designerly tidbits…shelving

Shelving is such a necessary evil. I couldn't live without it. Let's face it, who can? But honestly, most off-the-shelf shelving systems, I find, are over designed, self-aware, and poorly fabricated. I'm also not a fan of built-ins as they tend to look heavy and over scale for the contents that they house. So what's a designer gal to do? Look to the industrial…or at least to her industrial designer husband.

About 15 years ago Doc discovered a shelving system intended for industrial freezers, E-Z Shelving Systems. He used it in his Manhattan loft during his bachelor days. Once he moved to San Francisco, he began using it for some of his clients' projects, and now, the love affair continues. It's fantastic! It's robust, strong, minimal and infinitely adjustable. You can mix different depth shelves to create cantilevered worksurfaces with shelving above or even a baby changing station like we did when D was a baby.

Anyhow, we love this stuff. It's hard to beat. But, when we moved from our loft into our old Victorian, the E-Z shelving in EVERY room just didn't seem to jive. Of course, it's still pratical in our craft room and D's room, but not so much in the more "refined" rooms of the house like the living and dining rooms. 


So, after searching high and low for a comparable system in functionality, we decided upon Vitsoe shelving. I've always loved this system but price and availability have kept it on my wish list until now.

I'm sure all you design aficionados know this wonderful timeless system designed by Dieter Rams has been around since 1960, but I'm betting you're in the minority. For those of you who aren't familiar with Mr. Rams or his 606 shelving, I hope this won't send you into a fit of despair for wanting. 


The wonderful design details that Vitsoe executed for the support material and accessories, including a level, was what impressed me the most. 


The good news about both systems is they are both modular and can be reassembled into many configurations. They also travel well should you move. The down side is cost. Both are pricey, and the Vitsoe has at least six week lead time, at best, but it's a one time investment that you can own and use forever.