Space Saving Bookshelf Chairs


Living simply requires using every cubic inch cleverly. In the last issue of Small Living Journal I wrote about how to make spaces feel larger and tips for getting the most out of space. This morning I ran across this bookshelf chair which is a wonderful example of getting more function from what is usually a single purpose piece of furniture. The only two things I’d do differently is make it a little more comfy and hide the books behind doors so that when it’s closed up it looks cleaner and makes the room feel less cluttered.


The copy of Easy Rider in the second photo was a nice touch. Photos by Nils Holger Moormann

11 thoughts on “Space Saving Bookshelf Chairs

  1. Grant Wagner says:

    I’m a complete geek, so I’m always looking for some way to merge my techno-lust with my small space eco-lust. Recently my wife and I were on vacation and we saw this easy chairs with CD players built into the arms on a boat. That got me thinking allong the lines of something similar to this.

    I want to make an easy chair that would hold under the seat, two large 12V batterys (deep cycle marine batteries, 100AHrs each), a charge controller, and a 12V distribution box. Also would be my home server, based off of one of these super low power computer boards ( which draw only two watts under full load and much less when idle. I would put a DVD-RW drive in the arm, get a two piece keyboard, and put one on top of each arm, and put either a monitor or a laptop mount on a spring loaded arm out of the platform. And a good reading lamp, just in case.

    Instant super geeking post. A full off grid power system, nicely housed, and the worst of the power draw items all in one nice little self contained unit. What do you folks think?

  2. Michael Janzen says:

    An off-the-grid computer chair… cool idea. Love the ingenuity.

    The only things that pop into my mind is that you might have a battery off-gassing issue to work around.

    For years I’ve used laptops until the last two years. Now that I’ve tried it both ways I have to say I prefer the laptop for flexibility and happy to trade it for the screen real estate lost by switching to a laptop. But this is just a personal preference thing and truth be told laptops are more expensive than desktop computers.

    Also be sure to check out the computer setup John Wells has at The Field Lab. He’s a bit of a geek too and off-the-gird except for DSL.

  3. Tim R says:

    Just add a compost toilet under the seat cushion and a 12V cooler under arm rest and you wouldn’t have to get up all day! 🙂

    Grant, love your idea. Great originality. Offgassing wouldn’t be a problem with sealed batteries. If you charge a sealed battery to that point then you’ve got a much bigger problem than offgassing if you know what I mean.

  4. Grant Wagner says:

    Howdy all, thanks for your ideas.

    I know that battery outgassing could be an issue, with several good ideas to work around it as necessary. I am currently thinking I’ll just put a sparker down there to ignight the fumes and use it as a butt warmer (I’m just kidding, honest).

    I really like notebooks too, especially the new generations of netbooks (I’m writing right now on a Asus Eee 1000 HA), but I also really like super small embedded computers. Still, the Beagleboard is meant only for file sharing, and won’t be attached to a monitor. The display arm will only be to hold my current netbook at a more comfortable level. Just leaving this small guy on my lap gives me a neck pain after a half hour or so.

    • Michael Janzen says:

      Grant… just be sure to send me photos if you even build the bun-warming self powered computer chair. That would be a story to tell! 🙂

  5. Mark Harrison says:

    Michael, Are all these furniture, fixtures and fittings being archived somewhere please?

    Flat screen TV’s doubling as mirrors, picture frames and in built speakers wirelessly linked to a PC/Laptop server are all doable.

    To add my ten pennyworth to the spark/gas/fume issue, a smoke/gas detector with an onboard fire control system should deal with most out bursts along with adequate fenestration.


  6. Craig Moorhouse says:

    Is the light on the first chair for commander Christipher Pike to flash twice for yes and once for no?

  7. di says:

    Try pull-out storage baskets under any chair, bed or couch. Baskets are easier to transport when needed.

    Rather than books, CDz, DVDs and shelving, just use a handheld computer – so, that you’re not confined to a chair.

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