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of books and bunks

From Habitat magazine - issue 10

Clever storage ideas that have been brought to life with paint.

Wall bookcase

Michelle Elsmore's new study

When Michelle Elsmore and her late husband Peter renovated their house, one side of the new study ended up with a perfect bookcase-shaped space. The only other furniture in the room was a desk so they needed hidden storage to be included in the full-height bookcase as well. One of Michelle’s pet hates, however, is the standard bookcase configuration where cupboards are arranged across the bottom, with shelves above. Instead, she chose to scatter the cupboards throughout the bookcase, and paint each one a different colour – something that was more difficult to choose than you would think. “I drove Pete mad with my endless testpots and painted samples.” The main shelf colour is the same as the room – Resene Buttery White from the Karen Walker range – while the cupboards are Resene Red Berry, Resene Streetwise and Resene Highball. Michelle used press catches rather than handles for a more streamlined look.

This bookcase cleverly combines shelves and hidden storage. It features in a Wairarapa Coast bach, designed by architect Andrew Sexton. The bach won an NZ Institute of Architects Resene Colour Award and uses ply and a mix of coloured laminate (the orange and green cupboard doors) and other blue doors painted in Resene Hullabaloo.

A Wairarapa Coast bach, designed by architect Andrew Sexton

This may look like an elevated bunk-style bed, but it’s not only that, but a clever storage pod as well. When Sam, now eight, badgered his mother Michelle Elsmore for a bunk bed, her first reaction was ‘no’. She was keen, however, to keep toy storage separate from clothes storage in the wardrobe, so the idea of a raised bed with storage beneath was born – and was designed by Michelle, with help from her cabinetmaker dad, Barry Blamey. It was his idea to have the pull-out trolley, which can be wheeled out into the room. With the bed being a metre wide, the three drawers would have been too deep for easy access, so instead, a spare bed is slotted in behind for when mates come to stay. Another clever feature is the pull-out tray which acts as a bedside table-top for drinks and books. To finish it off, the bed was painted in blocks of bright colour – Resene Guardsman Red, Resene Trinidad (orange), Resene Wham (green) and Resene Zomp (turquoise).

Bunk bed storage 1
Bunk bed storage 2
An elevated bunk-style bed and a clever storage pod. A pull-out tray acts as a bedside table-top for drinks and books

words: Sharon Newey
pictures: Mark Heaslip/Patrick Reynolds

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