanne.

Though separate pull-out drawers are available for purchase, Brie's storage solution is built in, making for a seamless, sleek look. And though a brand-new sofa with included storage is an ideal upgrade for just about any living room, Suzanne says there are other ways to make the most of your living room space.

'I’m thrilled by the increasing availability of multi-purpose furniture, like coffee tables that conceal secret storage and morph into desks, dining tables, or attractive consoles. Retailers like Homary are creating ever more versatile furniture that solves spatial and storage challenges we didn’t know we had, in both beautiful and practical ways,' she says.

'For those with more limited space, attractive baskets, boxes or upcycled crates can offer valuable extra capacity in busy homes, refining the need to clutter and augmenting the sense of calm and order which makes such a positive difference to any room,' Suzanne continues.

Shop the Look

An organized and tidy living room makes such a difference, both for your home's aesthetic and for your peace of mind. By taking hints from Brie's clever setup, you'll be able to transform your own space into a clean, clutter-free oasis too.

Abby Wilson
Interior Design News Editor

I am an Interior Design News Editor at Homes & Gardens. Most recently, I worked with Better Homes & Gardens, where I wrote and edited content about home decor, gardening tips, food news, and more. Before that, I studied Journalism and English Literature at New York University. I’ve moved around quite a bit in the last several years, most recently making the trip to London, and love transforming each new space into a comfortable retreat that feels like home. When it comes to decor, I’m most drawn to unique vintage finds and calming colors.