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Shelving is often one of the most overlooked aspects of interior design. With sofas, coffee tables, dining tables, and chairs often taking more of the focus.
But a well thought-out storage solution can make all the difference to almost every room of the home. Over recent years, more and more people have been turning to modular shelving for their home storage needs.
Modular shelving systems bring flexibility to your home as they can change and adapt with your needs. Whether you’re renting and more frequently or just enjoy switching up room layouts every now and then, modular shelving will easily dissasemble, reassemble and reconfigure.
Meet the experts
To create this guide to modular shelving we spoke to a number of interior design experts, including:
Modular shelving refers to shelving constructed out of individual modular units. “The units can be stacked or connected to produce various shelving arrangements,” says David Gu.
The Benefits of Modular Shelving
Modular shelving units are versatile storage units that work wonderfully with the needs of the modern home. They can work in any room of your home from the living room or entryway to a home office or bedroom — even functioning as a room divider if you‘d like to split two spaces.
“You can effortlessly add or remove shelves from modular shelving to create the ideal shelving arrangement for your area,” explains Gu. As a result, add on new pieces as your needs change. For instance, if you need a modular bookcase, you can have a system that has an extra bookshelf. Since these are modular units, you can add them as your needs evolve.
Yoselin Castro adds, “The configuration options are practically infinite!” Whether your modular system has shelves, a cubby, or a mix of open and closed shelves, the system is flexible enough to offer you the necessary functionality.
If you are a minimalist, the Index from Burrow could be for you. The configurations are pretty straightforward and as with everything Burrow makes the Index shelf system is easy to assemble. As a result, you can get a bookcase or display unit with a small or large shelving area.
The unit is made from solid ash. Its design is also incredibly flexible and can be arranged vertically or horizontally.
This modular shelving system is made from birch plywood and powder-coated steel. The birch plywood incorporates an ash finish providing a smooth and warm feel. It also offers an exciting contrast to the steel, enhancing the look and feel of the shelving.
Powder-coated steel provides strength and durability you’d expect from a brand like Floyd. Floyd recommends that these freestanding shelving units are placed against a wall and secured with the wall anchor kit (supplied alongside the units).
As you’d expect from a modular system, there are plenty of configurations from tall shelves (perfect for books) to short pieces (that could double as sideboards) and special configurations designed for media storage.
If you love customization, Inside Weather is a brand you need to know. The Atlas Collection comes in a range of different configurations depending on your needs. The widths can range from 18" to 47", so whether you have a small space or a large room, you can find something to match you needs.
This storage system’s versatility means it can be used in almost every room of the home. Plus, its made from 100% signature FSC-certified plywood.
Brand: The Container Store Price: Components from $139
With this best seller modular shelving and drawer system, your imagination is the only limitation. Designed to work in any room of the home, the Efra storage shelving system features a huge range of components, including:
Door and wall racks
Kitchen and pantry solutions
The Elfa units and modules are made from high-quality materials like Epoxy-bonded steel for hanging tracks and real wood shelves.
If you’re looking for stackable modular storage option, Muuto has you covered. You can use the units in the living room, bedroom, or other smaller areas. It’s designed to work perfect as a shelving setup, sideboard, bookcase or even side table.
The stacked system offers adaptability in terms of color and style, so you can create a combination that best suits your needs. You can also play around with the layout of the modules at any time and mount modules to the wall if you’d like a wall mounted setup.
The open look of this modular unit is one of its key appeals. "The Haldeman unit from Crate & Barrel is both entertaining and stylish. Unobtrusive design with an abundance of space" says interior designer Linda Sasson.
And Castro also agrees, "The pine wood shelves in the Haldeman storage give it a modern look. It's possible to fill a full wall with this attractive product even if you can't move the shelves up and down."
This heavy-duty wall mounted shelving unit is made from high gauge steel. As such, it is incredibly sturdy and suitable for holding heavy items like books or tableware. The design means the Kernel system can be used in either vertical or horizontal layouts, depending on your needs.
Kernel was founded to solve problems for the founders family and friends. The shelves were brought to life through a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter, and each unit is made just outside of Atlanta.
"CB2 has a basic white modular shelf that you can't go wrong with. Metal brackets hold the shelves in place, allowing for easy repositioning," says Castro.
And the shelving system Yoselin says you can’t go wrong with is this White High Gloss Modular Shelf. The sleek hi-gloss white shelves of this unit will add a touch of extra elegance and flexibility to your home.
Once the columns have been attached to the wall (or set up as a freestanding unit), Champagne metal shelf brackets can be slotted in to create your own unique shelving layout.
"The easiest place to purchase modular shelves would be Ikea. There are a ton of alternatives, and parts are easily available. You can choose from open shelves or wall-mounted cubes available in numerous colors and combinations," says Giovanni Scippo.
The Besta Collection is a great option and comes in a range of predesigned combinations, each perfect for a part of the house.
If you love simplicity, this is one modular unit could be the one for you. The minimalist design of the unit makes it an ideal for anyone favorite a simple shelving unit that can work in almost any space.
"I love how the Foshay cabinets by Room and Board have clean lines and various wood tones and colors," says Sasson
The unit incorporates powder-coated steel that enhances the unit's sturdiness. You can use it in the living room, just above your sofa, in the bathroom, or even in your bedroom.
This classic solid walnut shelf unit can add a touch of class to any room. The cabinets featured in the unit offer enough storage to keep all your books, CDs, and DVDs. The system is also easily customizable and perfect for those looking for a unique shelving system. Not to forget the semi-matte finish that goes with any interior design style.
Castro agrees: "The Hart Modular unit combines elegance and functionality if you're seeking something with a more upscale appearance."
Ash is the founder of Living Cozy. He's been featured by publishers like MyDomaine, Realtor, Real Homes, Architectural Digest, The Spruce, Homes and Gardens, and more. As a writer his work has appeared in publications like FastCompany, TNW, and Entrepreneur.
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