Shelving isn’t always a glamorous topic but we all need some shelves in our home. Open shelves are great for displaying our treasures and they also provide accessible storage for any room. But there’s no reason why shelving units should be ugly or cumbersome. I’m all for choosing home decor based on aesthetics and practicality which should be a given with everything we have in our homes.
In living areas I prefer to go for open shelving as it creates a feature while being very useful too. But there is a danger that it can get messy so if you’re worried about this, check out my tips on decorating open shelves which will help keep them looking organised. On the flip side, for some of us open shelves can be a good motivator to stay tidy as they’re always on display.
With that in mind, I’ve picked out 6 of the best modern Scandinavian shelving units that offer flexibility, style and practicality. Scandinavians have an unmatched ability to combine form and function and they make the best open shelves I’ve seen for any space however big or small.
6 modern Scandinavian shelving units
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Speaking of Scandinavian shelving, no discussion can start without mentioning the Swedish String shelving system. The simplicity of the design is stunning and the flexibility of the shelves make this one of the best choices in open shelves. The shelves are infinitely adaptable to the space you have as there are thousands of combinations of shelves, cupboards, desks, tables and more that all work together.
Big or small, wide or narrow, tall or short – there is a combination perfect for any and every room in your home. The shelves come in a range of colours and wood finishes so there really is something for every home and every taste. The only drawback? Price. It might take some saving to get these shelves but it will be so worth it. If budget isn’t a concern, you can’t go wrong these open shelves.
This is another Scandinavian open shelf but this time without the price tag. This Ikea Fjalkinge shelf is a winner not only because of price, but also for its sleek lines and minimal design. There is also a version with a combination of open shelves and some drawers. This is perfect if you need to hide some stuff away. If you need more storage you can get a couple of these as they look great placed side by side. Given the price and the slender, pared back design, these shelves will look great in any space. You can always count on Ikea for style within budget. (image via bo living)
NORM COPENHAGEN JAM
If you need just one shelf unit then this one by Norm Copenhagen could be the one for you. It’s the subtle yet stylish details that make these shelves stand out for me like the softly rounded edges and the round poles that go beyond the top of the shelf. These poles also mean that there’s no need for screws or tools to put these shelves together so they’re super easy to assemble and take apart as and when you need.
These shelves come in two sizes and can make an elegant feature especially in a living or dining room. But they are versatile and can be used in an office space or they can even be used as a simple room divider in an open plan space.
FERM LIVING PUNCTUAL
The simple, sleek lines and the subtle colours make this shelf system by Ferm Living one that not only works hard but looks beautiful too. I love that you can choose to have a combination of flat shelves with shelf boxes which gives you the flexibility to hide away any small things you don’t want visible or for displaying plant pots. The colours on offer are anthracite, pale grey and cashmere with the option of mixing in wooden shelves or keeping it purely one colour. The winner for me is the soft cashmere – so elegant and understated.
The possible combinations are many so you can create a shelf that is the perfect size with the right amount of storage for your room. Up close, you will see that all the shelves are gently perforated with small holes adding a subtle design detail while making the shelves look lighter and airier.
When space is limited, especially floor space, but you still need some shelving and you want the wow factor, nothing beats this minimalist wall shelf by Woud. This shelf appears as if it’s hanging from a string which is what makes it so stunning. It’s a subtle yet striking design – I’ve got one in my home so I can honestly say it looks even better in real life.
This shelf comes in a couple of different wood finishes as well as in a black or white finish. You can have up to four shelves in one so it’s not a huge amount of storage but it’s ideal for smaller spaces and enough for when you need that extra bit of shelving in any room. I use mine in my entryway as it’s got high ceilings but is a narrow space so it’s perfect there. Alternatively you could get more than one unit as they’d look great hung next to each other on a large wall.
FOGIA BOND SHELF
There are so many reasons to love this shelf by Swedish Fogia but my favourite thing about it is its flexibility. You can go for as much or as little shelving as you need and you can always add more later if you need to. So even if you move house you can adapt the shelves to your new space. These shelves can be free standing, wall mounted or hung from the ceiling, making them even more adaptable to your space. And I love how they can be added around existing furniture as you can see from the pic. There are not many shelves out there that are this flexible and beautiful.
I especially love that you can hang these shelves from the ceiling making them a beautiful feature in any room. I’ve seen some hanging from the ceiling above a kitchen counter and it looked great. These shelves aren’t the cheapest but they are designed to last a lifetime and to grow with you and your needs. So even though they are an investment piece, they are worth it as you’ll never need to replace them.
Which of these modern Scandinavian shelving units is your favourite?