These versatile systems can work in any room.

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Modular shelves are easy to install, extremely flexible and on-trend. If you like the idea of trying a system of brackets and ledges in your own home, check out these images for inspiration on how to make it look seriously stylish.

1. Blend In

The shelves and cabinets in this system have been painted the same colour as the walls. The silver brackets add a subtle series of lines but don’t contrast too much, so the whole unit is chic and unobtrusive. To keep the look pared-down and minimal, the owners have displayed their items neatly and even left some of the shelves fairly clear to give a feeling of space.

2. DIY Delights

This craft room’s wall unit shows just how versatile modular shelving can be. The wire framework has been designed to fit normal shelves in any configuration, as well as plastic trays, metal boxes and even a magazine rack. In your own home, think carefully about how you would want to use the shelving unit and what exactly you want to store. Consider including hooks for pots that store your craft gear, as on the pegboard above.

3. Pipe Dream

These kitchen shelves were created using copper piping and rough wood boards. The pipes have been made into frames for the wood to fit into. To add even more functionality, the designers have added hanging rails below each unit with hooks to hold cups and pots of herbs. To make something similar at home, you can buy copper piping and joints at large DIY stores. Use pipe cutters to ensure your pipes are the right length and glue the pipes and joints together using epoxy resin. You can also attach the unit to the wall with pipe holders.

4. Colour Story

This bookshelf also has some serious industrial-chic credentials as it’s been made with piping and reclaimed scaffolding planks. Colour has been used to great effect too, with the books—and the alcove wall painted a dark grey to tie in with the piping.

5. Up Up and Away

The beauty of a modular shelving system is that it can be as big or as small as you like. In this loft space, the brackets go all the way up to the ceiling, higher even than the mezzanine floor. To reach the higher shelves, the owners have installed an adjustable ladder in the same bright white as the walls and shelves. They’ve kept the styling minimal, but there is still lots of room here for storage.

6. Mixed Media

Modular shelving also comes as free-standing units, like the ones here. You can find systems similar to this at a number of retailers, so choose a design you like and add to it as you go. This one includes shelves and cabinets, as well as a TV unit and even a desk unit. It’s not usually possible to adjust the shelves along brackets on a system like this, but it offers the same type of versatility.

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