The important characteristics of the pile of boxes are that it has a platform that's about 20" off the ground -- about level with my chair seat, though a little higher would be ok -- that's a bit over two feet deep and about three and a half feet wide. This is functionally divided into thirds the long way; on the back third is a row of books accessible from the back side, then a row of books that I can reach from my chair, and then a flat mostly-empty surface for temporarily piling things. And then there's another shelf, just a couple of inches above normal desk height, that goes above the two rows of books. Oh, and my computer fits underneath -- it's actually supporting one end of the platform with the books on it.
For the last couple of months, I've been trying to figure out how to design a piece of furniture that does the same thing but also makes better use of the space below the book-platform. I'm thinking that I want the entire back to be bookshelves, but that is a bit of a problem because there's not really room for more than one row of books under the platform as it is now, unless I raise it quite a lot, and then I think the upper shelf may be too high. And there are a few other similar things where making it into a real piece of furniture means that things won't fit quite the same way. So it's been a bit of a challenge to figure out, and it's also complicated enough that I've been having a bit of trouble visualizing what the various possibilities would look like, even with sketches.
Thus, I decided to build some models, and started on that today at mikz's Projects
So, I finished the first one today. I'm not sure how much I like it; it would certainly work, but I'm not completely happy with some of the design compromises. Which is, I suppose, the point -- much better to try this with three dollars worth of cardstock and glue and an afternoon, rather than a hundred dollars worth of oak and dozens of hours building a real one!
A couple of pictures:
That's at 1:8 scale, by the way, so 1.5 inches on the model to one foot in reality. So it's a bit under four inches high, just over three inches wide, and six inches long. The computer goes behind the cabinet in the middle, and there's room for a ventilation system for it that takes air in from over the books on one side and vents it on the other side; with decent sound insulation, it should be nearly silent.