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Flexible bedside table? Answered

As I mentioned in another post, I'm working on a nightstand/shelf with a built in dock for my iPod. Besides getting that to work, another challenge I'm facing is finding a way to cram that shelf into this spot at the head of my bed. At the end there is what, in denmark at least, is known as a "french balcony", which is basically a door leading nowhere. The trick here is that I would like a shelf spanning the entire width of the door, to place books, my phone, speakers, cups of water etc. but I still need to be able to open that door slightly to cool things down in the summer. I have a few ideas for how this could be done, but I would really like to hear if anybody here has any suggestions on clever ways to go about this.


You could think outside of the box...if you can mod the door to have a "window box" thingy. The shelf is outside but part of the door. It could be weatherproofed easily and with a sloped "roof" detail. The door would have a bump outside but doesn't need to be too big. The shelf could also protrude a bit inside and cut at the corners to be out of the way when operating the door. Good luck.

That's a really cool idea. Unfortunately it's a rented apartment and I'm pretty sure my landlord would have a cow if I started cutting holes in his doors :)

With a cow, you need Dutch barn doors. How 'bout taking a narrow bookcase and add that as a second "door", kinda like the hidden door bookcase trick. They both swing out if you need to move it. Or mod some kind of hanging towel rack that hooks on to the top of the door. You can slide it over a bit in order to open and close the door if it gets in the way.

I think I remember seeing a bookshelf being made from coathangers once. Sounds a bit like your towel-rack idea. That could definately work for the books. Then I just need to modify it for also taking care of pens and paper, phone, iPod, cups of water etc. Interesting thought though. I'll try and find the coat-hanger concept

yea. this is the one I'm thinking about. So it wasn't really made from coat hangers, but it does have some similarities. Something like this could definitely be the way to go, but I would still like a solid surface to put some of my things on. I also plan to integrate and hide a set of speakers and an iPod dock, so a "regular" shelf or at least a surface of some sort is sort of a requirement. maybe a combination.

IKEA has products that hang off a rail. It is just a metal rod, like a curtain rod and accessories like a small cup with a hooked lip to hang off the rod. Or else get a small medicine cabinet and just screw it to the door.

I've decided to go with the triangular approach, but I will probably add to it later with some of these suggestions :) I'll probably just do a slide-show of the end-result, as the project seems far to specific to be useful to others as an ible Thank you for your comments and suggestions though. the ideas are much appreciated.

And I think in the USA it is called a "Romeo and Juliet" balcony, architectual detail where you can't even put a chair out there.

yes that sounds about right. there's nothing there but a set of boards to prevent clumsy people from falling out should they mistake the door for a regular one.


9 years ago

Thank you for your suggestions :). I really like the second idea. The issue with the weight of the shelf when the door is open can easily be resolved. One way that I'm considering could be dividing the shelf into separate sections, so that they move parallel to each other like illustrated below. Your idea is a bit simpler though. Both these ideas would only work if the shelf was sitting pretty high though, as I would otherwise get the shelf shoved in my face if sleeping with the door open (especially if it's windy outside and the door is rocking back and forth) The initial idea was to have the shelf in line with the top of the bed. Cool idea though :)


How about making the shelf in the shape of a triangle? Sure, It would only be half as big, and there would be a gap when the door is closed, but you would essentially have a simple and sturdy shelf that would allow the door to open to the edge of the bed.

I like that. I'm thinking a way to fill the gap could be by suspending a piece of fabric between the door and shelf. That way, it could function as a shelf for pens, post-its etc. while the door is closed, but becomes a hide-away sort of bag when the door is open (also a great way to quickly make the nightstand look clean :p). Books and cups of water etc. of course need to be placed on the stabile non-fabric part of the shelf


First of I started thinking about removable or "folding" shelfs for when you want to open the door... But the whole idea of a shelf is to store things, and if you have to remove your stuff too open the door, it kind of defeats the purpose... So my idea is that you mount the shelf on the door, so it moves with it, as seen on the quick sketch... There is some trouble with that... 1) It takes up space of the bed, when the door is open 2) You have to design a shelf that keeps the stuff on it - We can't have books and cups of water all over the bed 3) The sides of the shelf i "open", because you have to have r


This is my second take... Make it like a kitchen-drawer, with a system where the door pushes and pulls the shelf... See the quick sketch of the top view... The trouble with the system is like in the other, but the big problem is the weight of the shelf and the things on top when the door i open...