As we enter the midst of fall (aka. pumpkin spice season, aka. wearing-a-sweater-in-the-morning-and-regretting-it-by-mid-day season), we’re a long way away from the carefree days of summer. Kids have experienced the back-to-school rush that commercials have been promising since mid-July, and we working adults have our heads down and our office heaters cranked. As someone who has to balance both a lap desk and a cat when trying to work from home, I can testify that having a separate space to work on projects or homework can be an invaluable resource at any age. That includes having a place to store your papers and books, whether you need them for research, business, or just an escape from the day-to-day grind. It’s no secret that your scholarly/recreational/self-help (I mean, uh, what?) books can really start to pile up and leave your living and working space cluttered and distracting. Read on to see how you can make your home more work- and study-friendly:
1. Store your books in the stairs
Take advantage of the storage options that a set of stairs can provide. Each step holds an opportunity for a great little nook that can accommodate even the most coffee-tabley of books. A house with several floors is a house that has many storage options you may not thought of; though stairs are of course meant to aid transportation through the house, there’s no reason they can’t accommodate stationary items as well. If you don’t have enough space to dedicate an entire room to your library/office then stairs and built-ins are the way to go.
2. Add some interest to your open shelves
The positive of having negative space is that it can be a chance to explore creative design options and self-expression. Knick-knacks and figurines are a great way to add personality to a bookshelf, but you can go a step further and put in patterned wallpaper or even photo collages on the back wall of your open-shelving unit. It can accent your books and statement pieces while also providing a pop of colour in the empty spaces.
3. Designate a built-in seat/reading nook
Along with a billion little succulents, a reading nook is near the top of my list for Future Home Decor Considerations. Sometimes it’s nice to work or read somewhere where you can look up and see something other than the wall. The sight of the outdoors also serves as great incentive when you’re in a procrastinatory (is that a word? Meh, I’ll look it up later) mood. You can curl up with a good book or with all your books if you add shelving and/or bench storage.
4. Combine with a built-in desk
Okay, I don’t know about you, but I think that trying to work while surrounded by your favourite books and DVDs would be a *bit* impossible. Even as I try to write this I’m getting a little distracted by the fact I’ve never read any of the books pictured here #Englishmajorshaming. But there’s nothing better than a desk when you need an actual designated work-space or you need to cut yourself off from the outside world to get something done. The shelving that surrounds you will stop you from piling stuff up on the desk itself, which means you can more easily tackle one thing at a time and work in a tidier space with a less cluttered mind.
5. Make sure you can reach!
(Please excuse me while I take note of all the books on this shelf)
Of course the main thing to consider in regards to a possible storage solution is whether or not it’s actually going to be accessible. If you have a special space for your textbooks, files, documents, etc but you can’t actually reach that space, you’re not doing yourself any favours (unless you’re trying to keep something out of reach of your dog -_-). This especially applies to stuff you’re going to be referencing all the time, while less concern can be taken with items that are heading into deep storage. Options range from the simple (a set of steps, mobile ladder, etc) to the perhaps-impractical-but-totally-cool (aka the rolling ladder pictured above).
6. Maximize the use of your space
We know that kitchens have islands, and closets have islands, but libraries can have islands too! (And not just “Treasure Island” heh heh). The Library Island functions much like any other: more storage, creative use of space, another work surface, and a place to spread out and get a good scope of your task. Also a great place to store book-related-paraphernalia and cozy room decor.
See you next time!