Thursday, October 16, 2014

Hooks And Space


Best of all and hard to find: hammock hook photo courtesy Flickr

One of my favorite destinations is a tiny, unpretentious rental cabin on the Washington coast. It serves backpackers and cheapskates who are enjoying wilderness beach or simply trying to survive bad weather. There is just room in the unit for a double jack bed in one corner, a small round table and four chairs, a behemoth of refrigeration, a sink unit, and a low-slung wood stove. Over the decades, enterprising guests have added nails to the unfinished cedar beams to get packs and sleeping bags out of the way.

I learned the hard way that mounting amenities on the wall ossifies an arrangement just when I need flexibility the most. I have discovered, though, that accommodating the odd need to hang a side bag or battery-powered reading light conserves and amplifies space. In a sort of domestic vivisection, I’ve been scraping the interior down to unavoidable necessities. Besides simplifying maintenance, the process has revealed unsuspected functions in familiar pieces of furniture.

The ever-present side bag, that holds my office, graphics kit, dressing kit, and ten essentials can be slung over one corner of the bed in lieu of a side table. A recently installed fastener in the kitchen wainscoting holds the bag just as well, turning that short length of wall into a service area. Even the hinge of a door can do double-duty.

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