green potted plant on black wooden shelf
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4 Creative Modern Shelf Ideas

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Looking for creative shelf ideas? These shelves were created by independent top designers around the world. Note that not all of these products are available for purchase, and some are just prototypes, so use these for inspiration for new ideas. See our post on unique modern shelves to view products you can buy online today!

1. Stockwerk Foldable Shelf

Young German designer Meike Harde has created the Stockwerk foldable and collapsible shelf system. The shelf features a unique functional system that allows the user to increase or decrease the height of the shelf by folding or opening some storage compartments. From the designer, “The shelf Stockwerk appears to negate its material properties. Due to the cut sidewalls, the solid wood construction becomes a foldable object reminiscent of a compressible paper model. Stockwerk heralds a new kind of shelf-construction. As an alternative to plug and screw connections this shelf needs no assembly and is delivered folded up.

Stockwerk Foldable Shelf by Meike Harde
Stockwerk Foldable Shelf by Meike Harde

The side walls are split, mitered, and fixed with piano hinges. The system is fully linked together; the shelves just have to be unfolded. The system is self-stabilizing via the miter-chamfer on the sidewall edges. Despite having fewer and simpler production steps, a complex functional system is possible. The final height of the shelf is customizable, as some compartments can stay closed according to requirements.”

Stockwerk Foldable Shelf by Meike Harde
Stockwerk Foldable Shelf by Meike Harde
Stockwerk Foldable Shelf by Meike Harde

2. The classic Cadovius butterfly shelf finally has its comeback

The classic decorative and multifunctional shelf Cadovius Butterfly Shelf, first designed by Paul Kadovius in 1958, returns in full splendor with a modern character thanks to the renowned furniture company “dk3”.

The classic Cadovius butterfly shelf finally has its comeback

Cadovius Butterfly Shelf has a simple structure in the form of a gentle butterfly with folded wings, symbolizing the lightness and playfulness of the butterfly. It is made of wood which enables strength and durability against its free playful character.

This modern refined version of the element can easily fit in any space in modern interiors. The decorative character allows it to be part of the living rooms or more intimate rooms. The simple and precise design of the shelf is adorned with carved detail on one wing of the butterfly, which is proof of the authenticity of the revolutionary design by Cadovius. The shelf is available in oak and walnut variant.

The classic Cadovius butterfly shelf finally has its comeback4
The classic Cadovius butterfly shelf finally has its comeback1
The classic Cadovius butterfly shelf finally has its comeback2
The classic Cadovius butterfly shelf finally has its comeback3

3. WWW Shelf

Italian based designer Viktor Matic has created the WWW Shelf. It is a simple storage shelf with a “digital angle.” The surfaces of the shelf dissolve into strings which connect and transform into other new surfaces. According to the designer, the WWW shelf “is an interpretation of the ‘shelf’ archetype. Between form and function, between space and dimension, between a not-yet and a not-anymore, it creates concrete opportunities and specific associations. Through its parts, it is not only a modular system but also a type of installation in an ever-changing space.”

WWW Shelf by Viktor Matic
WWW Shelf by Viktor Matic
WWW Shelf by Viktor Matic
WWW Shelf by Viktor Matic
WWW Shelf by Viktor Matic

4. MYDNA Twisted Shelf

MYDNA is a smart and elegant remake of the simple shelf typology but with a twist. Designed by Joel Escalona, it is a chic and contemporary storage system inspired by the DNA concept in two different ways; first, it’s a sophisticated, organic, and stylish structure in the shape of a double helix, and second with a metaphorical statement which establishes that everything you place on its shelves defines a significant part of your personal identity. The shelf comes in a variety of attractive colors. Check out the pictures.

MYDNA shelf by Joel Escalona 1
MYDNA shelf by Joel Escalona 2
MYDNA shelf by Joel Escalona 3
MYDNA shelf by Joel Escalona 4
MYDNA shelf by Joel Escalona 5

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