Novel Storage Solutions: Keeping Reading Material Close at Hand

While I'm not quite ready to trade in my growing collection of books and magazines for a tablet, I am always interested in finding unique and convenient ways to store my piles of unfinished novels and dog-eared shelter mags. And if that place is right where I sit and read, all the better! Here are a few clever designs, including a potential DIY stool, that might get you to read more and be asked to put away your mess — less!

Most of these designs are prototypes and available as one-off, special orders from the designers, and the hefty prices reflect this. But hopefully these ideas will provide a bit of inspiration and showcase a common trend we're seeing among young designers — creating innovative furniture that offers multiple functions to minimize floor space, enhance convenience and charm us with clever reinventions.

Row 1, Left to Right:

  • The Hoi Magazine Chair by Jules & Jeremy Furniture Design was initially made for an advertising campaign, but there was so much interest in the design that the firm has made it available for purchase. The chair is made of MDF finished with matte white lacquer, the seat is made of durable imitation leather and the magazines are laying on hardened glass; €2,250.

  • Tidy up your living room while adding extra seating for friends with these Adjustable Storage Stools by NJU Studio, built from birch-wood bases, a couple of adjustable leather straps and topped with simple cushions; $200. And if you have the skill, I can see this being a rewarding DIY project.

  • The Console Bookshelf by Stanislav Katz is a baroque-inspired piece of furniture consisting of two parts sealed together — the middle seating area is made from springy polyurethane and the outside bookcase is made from painted MDF; €3,500.

  • Row 2, L to R:

  • Istanbul based industrial designer Sule Koc created Sofist, a seating area stripped of all but the basic necessities. Made from formed metal rods, the sides of the love seat provide areas for draping newspapers or magazines, or for hanging file folders; the bottom allows for additional storage. Price on request.

  • The Bibliochaise by Nobody & Co. has over 16 feet of book-holding space and is available in several options: MDF lacquered in matte or glossy white or black, and cotton, leather or suede cushions with removable covers; €4,400.

  • The Cave Bookshelf designed by Sakura Adachi incorporates a cozy lounge space walled within a standard bookcase. Available in 3 sizes: normal, kid's and pet's; €3,600 to 5,250.

  • Row 3, L to R:

  • Designed by Younes Duret, the Ransa sofa consists of a modern wenge wood seating area that appears to be floating above a mini bookshelf; price on request.

  • The Calypso Chair by Brandon Allen offers several different functions with a unique space-saving design. The Calypso can become a couch, with or without lap trays, morph into a two-sided chair, or fold in on itself and become a table — all while maintaining the underneath storage area for reading material; price on request.

  • The Easy Reader by Nils Holger Moormann offers a whimsical place to recline and store reading material close by. Available in birch plywood with white, red or black exterior; price on request.

  • (Images: as linked above)