Finally, the hands of designers have reached such conservative designs as wardrobes. From now on, the variety of types is complemented by a variety of materials, shapes and decor. A motley family of furniture “for order” – shelving, wardrobes and dressers – received the high title – “storage systems”.
Furniture for “order”
If at the dawn of the nineties minimalism called for ruthlessly throwing away, cleaning the house of unnecessary items and not rushing to acquire new ones, now we increasingly often carefully store things accumulated over the years. A modern inhabitant of a metropolis is obliged to read fashionable books, keep abreast of musical novelties, watch all the sensational movie premieres, play sports and travel a lot.
As a result, it becomes more and more difficult to sort out all these tomes, discs, ski boots, roller skates and exotic trinkets. Moreover, you don’t want to clutter up the interior with boring geometric designs of shelving. Fortunately, there is now a huge selection of “order” furniture. For another five years, everything was limited to a coffee table, a couple of shelves modestly screwed into a dark niche, and a bulky wardrobe hidden in the bedroom..
Now racks, bookcases, libraries, shelves, wardrobes, dressers and showcases claim pride of place in the best places of the apartment, and are not hiding in corners and niches. Almost every designer with the name, from Ron Arad to Tom Dixon, has created their own version of the perfect storage space. In the French city of Strasbourg, it is even planned to open a whole store dedicated exclusively to such furniture and accessories to it – boxes, cardboard boxes, baskets, boxes, caskets and chests. The furniture industry is barely keeping pace with the consumer boom that is turning our homes into warehouses.
The triumphal procession of designer storage systems began in 1993. It was then that Ron Arad, a modern design guru, created his Bookworm library for the Kartell furniture concern. This flexible board could be fixed on the wall, then stretching out like a worm or a lazy comma, then twisting like a snail’s shell. How many photographs of “Bookworm” exist, how the translation of the name of this cult item sounds, so many options for the location of the shelf are visible. She not only attracted her eyes to the wall on which she was located, but also perfectly accommodated books..
Later, Arad came up with a “land” version of this library called “This Mortal Coil” (“This death coil”). The silhouette resembled an anaconda that had just swallowed an elephant, seen in profile. Since then, Kartell has sold 40 thousand meters of Bookworm annually. Although, of course, they have not yet managed to overtake the Billy shelving unit, the shelving classic of the Swedish giant IKEA. Since 1979, it has sold 29 million copies. But nevertheless, it was the “worm” that revolutionized the heads of architects and consumers of fashionable novelties: it turned out that a secondary, purely utilitarian thing can combine its function with a purely decorative purpose..
Let’s open the wardrobes, gentlemen
The motto of a modern wardrobe is openness. Door handles and latches disappear from design solutions. The doors, if any, are translucent, ready to open at the slightest touch of the palm. This disciplines the owners of the house – they no longer put things in a messy heap on the shelves. I would like to lay out sweaters, T-shirts and skirts in neat stacks, disassemble them by color, size, texture. With the trend towards transparency, plexiglass is increasingly being used, a new material that allows you to experiment with color and surface pattern.
If the storage system is not transparent, then it must be uncompromisingly bright. Orange, purple, lime green, scarlet, blue and black: the racks are eye-catching with their bright colors. If you cannot intrigue with color, it will definitely turn out – a bizarre shape. Tom Dixon invented the Tower&Block “and the thing fully lives up to its name. It is an asymmetric pyramid of square and rectangular blocks that seems to be about to fall apart. The duo of Domenique Jacob and Brendan MalFarlane has created a bookcase in the shape of a giant purple seaweed – and the shelves in it are carved with unpredictable rounded sheets.
A fashionable storage system simply has to be mobile. She, like a Bedouin, moves through an apartment or house, obediently following the owner. Italian designers Antonio Citterio and Olivier Lowe have come up with the mobile containers “Mobil”, which have already entered the classics of modern design. They are a container made of translucent plastic on wheels that can be easily moved from room to room, used as a laundry storage, as a mobile table, or as a container for children’s toys..
Racks are increasingly composed of lightweight open modules that do not require rigid fixings. It’s like a house made of children’s blocks, which can look different every time. If you want to move to another place, it’s easy to disassemble. Modules often resemble neat content frames and present standing books like works of art.
If earlier wood or materials imitating it were used most often for shelves, libraries and cabinets, now the most modern textures are used – polyethylene, corian, plastic, lacquered aluminum. The Frenchman Hubert le Gaulle came up with a snow-white rubber shelving that looks more like a snowman cut in half. The first copy got into the apartment, where the interior was made only of wood – and nevertheless, the owners were pleased with the created contrast.
Cabinets have become a space for design experimentation. They want to be kept in the most honorable place and shown to guests as a work of art. Ilya Piganov applies photo collages of such beauty to his furniture that it easily overshadows everything else in the room. The larger the cabinet, the more beautiful it is. The renowned designer of cars and motorcycles, Sasha Lukich, commissioned a large furniture company to create a series of wardrobes and dressers that most of all resemble the streamlined side of an experimental car. With immaculate lines and metallic silver color, these safes can accommodate a home theater or computer center.
Fight for meters
When looking for storage space, do not neglect anything. Feel free to look under the bed and explore the space under the ceiling. The shelves that run along the perimeter of the entire room under the very ceiling are already a decorative device. The catwalks, so beloved by Russian designers, are fraught with precious meters, where you can put books, bed linen, and sports equipment. This is especially practical for children’s rooms. The only drawback of this solution is its immobility. Once the podium has been installed, it is difficult to move it at will. The side of the ladder is just for experimenting with shelving. The main thing here is not to overdo it, because the staircase itself is also decorative.
Five secrets of the fashion library
1. Loose fit. A stylish library can be created without the classic horizontal shelves. It is enough to simply stack books with beautiful bindings on a suitable cabinet. Or create columns of books right on the floor. Books look best on a solid white or pastel background. The feeling will be created as if they were laid out in a transparent showcase or frame. The temptation to line up the entire wall with books is great, but leave some empty space around these pillars to create the effect of a picture frame..
2. Eclecticism. Books, vase collections, DVDs, dishes, souvenirs – eclectic libraries are in fashion. According to the designers, there is a formula for the most successful filling proportions. Half of the space is for books. A quarter is for pictures and sound, that is, cassettes and disks. Another quarter – for dishes and knickknacks.
3. Mobility. In 90% of cases, when the apartment does not have a separate room for the library, it is installed in the living room. Recently, however, all the boundaries of its domination have been washed away. Designers advise experimenting with whatnots, shelves and shelving in the hallway, in the bedroom (just above the head of the bed) and even in the kitchen. Some even advise to merge the library and dining room together. Books create a noble atmosphere for a gala dinner, and at normal times, the table easily becomes a workplace or reading corner.
4. Constructor. Until twenty years ago, there was no such variety of collapsible library sizes. Now, with the help of modules, you can both compose an XS size reading room, and swing at XL. It is easy to create a fashionable minimalist shelving unit from the very current aluminum hollow boxes and boards. If you install it on a pedestal and attach wheels, you get a mobile intelligent structure.
5. Knowledge is light. Built-in lighting is increasingly used in such designs. And not at all so that you could pull out the necessary volume of Dostoevsky at night. Simply dimmed or fluorescent light further accentuates design objects.