Home interior: The best shelves you’ll find this year | Property | Life & Style

With the rise in open-plan living, shelving units are being used not only as storage solutions but also to divide living areas.

“Use backless shelves to zone a room,” says Charlie Marshall, founder of interiors chain Loaf (0845 468 0698; loaf.com). 

“Ensuring they are backless will allow you to partition an area but still allow light to pass through. It’s a nifty idea to showcase items from both sides of the room.”

Some of the new shelving designs also look good in kitchens to stack plates and linens, says Marshall.

Although wall-mounted, pull-down, shelves are the future for kitchens according to research commissioned by retirement living builders McCarthy & Stone, which predicts that more smart technology will be used in the future to build “Cognitive Homes”. 

But for many, books will always be the main focus for shelves.

Despite the popularity of e-books retailers have reported a 10 per cent rise in sales of bookshelves with sales forecast to rise even further, according to String, the shelving design company stocked by Scandinavian lifestyle shop Skandium (scandium.com).

String owner Peter Erlandsson reports that sales of books are forecast to rise by six per cent this year and by 25 per cent over the next five years.

He adds: “Our latest addition, the magazine shelf, was created as a result of an increase in demand to show off the front of books, rather than having them stack with their spines on display. 

“The magazine rack means that you can display your favourite architecture book, or recipe book, and it is as much a display of personality and taste as a piece of art.”

Add some lighting to wall-mounted shelves to complete the look, says Sally Storey, design director of John Cullen Lighting (020 7371 9000; johncullenlighting.com).

“It is almost always a mistake to rely purely on downlights in a room and by lighting some shelving or display units, you will introduce an element of soft side-lighting which will give a cosier and more intimate feel,”…

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