I lived in a little house for a few years. 450 square feet on the main floor with a tiny bedroom downstairs. (As a side-note, it had 7 (SEVEN) different floorings on the main floor). Needless to say, storage was a premium; it was an old house and there were no closets. So the big package of TP was a problem, as was my collection of overlarge Turkish bath towels — to say nothing of the books I carted around with me.
There are tons of book storage ideas which we’ve all seen — floating shelves, under-the-bed boxes on wheels, weird shaped modular units — but sometimes we need substantial storage and have no space.
The solution in my tiny house? One bookshelf that ran around the perimeter of the each of the bedroom
and living rooms hung fourteen inches down from the ceiling. Over the door in the bathroom I put a deep shelf, wall to wall. The bathroom shelf created lots of room for the TP and towels and, when filled with my books, the living room and bedroom shelves became borders.
I did a similar thing in an apartment and made a roman blind that dropped down and covered the books. Remember the design credo about camouflage?
A client of mine had a tiny area in a tiny half-hallway in her basement that she needed to convert to an office. On one side, she had a little niche for her computer, behind her was the stairs. The solution? Custom-built file drawers on rollers that slid under the stairs. The facade gave no indication of what they were. Masterful millwork.
I’ve seen drawers built into stair risers; great storage for anything.
And using the backside of the stairs, almost like a reverse set of stairs, provides book real estate without taking up any floor or room space.
Why not use the space above the rafters? It’s just sitting there empty.
And then there is Jim Rosenau in Berkeley, California, who makes bookcases and things out of old books.