Small Wonders: Design Tips for Space-Starved Homes

Good things come in small packages. An elegant New York studio, a hotel-chic bungalow in Venice Beach, a library on wheels in Washington, D.C., and a New York City mini-loft open up to reveal some wonderful surprises.

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Floor-to-ceiling bookcases keep Amy and Dave's book collection organized.

A Double-Duty Space for Book Lovers

Amy Gardner and Dave Millar had one problem with their D.C. apartment: What to do with their ever-growing collection of 4,000 books! Wanting to embrace the great circulation in their small home while maintaining private areas, they created an inventive solution. Custom-built movable shelves act as both bookcases and doors. Now they can enjoy a cozy, secluded study and an apartment that accommodates guests.

Amy and Dave love to access information so they knocked out a wall in their spare bedroom and created a library that features sliding bookcases. The multiple bookshelf configurations allow them to use their space in different ways with varying levels of openness or privacy. They can be connected as a suite of rooms when guests come for dinner or separated into a cozy reading nook for time alone.

This pocket door is actually the backside of the library's bookcase.

These doors look like regular pocket doors from the dining room. But they are really the backs of sliding bookcases that line the walls of the library on the other side. This idea takes the already clever pocket door concept to the next level.

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