I’m pretty sure that Alton Brown was only commenting on cooking implements when he said that unitaskers are useless -- but I feel the exact same way about my furniture. There are very few things in my home that are providing just one purpose.
My “work desk” is actually a vintage kitchen table, and it doubles as a scanning and photo editing station. In its off hours, it’s my painting and crafting table. My armoire holds linens and holiday decorations. My bookcases also multi-task as craft and music storage.
But I wondered how else a bookcase -- any size -- could be repurposed around the home. So I did some digging and found that people are using bookcases in pretty cool ways.
Modern Bench on Wheels -- Turn a narrow bookcase on its side, reinforce where necessary, and attach casters. Top with one long pillow or several seat cushions. This is great for when you need an additional piece of furniture that can be moved out of the way as needed.
Desk Supports -- The smaller three-shelf bookcases are often the perfect height to support a desktop. Once you know what your desktop is -- a piece of MDF will work -- simply secure it to the tops of the bookshelves. A few screw-in brackets underneath will make things that much sturdier. And now you have killer storage!
Closet Organization -- A lot of closets have a bar, but no shelving to hold sweaters or shoes. A bookcase will usually fit nicely into your closet. You can then use baskets to hold socks and undies or stack sweaters. If you have a very low shelf, try using it for shoes, and the top to hold your baskets.
Headboard -- Find a bookcase that is roughly the same width as your bed. You can paint it to match the room or not, but either way you have storage for books and decorative items. And, you can get rid of your nightstands, freeing up more floor space.
Room Dividers -- Even if you don’t live in a studio or a loft, you may have a space that could handle a little division -- like a play room. Place a medium-sized bookcase perpendicular to one wall and use it to create a little nook. Dolls and puppets can find storage here, not just books!
Image via Apartment Therapy