Improvised Life » storage If you can't hunt with a dog, hunt with a cat... Wed, 10 Sep 2014 08:53:21 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Intuitive Method for Organizing Stuff Mon, 04 Aug 2014 17:19:49 +0000

(Video link HERE.) I LOVE this video! Filmmaker/designer Casey Neistat describes his great Intuitive Categorization Method for organizing his tools and little stuff. I’m loving it especially because it showed up right on time, in time, this morning. (more…)

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Closet Strategies with a Simple Piece of Fabric Mon, 21 Jul 2014 20:00:05 +0000

Since when is it hip, slick and cool to lie in bed and stare at your clothes and shoe racks––no matter how neatly organized––when you’re rustling up romance? I’m talking about a very particular theme of design porn these days: highly-styled, out-in-the-open clothes racks that make me wonder: What would happen in this uber-neuter scheme if one dared to own something scarlet, purple or orange!  Is it old school not to want to have all your clothes in your face 24/7?


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Lagerfeld’s Libraries: Horizontal + Vertical Book Stacks Wed, 02 Jul 2014 20:00:12 +0000

Todd Selby/The Selby

While we were writing about Karl Lagerfeld’s bathroom, we remembered an image of his library that we’d posted years ago. Lagerfeld seriously loves books and has found ways to house LOTS of them. We’re interested in how he arranged them. The interplay of vertical and horizontally stacked books makes for a pleasing graphical look while allowing for economical use of the space (he packs in a lot of books). (more…)

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Line a drawer with Cloth not Paper Tue, 10 Jun 2014 20:00:12 +0000

Sally Schneider

Looking for a skillet to fry some eggs in at Maria Robledo’s house, we opened a drawer to find a brilliant idea we never would have thought of: line a drawer with a cloth, such as a dish towel instead of the usual paper. It cuts down on clatter and the cloth can be easily washed. And (more…)

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Chic Plastic Wall Storage from 1971 and Now Thu, 15 May 2014 17:03:31 +0000


Recently, we stumbled on an image of UTEN.SILO (also known as the Wall All), the very stylish wall storage Dorothee Becker designed for Ingo Maurer in 1960s, almost half a century ago. Wouldn’t THAT be cool to have? we thought. No long after, we found Urbio, a new play on the essential idea and wondered if it is really true that there are no new ideas, but rather, discoveries of the same things over and over.
Whereas Becker’s storage components clipp onto its plastic wall, Urbio’s is affixed by magnets. It’s being marketed as planters, but we’re thinking that it would make great Becker-ish storage for all sorts of things to efficiently organize a kitchen or workspace.  (more…)

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DIY Hanging Shelf Mon, 05 May 2014 20:00:21 +0000

Martin Sølyst for Bolig Magazine

We love this hanging shelf made of only 3 elements: a (painted) board, suede or leather lacing, wall hooks. We imaging how to make it: drill holes in the board…thread the lacing through them and knot…affix the hooks into the wall (in a stud!) and hang. (A carpenter friend has told us that 30 inches is about the biggest span for loading up a shelf without it bowing.)

You’ll find more hanging shelf iterations here. These are some favorites.: (more…)

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Clever Storage in the Realm of Laminate Wed, 30 Apr 2014 20:00:14 +0000

Lukáš Kordík/GutGut Architects,

Our new favorite blog Moon to Moon has a swell house tour of the lightly renovated 450 square foot apartment of architect Lukáš Kordík of GutGut architects. The major takeaway for us, aside from the pleasingly UNconstructed feel of the space, is Kordík’s use of laminate. First there’s the stylish turquoise kitchen cabinet with oven and storage built in; it acts as a piece of furniture unto itself and gives a sparkly hit of color. We especially like the notched out “handles”.  Second, is the free-standing open-shelving that holds a kitchen’s worth of stuff. (more…)

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Chic, Makeshift, Unfinished Kitchen Thu, 24 Apr 2014 17:03:46 +0000

This kitchen is so stylish and inviting, we’re wondering if it’s in process and unfinished OR if it’s purposely as is: walls wonderlly patterned from the removal of old storage, a clamp task light, a ladder rigged with shelves, tables as counters, a hot plate. We’ve cooked in many a kitchen outfitted this way, with great pleasure, in part due to the constraints it imposes. (more…)

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Storage Cage Closets Then and Now Tue, 15 Apr 2014 20:00:34 +0000


Over at Aqquindex, we stumbled on this image of a clothes closet made out of a cyclone fence, with the notation “Joseph Paul D’Urso, circa 1980″.  We looked him up to discover he was a major design force in the ’70’s, pioneering industrial materials that nobody has used before. A 2007 article in New York Magazine describes them:

Wire-and-glass coffee tables, hospital-curtain tracks, restaurant stoves, exposed ductwork, doctors’ sinks, security mirrors, marine hardware, gym lockers, and cyclone fencing: Those were the materials that D’Urso brought into the New York living space called the loft.

It also describes D’Urso’s method: (more…)

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Cool Glass Side Table for Unkempt Books Mon, 14 Apr 2014 17:06:00 +0000

Just about everyone we know has on-going piles of books they are in the process of reading somewhere in their house, whether it be along side the sofa (us), the bathroom (us), or on the bed table (MANY people). The New York Times Book Reviews’ weekly column By the Book asks writers what is currently on their night stands.

So we were intrigued by this glass night stand that acts as a kind of invisible corral for books, keeping them inline in a kind of unkempt way and giving them a decorative books as objet effect.  (more…)

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DIY? 70’s Striped Brick Bookshelves Thu, 10 Apr 2014 20:00:49 +0000


We generally viewed bookshelves using bricks as uprights as simple college student decor UNTIL we saw these fab shelves designed by Gionatan De Pas, Donato D’Urbino and Lomazzi for Longato in 1971. Of course the designers used just the right bricks for their striped shelving and a great deal of thought and vision, i.e. the width of the shelves are exactly the width of the bricks…some bricks are placed horizontally, others front to back.

These shelves are swell, an idea that could be riffed on endlessly. For inspiration in the realm of bricks, (more…)

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Good Idea: Bookshelf with a Built-In Ladder Wed, 09 Apr 2014 17:15:39 +0000

If you are lover a books and a person who stacks them high on shelves, you know of the problem of access. Either you need to pull up step stool or  wobbly chair (pain in the neck), or to have one of those stylish sliding book ladders that take up a lot of space both real and visual.

We really like the idea of Karen King’s Higher Ground, a tall shelf with a built-in ladder. (more…)

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Kartell Componibili Multi-Purpose Storage on Sale Mon, 17 Mar 2014 17:51:32 +0000


The units come in many colors and can be configured in endless ways. (more…)

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How to Label Storage Boxes with Images, Polaroid or Otherwise Wed, 05 Mar 2014 18:00:43 +0000


Of all the ways to label a box, we like this the best: IMAGES of what’s inside rather than the usual ugly scrawl. We became a fan of this method when we stumbled on Virginia Sim’s black-and-white photo of her version in 2009; she catalogued her shoes by pasting a Polaroid image of the shoe right on the box.  As in the image above, Polaroids give the snazziest, most finished look (at a cost).  A photo of the box’s entire contents would tell you in a flash what’s there. (more…)

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