new design

from two great reference sites, covers and bonluxat.

bruno mathsson

a while back, i posted the book crib by swedish designer, bruno mathsson. he also designed a great deal of "bookish" furniture. the following images are taken from a recent book about mathsson published by yale.

the "anita" bookcase formerly made by dux in sweden. with only one screw at each contact point, it amazes me that this system can hold up a great deal of weight, but i've seen other images of this thing fully loaded and it seems to do quite nicely.

from the dux catalog of 1979.

in the above-mentioned book, mathsson is described in the picture below as being "at work in his home". we should all be so lucky. if you look closely, you will see that he is using the bookstand shown in the picture above.



powder coated bookends from dutch company e15. they make beautiful minimal furniture. these bookends are made to fit the shelves of e15's bookcases. (they are not stripey, it's just a poor scan, sorry.)


sellex ZUMM

by encompassco. not sure how it's attached or keeps from sagging, but it's lovely to look at.
from the company's site:

"Flexible modular shelving system in natural or coffee finish anodised aluminium, suitable for contract and domestic purposes.
Available in unlimited heights and lengths, with or without sliding doors.
Also in cupboard and wall mounted cabinet formats."


more midcentury

the following images are from "mit buchern wohnen" (living with books) by karl baur, published in germany in the mid-1950's.
many, many great images of book storage ideas. these are a few of the wire-iest.

many possible bracketing solutions in a very nice illustration.
the book abounds in wonderful line drawings.


albers & breuer

an early joseph albers case. wonderful solution for maximum stabilty with minimum of materials. i do wish the shelves were longer (and all the same finish), but who am i to tell albers how to do his job? ameico are currently offering a made to order edition of this case.

albers' own apartment at the bauhaus. click all these older black and white images for the larger ones. these are nice cases, and it's worth examining the details. this looks similar to a case currently made by ikea, but note the better proportioning, the better shelf spacing, thinner (more elegant) shelves, and the helpful back supports of the breuer cases. also, the great ground clearance. it holds a clean block of books in the air.

the ikea version.

these next three are marcel breuer. i've tried for a long time to figure this system out. it appears to be ceiling suspended, with the vertical rods being attached to the ceiling in a way that is hidden by a dropped soffit. if anyone knows anything about this system, please let me know.

note: when using rail-and-bracket shelving, always go floor to ceiling with the rails.


not williams

montel is (as far as I can tell) a canadian office and library furniture/storage manufacturer. the "smartshelf" system is very flexible and pretty inexpensive. plain enough to go anywhere if you give it some space.

this library-style shelf unit is adjustable and also by montel. if i'm not reading their pricing wrong it's under $300.

usm swiss modular furniture

you may have seen this in the new 3 volume "phaidon design classics". designed in the 1960's by architect fritz haller and good-looking ever since, usm is in the high end of modular furniture, but it's very flexible and durable. I've done a lot of work with usm, and I have yet to find a sytem that can do so much, so simply.

bookends, file cases, ladders

looking at library supply sites, I came across some great home library accessories. library furniture is some of my favorite.




clip-on bookends in plastic. love the palette.



more clip-on bookends

simple stepstools are hard to find. these are from Vernon Library Supplies.

a nice way to keep a book inventory. mini card catalog. also a straightforward little rolodex.


"insert coin"

from core 77's site, the "insert coin" case.

"Eva Paster and Michael Geldmacher of Neuland Industriedesign have teamed up with Nils Hoger Moormann--a staple of the "New German Design" school--in a partnership to create innovative furniture that challenges the traditional conception of bookcase design. The collaborative effort produced Insert Coin--a wall mounted bookcase that'll remind you of your earliest Erector set. The design uncaps at Milan's Salone de Mobile next week.

The trays can be inserted into the wall panel in any order or configuration, so that each shelving system has a unique look. Insert Coin creates an off-kiltered arrangement not just for books, but for everything else that deserves a special place on the wall.

Some of the other designs accompanying this transforming bookcase are Bookinist, a mobile reading chair designed on the principle of the pushcart, and Walden, a hybrid between a treehouse and garden shed that encourages adults to go out and play in nature--or simply lay back and count the clouds."


new cases/shelves

these images come from


a gorgeous book covers blog with a special feature on some newer bookcase designs.


eero aarnio's bookcase

this reminds me of the overhead shelving in the section below. how many people could pull off sunflower yellow shelving? looks great here.

living with books

standard garage shelving. painted white, it takes on a new feeling.

the george nelson designed "omni" system, in his own home

a lovely overhead setup. good use of high wall space. love the daybed/sofas.

playwright tennesse williams had storebought cases placed together, then covered the seams between individual cases with molding & painted the whole thing brown. looks like one huge case. i could see this with ikea "billy" cases and a very simple molding.

the offices of grosset & dunlap, publishers, in the 60's. each dividing wall betwen offices is bookcase on one side, tackboard on the other. great divider idea for a home.

great idea. i'd love to see these fittings in brass with wood panels. (all above pictures from "living with books: 116 designs for homes and offices, by rita reif, 1968. thanks, abby!)

more shelves...

poul kjaerholm prototype modular bookcase

pretty ingenious. appears to allow addition of depth at random, as well as width and height, though he'd likely dissaprove of anything other than this perfect configuration.

blueprint for the design.

"string" system from sweden

apple crate storage from bailey's.