Crazy About Columns

When life throws me lemons, I make chocolate cake (and make ’em wonder how I did it!). Often times, architectural details like structural beams and columns can present a sour experience because they are integral to the property, and cant be removed. I can not tell you guys how many times I have opened up a wall during a renovation only to find a large post or beam that is totally holding up the entire roof of the house – and I can’t get rid of it. Here are a few cool ideas as to how to reinvent posts into something rich, warm, and amazing — just like my favorite decadent desert!!

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15 Bookshelves That Break The Mold

If you love reading as much as I do, then you are going to need a good bookshelf or bookcase to hold all your collections. Storing books in a rectangular or square shelf can be boring.  Check out these bookshelves that break the mold and can clear away the clutter while adding a little panache to your home.

Zelli – Duret Younes
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Infinity – Job Koelewijn
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Three Quad Styles – Nauris Kalinauskas
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Skew – Smansk
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Hang In There – OldandCold
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Books On Books – Invisible Bookshelf
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Bliss Storyline – Frederik Roije
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Hand-Carved Trees – Landers Woodworking
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Trailing Spiral – Brianna Kufa
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Library Tree Branch – Oliver Dolle
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SheLLf – Ka-Lai Chan
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Rocky Credenza – La Chance
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Tree Of Knowledge – Jamie Joseffry
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Five Tier Corner Unit – Loft Essentials
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Sloped & Slanted – Anthropologie
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Tiny Origami Apartment In Manhattan Unfolds Into 4 Rooms

Even though you see me on T.V., I’m still a regular girl on a budget. And I live on an island…In an apartment! I’m always turning to the internet for inspiration on how to maximize every square inch of space. That’s why when I found about Eric Schneider and his closet-sized studio apartment, I just knew I’d be inspired! In 2005 the third grade teacher bought a 450-square-foot studio for $235,000 (Holy Manhattan Batman)!

“It was basically an open rectangular space,” remembers Schneider. “There wasn’t much to it, there was just a couple of old closets, an old corner kitchen and that was it”.

He let architects Michael Chen and Kari Anderson of Normal Projects design a way to pack more density into his small space. “Initially we were looking at different ways we could subdivide the spaces into smaller spaces,” explains Chen, “but pretty quickly it became clear that there wasn’t really enough room to get like a real bedroom in here and if you did then there wasn’t really room to have a real living room area and Eric is a pretty serious cook and so a tiny little kitchen wouldn’t really work for him.”

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In order to fit more apartment in a small footprint, they created an object that’s bigger than furniture, but smaller than architecture and that morphs with the changing activities of a day.

It’s a large, blue, oversized cabinet that houses all of the walls/bed/tables/shelving/closets needed for at least 4 full-sized rooms.

To create a bedroom, the cabinet door swings out to create a wall dividing the living room from the sleeping area, then the Murphy bed folds down revealing a built-in nightstand complete with lighting.

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By continuing to unfold, or fold differently, Schneider can create not just the bedroom with accompanying closets, but an office plus library, a guest bedroom, and a living room. Or close it up entirely and simply flip down the small bar and the room becomes entertaining space for a dozen.

The Normal Projects architects called their creation the Unfolding Apartment, though given Schneider’s affinity for the Japanese sense of space (he spent his first year post-college living and teaching in Japan), it could as easily be called the Origami Apartment.

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The morphing cabinet had to be custom built and while it packs in a lot- even kitchen storage and lighting for the room- Chen warns it’s not about hiding stuff, but about strategically creating division and overlap.

“It’s partly partitioning the space, it’s partly making its interior available and its partly also creating lots of different areas of overlap where you get like a living area and a bed area and a dining area and a lounge area and they’re not necessarily separate but they’re sort of leaking into one another in a way.”

In total, Schneider spent $70,000 total remodeling his new apartment and this includes not just the cabinet, but the bathroom renovation, all cabinetry, kitchen appliances, furniture and dishes, etc.

In this video, Chen shows us his custom cabinet of rooms and Schneider unfolds a few of his favorite configurations: his bedroom (& closet/changing room), office (& library), guest bedroom, kitchen, dining bar, living room and lounge.

This Modern Library Storage Bin Hides Your CD’s, DVD’s, Magazines, and Other Clutter

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Looking to add some extra storage to your bookshelf without compromising style? These handmade Model Library Storage Bins from Able & Baker are made from recycled books that have been discarded by libraries, book shops, and thrift stores. According to the shop’s Etsy listing, they fit great with the Ikea Expedit boocase and are a stylish way to store your CD’s, DVD’s, magazines, papers, and much more!

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You could also DIY with some old books, wood, and hot glue! Just make sure to use the right measurements to fit your shelf.

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