Modular shelving systems for super-chic and streamlined storage solutions

Where wall art meets storage...

Storage just went to the next level. Modular systems are lining up to be the most popular display option in 2020, and we've rounded up teh very best of them.

Smart shelving isn't just about maximising your living space and solving your storage issues. Use it to create your own masterpiece display wall, mixing in favourite books, ceramics, photographs... whatever reflects you and your personal taste.

Off-the-shelf shelving can come in many forms, but we've chosen to focus on modular shelving that can adapt to your space and grow as you need it to.

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(Image credit: Ali Brown)

They may look similar, but each of our picks offers something a little different to the next. Whether that's cabinets to keep clutter hidden away, the ability to choose the exact height, length and number of shelves, or rotating vanes that allow you to play hide and seek with your treasures.

Our line-up includes the iconic Poul Cadovius-designed Royal System. Designed in 1948, this groundbreaking wall-mounted demonstrates that modular storage is far from the preserve of budget flatpacks, and can be a strong and timeless design statement,

Similarly, String's Scandinavian-designed furniture has been around since 1949, and is more popular now than ever.

So which will be your storage saviour?

ROYAL SYSTEM, £7747, POUL CADOVIUS FOR DK3

DK3 Royal System

The iconic Royal System shelving was design in 1948 by Danish designer and manufacturer Poul Cadovius. It was one of the world’s first wall-mounted furniture systems, and the idea behind the design was quite innovative. The systems consists of numerous options; rails, shelves, cabinets, drawers and desks, which can all be customised to suit your space.

SHELF MEDIUM, £1073, MOEBE AT ROYAL DESIGN

Royal Design Moebe shelf medium

This shelf is part of MOEBE’s modular shelving system. The series gives you full freedom to build your own piece of furniture and fit it exactly to your needs – you choose the height, length and number of shelves. This design is great along a wall or even in the middle of the room to corner off a space.

FLAP BOOKCASES, £845, £3710 (PER SECTION), RENE BOUCHARA FOR ROCHE BOBOIS

Roche Bobois Flap bookcases

This bookcase features carefully aligned rotating vertical vanes, Each vane can be opened or closed to create symmetrical or more free compositions. The example shown is in fact two units pushed together, showing that you can create any look you desire depending on your requirements.

ARIA BOOKSHELF, £11,700, DAVID DOLCINI AT PORADA

Porada Aria bookshelf

The Aria is a modular bookcase with columns in ash which can be fixed to the wall or to the ceiling. Porada’s mantra is “everything is born from the love of wood”, using solid wood, combined with upholstery, marble, glass and metal, Porada are known for their quality craftsmanship and attention to detail.

PLAIN 03 BOOKCASE, £3530, FRANCESCO ROTA FOR LEMA

Lema Plain 03 bookcase

A modular, lightweight and elegant bookcase that embodies the distinctive features of Lema’s design style: modularity and customisation. The Plain is a free-standing squared metal structure with a lacquered finish and shelves that can be mounted at different heights to give lots of composition options.

DOUBLE CABINET, £1602, STRING FURNITURE AT JOHN LEWIS & PARTNERS

John Lewis & Partners String Furniture double cabinet

Nil Strinning’s String shelf system was originally created in 1949, and is now considered a design classic thanks to its versatility and understated aesthetic. The selection of shelves, storage and desk sections can be combined to suit your precise needs, and can easily be expanded or reconfigured as your requirements change.

TOWER SHELVING SYSTEM, £927, HEAL’S

Designed for adaptability the Tower shelving system consists of a variety of modules, easily reconfigured for your storage needs.

DEMON SHELF, £891, GUBI

Gubi Demon shelf

This modular shelving system, designed in 1954 by Mathieu Mategot, can be applied in multiple ways suited for all homes and spaces where that extra dimension of aesthetics for wall storage is sought for.