Just about everyone needs shelves in their home, whether to store their books out of the way or to put some of their cool collections on display. Whatever you need shelves for, these sixteen designs are some of the most striking and impressive creations we’ve ever come across.
When Studio 360 was hired to renovate an apartment in Slovenia, their number one goal was to maximize the storage. While all of the Geometric Residence is impressive, the striking, blocky shelves in the living room are what earned this renovation a spot on this list.
What’s better than a wood-burning stove? How about one that doesn’t take up much space that can also add storage to your home? The Vulcan by Arthur Senant is a fireplace first and foremost, but the unique design provides you with an easy place to store all of your wood and fire-related instruments close at hand. Above the fire itself are a system of shelves to store anything else you can imagine.
This chic shelf by Jaren Goh Design combines the fine detailing of vintage furniture to an entirely modern design concept, unifying the past and present together.
For those with a serious storage shortage in their home, every piece of furniture becomes another item taking up potential storage space. Sakura Adachi's Trick solves this complication by offering a table for two that can also serve as a bookcase while not in use. You don’t even have to leave the chair tops empty –just store dishes and a centerpiece in them and you can have your place setting ready in an instant.
One of the biggest problems people have with bookcases is that always expanding book collection. You might start off using a bookcase as shelves, but if you keep buying books, the whole thing may suddenly get full and then you have to buy a whole new bookcase. Thanks to the REK Bookcase by Reinier de Jong though, now all you have to do is give your bookcase a little pull and suddenly, you have more space. Sell some books? Just push it closed to take up less space. The design even comes in a Jr. version so your youngster can have a similarly expanding and contracting shelving unit in his or her size.
Designer Ron Gilad named this line of furniture TT for Tray Table, as each of the early designs were a combination between a tray and a coffee table, featuring low tables with thin metal frames and removable wood surfaces that were attached with magnets. The TT3 or TT Cubed, doesn’t seem to have tray tables, but it does match the rest of the system as the wooden shelves can be laid out however you see fit using the magnets inside the metal columns. The result is a completely customizable shelving system with shelves that look like they are floating in midair.
Designed by Nils Holger Moormann, this unique shelving system allows the user to arrange their storage however they see fit. The steel sheet can be mounted either horizontally or vertically and then the wooden boxes can be attached in any position thanks to the extra strong foil magnets inside.
Here’s a design that’s perfect for kids and for the young at heart –a shelving system reminiscent of the old Wooly Willy toys. Alexi McCarthy’s cute design allows the user to change the facial expression or hairstyle of their shelving system depending on how they stack up their books.
The Bridge Shelving system by Outofstock was inspired by such famous suspension bridges as the Golden Gate. While it may not look like the classic landmark, the concept is similar –a flat surface being held up by bent steel rods. Users can arrange their shelves as they see fit by shifting the shelves along the wooden baton where they hang.
This minimalist shelving unit by designer Robert Moline was inspired by hydraulic engineering, specifically the concept of communicating vessels wherein different vessels with a communication point will transfer the fluid inside until they reach equilibrium. The shelving unit is surprisingly sturdy and practical thanks to the canvas acrylic material that supports the books or other items placed on the shelves. Just try not to drop anything on a shelf or everything on another shelf might go flying.
Shelf in the Wind
It seems possible that designer Olivia Blechschmidt was inspired by Kansas when she thought, “what if a simple shelf moved with the breeze that enters the front door?” No matter what inspired the question, Shelf in the Wind is her answer: a shelf that looks like it is blowing away in the wind.
Like any good parasite, Johanna Landin’s shelving units can’t survive in any functional way unless they attach to a host. While they were strung up to the wall when put on display at a DMY Youngsters show, they can just as easily be strapped onto a bookcase, a chair or a desk.
Matthias Ries’ Plus One is a similar concept -a shelf that needs something else to hold onto. It’s a great solution to extending the storage capacity of your bookshelf or just to add a little flair to an otherwise boring shelving unit.
If you see the Clopen shelf in someone’s house, you might not be all that impressed. After all, it looks like any old floating shelf. But it’s what’s inside that makes this shelf by Torafu Architects special because this shelf also holds a small, secret drawer that can be opened by spinning two magnets with the “keys” that come with the piece.
A Few Of My Favourite Things
What better way to put your favorite things on display than with The Fundamental Shop’s A Few Of My Favourite Things shelving unit? This unique design resembles a level of Q*Bert, but instead of bouncing your way down, you can stick up a small selection of your most beloved items.
The Douglas Fir unit is untreated, which means it will crack and split as the years wear on, giving your shelf the same measure of individuality as the collection stored on it.
Of course, with bookshelves this stylish, you’d better have something equally attractive to put on display –old magazine collections and raggedy doll collections are just going to kill the appeal of any great design.