An Organizer’s Dream: An Art Studio with Color-Coded Built-In Storage

This custom-designed artist’s workspace in Tel Aviv is likely to induce envy in anyone who works from home–or, really, anyone who has more than a few papers lying around.

The studio is situated in the artist’s apartment in a 60-year-old concrete building. Presented with a long list of storage requirements–she wanted to keep her daily tools within easy reach, display some of her work, and archive the rest–and unable to expand the 190-square-foot space, Israeli architects Studio Raanan Stern created an inventive system of drawers and shelves.

To figure out what went where, they measured each print, book, and tool, and divided them into categories based on frequency of use and assigned a color to each category. They then color-coded the drawers on their sides (so that the colors are only revealed when the drawers are open). The setup might baffle an interloper, but it makes perfect sense to the artist in residence. There’s a place for everything.

Photography by Gidon Levin via Dezeen.

Above: The architects built the custom storage system in floor-to-ceiling white birch. One advantage of a tiny work space? Everything is within easy reach.

Above: A sliding birch panel reveals a teal well for a foldout bed.

Above: The bed enables the studio to double as a guest room (and a place for the artist to nap).

Above: The white birch storage units and floor were given a clear protective finish that allows the wood grain to show through. The color coding is revealed when the drawers are open

Above: The dimension of every drawer and cell was customized for the artist’s tools and art collection.

Above: Each drawer can be removed from the unit and placed on the desk during work.

Above: The sliding panel that hides the foldaway bed can also display artwork or serve as an easel.

Above: All told, the studio has 36 drawers.

Above: In such a small space, opening some drawers means cutting off access to others. The architects gave the artist easiest access to the things she needs most often.

Above: The designers hung gauzy blinds to provide some privacy and plenty of light.

For more storage solutions, see Storage: Well-Curated Wall Shelving; Mint Green from Ontwerpduo in Holland; and on Gardenista, A Writing Shed in the Garden. Looking for small-space ideas? See A Shape-Shifting Studio Apartment in London and Erin’s 10 Tips for Living in 240 Square Feet.

N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on April 18, 2014, as part of our Shades of Pastel issue.

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