I've said before that I usually don't get these things because "paint a wall with chalkboard paint!" (they are huge into message centers that no one uses) and "try converting an old dresser into a console table!" is the best they can do. The exceptions to this are the Elle home design one and House Beautiful, which I always check out at my local library. Better Homes and Gardens especially is usually too patterned, polka dotted and tropical colored for my taste. I like patterns to be used sparingly, tropical colors to be used outside and polka dots to be used never. The "Big Style for Small Rooms" zine is exactly what I thought it would be (dumb), but the "Storage" one that they put out every season is worth the buy. Since they aren't just filling a few pages with solutions like "Try using an old glass to hold pencils!" they are forced to come up with more ingenius notions. Here are some of my faves:
Recessed shelving: now this is the thing that requires a building plan, but built-ins are a great solution for small living, esp if you have a carpenter in the family! (I do!)
Shelves near the ceiling:
This is the one benefit of low ceilings – all I need is the kitchen chair and I can reach the books on these out of the way beauties. They also serve to draw the eye up, actually making it feel like the ceilings are higher than they are. I also personally think there's something romantic about books lining the ceilings, as if I live in a writer's retreat. I went to Home Depot yesterday and bought enough wood for 32 feet of this kind of shelving. Today I paint and construct – ill let you know how it goes!
For repurposing: if you find an old cabinet with glass doors that have broken, don't bother to replace the glass – cover the insides with wire mesh! Now things stay put, you see through, and all it cost was a few bucks.
They have, in general, excellent suggestions for closet spaces, the best of which is to add a t- divider in the middle in order to run several rods for short items and one on the other side for long items, in addition to adding a shelf at the top. If my closet wasn't split 50/50 I probably would have done this – and might still, just on my side.
Mount an old drawer on the wall and use it as a shelf. (You have to add a divider within. I have found this kind of thing easily done by using the brackets or dowel rods left over from ye olde do-it-yourself pre-fabs)
Wall mounting items is a big thing, I love their idea for mounting a shelf as a nightstand, but I'm using a little wire shelving unit right now that I like just fine. Ill give word if I move on.
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