Modular Shelving?

damn. spent 10min on a post an accidently closed the window. before i clicked SUBMIT.

looking for a new modular shelving system for the studio, floor to ceiling, (11’) across a 20’ span of wall.

found these so far and looking for any personal experiences and/or alternatives-

  1. VITSOE. designed by Dieter Rams in 1960s and in production ever since. sweet looking , great communication from the company and for sure good quality. not cheap though.

  1. AS4. nice looking quality (dovetailed wood shelves, though I’d prefer Alu,) and also not cheap.

  1. ISS. OK looking, nice metal shelves. a bit of a pain to find out the specs/prices.

  1. RAKKS. Nice looking, a P.I.T.A to find out the spces/prices. not designer friendly from my 1st impression.

  1. IKEA. OK aluminum, but not sure if i can use i bracket for multiple shelves and doesn’t come in different lengths.

Prices so far for comporable systems-

VITSOE - $6111 + shipping from UK
AS4- $12392 + shipping from US
ISS- $3414 + shipping from NYC
RAKKS- $3170 + shipping from US
IKEA- $1920 + no shipping

here’s the space it’s going in (replacing the temporary IKEA shelving on the back wall)


PS. hook-ups also greatly appreciated if you work for any company that has something similar to offer! I’d be happy to give shout outs and credit! :slight_smile:

I’m no help but I actually have that exact IKEA bookcase (the one you currently have, but with the birch veneer) at home. I’m a poor married design student still. I really like the simplicity and utility of it. $250 sure beats $12,000… All your options look really nice and functional, though.

how much functionality do you need out of it? Just shelves or do you need a ‘system’ with multiple types of components?

I like the ISS because the pole length can reach up to 9’4" and it seems as if that shelving system would look really nice when it takes up the whole part of your wall. As for the shelf color options, I think the Mahagony or Chocolate finishes would look really sleek… I mean, you can choose the Cherry finish, but it may washout your room. Please don’t go for the Melamine colors :stuck_out_tongue:

i’m mostly now just looking for shelving, but like the modular nature of the system, so if I want cabinets later I can always add them in, or move, take it with me a repupose it.

VITOSE even makes mention in their catalog (also great design and nice layout), that 50%(!) of their orders are from existing customers and they even will ship a single shelf if need be. they’re also pretty smart in the colors, such that their white is actually an off-white so it will still match if you have a 20yr old system and add 1 new part. that’s design thinking!


I’ve used a hodge podge effect before using different components… but it’s looked pretty sweet- and not much $$ (though takes your own work).

Key Klamp (google) pipe fittings-
3/4" (i’m sorry, 19mm) OSB or any kind of wood- shelving
I’d say CasterCity for wheels if you wanted.

Obviously, the design can be whatever you’d like, along with kind/ shade of wood or shelving.

I can’t imagine the system would be more than $300 in materials + what time you put into the design and building. Maybe 2 days if you’re on it! And lets face it, a bright guy like you…

I did think of the DIY route, but no access to a shop or power tools makes it kinda tricky. Also I would prefer a most finished look than I think I cold reasonably achieve. Another route I’ve considered is custom millwork, but then loose the modularity of it, and for sure wouldn’t be cheap in solid walnut or teak as I’d like (and most good millworkers won’t touch any sort of MDF or particleboard (not that I’d want that).

Oh well, guess the search is still on. I’m pretty picky when it comes to finding things. I try to only buy the best I can find, and would rather do without than compromise (the IKEA shelves I have no are an exception- I previously had none, and had all the books just stacked up, but it started to get a little out of control (i’ve got lots of books as you can see)…took me 6 months of looking before I found the perfect toaster!


speaking of DIY…
i rid by this gallery/auction house every day on my bike

at their last auction they had a few different sizes of these HM shelves.

this would be a great jumping off point for a patchwork DIY full wall shelf.
just buy some angle iron and hit up some flea markets/garage sales for old dressers/shelves. I was thinking of doing it myself.

This is a DIY on installing Hungarian Shelves.

Did you ever look into the Stolemon line at IKEA

DIY mix and match not really the look im going for. Although a wall full the eames shelving could be pretty hot, i’d guess it would be even more expensive that a proper shelving system. Plus I dunno about stacking one on top of the other if it would take the weight filled with books…

Ya, did see that system at IKEA, but it doesnt go tall enough for me, and as mentioned looking for something good quality. No sense in replacing the crap i got with something just a little less crappy.

thanks for all the ideas though. anyone here do retail design, and maybe know of any commercial systems? That’s more the direction I want. Something like the would use at retail shops, or a library, etc…



check out octanorm - it’s a retail fixture\exhibit aluminum extrusion system.
much of it can use a groove\lock setup too for modularity.

I’ve seen some cool shelving systems using the arakawa cable system too… not sure if you’ve seen those. not cheap but can yeild some pretty nice looking and tough structures.

richard, saw this and thought of you…

nice. the hardware on it looks a bit dated, but i like those old teak units. I’ve seen a few around here too, but always never big enough or very expensive.


Two of the more “practical” designs featured on freshome website; both scaleable, and immanently DIYable. Design it on AutoCAD, and have a mill cut the pieces.

I installed this one in my garage “studio”; always figured the space between the rafters was lost.

[edited to add:]

thanks, all.

also found this-


designed in Sweden, but for sure cheaper and lesser quality (It’s sold at The Container Store in the US). Still, looks right for the price.