Our husband-and-wife owned design firm, Lake + Wells, is a start-up run out of a combination of spaces including various coffee shops throughout Chicago, our work studio, and our home (a 427 square-foot studio condo in a historic landmark art deco building in the heart of the city). So, we are always on the lookout for new ways to live flexibly and comfortably in small spaces. 

While Riveli shelving works beautifully as a high-impact piece in a large space, or even as a wall-to-wall design, Mark invented Riveli while living in our tiny city home, so the concept truly arose out of the many challenges presented in small space living. 

However, we believe having a small lifestyle footprint can be a luxurious experience if designed with care and if lived in creatively. To that end, this is one of the many ways we enjoy small-space living in our own home . . .

In the Kitchen

Even well-designed kitchens are often full of awkward unused spaces, like the area between the counter and the cabinets which is typically just an under-utilized backsplash.  Also, in micro-apartments and small spaces, counter space is often a luxury.  

We looked at one such awkward space in our kitchen and realized it could perfectly fit one row of three Riveli shelves. We put it up as a test and couldn't be more thrilled with the results. 

Since the magnetic backing of the Art Shelf version holds up to three layers of magnetic artwork or materials at a time, we have chosen to use multiple materials depending on the occasion or mood . . .

And here are a few of the practical ways we put these shelves to use . . .

1. Whiteboard/Chalkboard Memos & Prettiness

For the innumerable little things that seem to come to mind while I'm cooking, and also to serve as a 'welcome' or menu board for overnight guests and dinner parties.

2. Flexible Display for Barware

Depending on how much we are entertaining during any given month, our bar supplies ebb and flow, and our storage needs change accordingly, so it's been convenient to have a system that is there when we need it, and that functions as something else when we don't. 

3. Seasonal 'Garden' Shelf...

... For fresh produce that is best at room temp (which I occasionally have stocked), and for the occasional potted herb I purchase. Since I don't have a green thumb, a yard, or the attention span to take care of a plant, I've started playing with things that grow in water, like green onions which re-grow in a few days if you just stick the roots in a cup of water!

4. Secondary Work Surface

I never seem to have enough counter space, especially while prepping a meal from scratch with lots of fresh ingredients, so it's been very convenient to be able to pull down a shelf and place chopped herbs and vegetables out of the way when I start handling raw meat (since I'm a total germaphobe and love having a sanitized area).

We'd love to hear from you (and see pictures) if you have any small-space solutions you've come up with, whether using Riveli or something else!

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