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The tides have officially turned, and while a custom experience is still the end goal, the actual manner of getting there is oh so very different. You see, it was not a great many moons ago that tricked out Billy and Besta shelves, made to look like custom built-ins, were all the rage. A “choose your own adventure in configuration and layout with a bit of your favorite trim and some fancy nail gun action,” and truly it was difficult to tell they were not in fact built right in. This current trend toward modular shelving, however, while still entirely customizable in most cases, celebrates that experience in a much different manner.

On Display

Image Credits: 1 | 2

From the iconic String Shelves to some very clever IKEA Hacks, these mod shelving wunderkind let it all hang out, quite literally. In fact for many of these units the parts are in fact a great deal more important than the whole, and are to be celebrated right alongside the clever functionality of the systems in general. From industrial strength brackets to wing nut fasteners that adjust to hold the shelves in precisely the location you desire, the machinery and inter-workings are on display just as much as the items that will ultimately live on those shelves later.

On Display

Image Credits: 3 | 4

So what gives? Are we becoming more in tune with our orderly instincts and honing our color coding skill-set? I would love to think this all stems from a society that simply cannot wait to deck the walls in perfect organizational bliss, but somehow I think we are simply channeling our gypsy inspired selves, wanting a more carefree lifestyle with a few less permanent fixtures holding us down. I suppose the answer could be much simpler for a great majority of us and maybe we only seek a budget friendly option to house our wares.

On Display

Image Credits: 5 | 6

Regardless, while the more DIY friendly seeming versions of these customizable systems might be a bit easier on the wallet, this is not so for the vintage cado shelving units, some of the modern floor to ceiling beauties, or the designer systems from our Danish and Swedish friends from colder climes. So while the style itself may seem less than permanent in all of its adjustable glory, the investment cost for many of these pieces may be anything but. In fact, a few of these systems might actually set you back for something akin to the price of an entire living room set of furniture and perhaps even a bit more. So the question begs to be asked, how do you feel about this style? Does it feel modern and functional to you or solve for your quirky storage and display needs like nothing else has? Or maybe it feels fleeting and not as favorable as a good solid built-in unit? Inquiring minds want to know…

One Response

  1. Jerilyn says:

    I have learn some just right stuff here. Definitely price bookmarking for revisiting. I wonder how much attempt you place to make any such wonderful informative web site.

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Rayan TurnerRayan is the founding editor of The Design Confidential — a DIY and design shelter blog — and a maker at heart. A retired interior designer and a bit of...

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