The Art Of Design

By Joseph Pubillones

March 13, 2017 4 min read

Organizing yourself towards a better future is often a necessary first step in preparing for any new interior design project. Like most projects, organization is fundamental for making positive changes to your home, office or any environment. For some, the experience can be liberating and restorative, yet others struggle with the thought of purging decades of accumulation. Finding the right storage system is key to organizing your home. Wall units, shelving or closet storage are just some of the potential solutions.

The design of furniture and accessories has evolved over the centuries along with the development of the human habitat. While on the one hand, people seek to optimize their dwelling by providing it with more amenities and equipment, on the other hand, the increasing property values cause spaces to be reduced more and more, conspiring against that comfort that is originally sought. How does one reconcile these two realities? There is some furniture, such as modular furniture, which folds, and some is even multifunctional.

Shelving belongs to this group of furniture. Nowadays, contemporary renditions reminiscent of the midcentury Danish wall systems, as well as vintage pieces, are the darlings of the interior design world and they are back in full swing. The variation in models is almost infinite. There are shelves for books, toys, liquors and sporting goods; many designs include drawers, shelves, cupboards and keyboards.

In homes with small spaces, shelves serve to take advantage of the places where no other furniture can be placed. They are ideal for corners. They can also be arranged to divide a room or below window frames to create layers of architecture. Shelves are considered a contemporary piece of furniture, however, you can find or design one with a classic and traditional line, as well.

The most preferred material for these wall units is solid wood, which can be lacquered or stained in a myriad of colors. Designs can be made of earth-friendly reclaimed wood with customized finishes, making them your own.

Something to consider when purchasing or designing a custom shelving unit is what you would like to store and what items you want in plain sight. A good solution is a mix of shelves and enclosed storage.

Circular and rotating shelves are ideal for small spaces which save space while remaining functional. The most typical of these are generally small Victorian round tables, which served as a petite library next to a couple of chairs in a parlor or living room.

Oddly, shelving is usually considered as a design solution of last resort after all other ideas have been put through a litmus test, and yet are visually the most impactful. Bookcases and shelving do require regular editing so they do not become a clutter collector. Shelving offers the perfect location for organization with a marriage of bins, books and accessories that will have that special curated designer's touch.

Joseph Pubillones' weekly column can be found at

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