A unique space requires unique storage, especially if we hope to host people in the same place we work and live. Stuff that is used on a daily basis needs a place to hide, and there isn't a lot of room downstairs to store essentials like fabric, the microscope, recording gear, and LEGOs.
The solution will be massive, custom-designed cabinets and hutches, engineered to our specific storage needs, and built and installed along the perimeter, much like the drawing above demonstrates. Both sides of the nave will feature the same basic layout.
One key element of this design is the modular nature of the tables. They are intended to be pulled out from the wall without messing up the integrity of the overall design, and having a 2:1 length to width ratio, they can be placed in many different configurations, depending on our need: a square, a skinny rectangle, a fat rectangle, a hollow square... Purposefully flexible.
To get an idea of how well my theory might work in reality, I recently pulled out the measuring tape and a roll of painter's tape. Now that I can see the outlines on the wall and the floor, I'm still quite happy with the size of the future furniture and how it fits the scale of the building.
But that means that the top of the hutch comes to 9 feet tall! At that height, I'll need to plan to store one more thing: a short step ladder for reaching items on the top shelf!
The depth of the cabinets will be 30 inches instead of the traditional 24. This will create a smoother line to unify the tables and the cabinets, increase our storage below, and give us a more roomy and comfortable work space on top. And again, it fits the scale of the room. Then to complement the extra-deep base cabinets, our upper cabinets will be 15 inches deep instead of the traditional 12.
My inspiration for thinking about custom cabinets comes from Ana White, a woodworking mom who, in her words, likes to put the "make" back into "homemaker". Visit her site and see if you don't begin to feel inspired and empowered to create some great things yourself!