In small spaces and big ones, you can never have enough storage. Under the bed is one piece of real estate that, in my opinion, not enough people utilize. Sure, you could grab a couple of those flat plastic bins meant to slide right under, but if you can incorporate storage right into the bed itself, why not?
Designer Bjørn Jørund Blikstad’s unusual bookshelves, known as Imeüble, fool the eye and bend the mind. At least from far away. As optical illusions go, at least these colorful and weird bookshelves serve as storage, as well as acting as art. Blikstad’s creation appears to be 2D from far off – and even in the pictures, my brain is trying to tell me two things at once – but Imeüble exists squarely in the 3D realm.
But it’s all smoke and shadows – every nook is capable of holding books and plants and whatever else needs storing.
This project is apparently Blikstad’s attempt to understand the concept of storage by “looking at it, not as a practical issue involving the storage of known objects, but in sync with our memory; comparing the mental storage capacity with the actual.”
I don’t know if I get all that from it, but still. Very cool, no?
When I’m reading, where I actually am has never been the important thing. I love reading on packed trains, in turbulent planes, and yes, I’m even one of those nasty people who will happily read in the bathroom.* If I’m truly immersed in a book, the rest of the world just disappears. But I understand that for many people, the enjoyment of reading is heightened by by doing the deed in relative comfort, and perhaps even in beauty. Do I need a built-in book nook to be a happy reader? No. Nor does anyone else. But I am nonetheless in true lust with this particular built-in book nook, surrounded as it is with built-in shelves and filled with its many throw pillows. And the drawers and the wallpaper! I think I could even happily sleep in it, as long as I didn’t have to share.
Do you have a special reading spot that enhances your reading experience?
*In my defense, with a toddler demanding my attention it’s one of the few places I can read for a few minutes without any interruption!
Industrial chic can mean so many things, from the upscale repurposed factory loft with a trend-conscious price tag to a simple bed with plenty of storage. Exposed brick? Recycled pipe furniture? Lots of metal? Or maybe the original lino floors and metal cabinets. Whatever it means, it’s good to remember that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And this girl’s eye has spied some fun industrial chic things for the home on her recent travels… things like:
A low, locker-like metal sideboard – in a gorgeous red, zow – seen in Marie Claire Maison and elsewhere.
Factory-friendly pendant lamps in cool colors from West Elm.
And the Travail Quatre Office Organizer by Aidan Gray – it’s made of weathered, recycled sheet metal for a broken in, well-used look.
Speaking of this girl, she likes the industrial look best when it’s softened with stuff that doesn’t fit that aesthetic. In other words, I don’t want to live in a factory; I just want a few pieces of the factory (useful ones, especially) giving my space a bit of spark. What’s your favorite distopian indulgence? A brushed metal step-stool flecked with paint? A worn metal cabinet in your craft room?
When you have more books – or stuff – than shelves, but no square footage left for a couple of bookcases, it’s time to get creative. Where can shelves go? Over the couch, perhaps… or along the ceiling and over the door. Books and other stuff can even find a home in your rafters, if that’s the only fillable space you have available. There’s no reason that walls and corners can’t do double duty, especially when floor space is at a premium. Here are a couple of ways that other people have solved the space versus storage problem:
This is just fantastic – Sakura Adachi designed a unique piece of furniture for Campeggi that is all three. A bookcase when the chairs are pushed in, a desk for the singleton who wants her books close at hand, or a cozy table for a couple… a couple of readers, perhaps.
As someone who is currently using the kitchen table an ersatz home office, I could use it. As someone with a small house, I could use it. And as someone with toys everywhere at the moment, I could definitely use it!
These storage containers don’t just look like LEGOs – they actually click together like LEGO blocks! They’re actually made especially for STORE under a license from LEGO, so it’s no wonder they’re just a giant version of the real thing. Of course, they’re marketed toward kids, but big kids – I mean really big kids, like you and me – can use them, too.
How’s this for a small-space storage solution? German designer Meike Langer created a set of reconfigurable storage racks set into a small table for imm cologne 2011. Seems to me like it would be the perfect thing for coats and bags and other grab-and-go stuff in a studio apartment.
Areas of life blend, rooms loose their fixed assignments and functions. Due to the blurring of boundaries new requirements for the environment and their products arise. In this context the furniture Beaugars was developed. It offers space to lay, hang up and store objects of daily use. Its most distinctive feature, its mutability,results from the flexibility of the two arcs, which can be rotated in 360°. Therefore Beaugars adapts easily and can be, according to the available space, either compact or expansive.
Even better, Beaugars can adapt to your needs by taking on different configurations. Too bad it’s just a concept, right?
In addition to being an obsessive reader, I’m also an obsessive book hoarder. As in, I have hundreds of books I will probably never read again, but I can’t bring myself to give them away or sell them or recycle them. Maybe it’s because my maternal grandmother has an art book collection that takes up most of her downstairs wall space in the form of tomes squeezed into full-to-bursting bookshelves. Maybe it’s because I’m a writer, and I wouldn’t want to do with someone else’s book what I hope no one is doing with my book. So as you can probably imagine, our bookshelves look a little something like this (except less color coordinated):
While I implied above that book hoarding might be a family trait, it would only be on my mother’s side. My dad lets books slip into and out of his life – reading them and then passing them along – unless they are some of the few he’s happy to read again and again. The bookshelf area of his home is, as a consequence, tiny, but size doesn’t mater. And yet, I think that’s why I’m so hesitant to part with my books – even the ones that haven’t brought me much pleasure other than hastening the passage of time. I think I am afraid of someone coming into my home, seeing no bookshelves, and assuming that I don’t read much.
But even this strikes me as odd. Because the truth is that some people don’t read much for pleasure anyway, and there’s nothing wrong with that. They just enjoy other things. So why does the idea of someone pegging me for a non-reader make me feel so queasy, and furthermore prevent me from de-cluttering our right now extremely cluttered finished basement (which it should be noted is home to walls of bookshelves)? At this point in my life, I’m visiting the library for books more often than buying them, so it’s not like I’m adding to my collection. I’d wager that most of the books on those shelves have been with me since just after college. Some of them are even textbooks!
Do you, lovely readers, hold on to relatively unimportant books with a similar zeal? What’s keeping you from parting with them?