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A desk is a dangerous place from which to view the world
March 6, 2014 1:10 PM   Subscribe

Crate & Barrel has this modular shelving unit/desk hybrid which would be perfect for my needs, except the shelving unit doesn't actually hold very much. I thought IKEA had something similar but they don't really (their desk sticks out at a 90 degree angle from the shelves). Do you know of anyone who sells a shelving system like this (with a desk option) that will actually hold books. Thanks!
posted by anastasiav to Shopping (17 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Like this elfa setup? Or a higher end version like this?
posted by mullacc at 1:18 PM on March 6 [1 favorite]


Container Store seems to have the exact same model (exclusive?), but that doesn't seem to help. I know I've seen the like before, will keep thinking.
posted by ZeusHumms at 1:19 PM on March 6


How much does it need to hold?
posted by ZeusHumms at 1:21 PM on March 6


The max depth is 14" or so, how big are your books?
posted by rhizome at 1:26 PM on March 6


How much does it need to hold?

CD/DVD media (stored in boxes), board games, some hardcover books, ideally magazines, and in a perfect world I could put some canvas storage bins on it to hide/deal with some of the cruft that floats in and out of our living room.

The max depth is 14" or so, how big are your books?

The top shelves on the C&B one are only about 6" deep, good for a vase but not much else.

I can build an elfa-type setup from parts at home depot if I need to, but I'd really prefer something freestanding vs. having all that weight directly on the wall.
posted by anastasiav at 1:30 PM on March 6


I have the single bookcase version of the Crate and Barrel set and while it looks great, I can confirm that the upper shelves really don't hold that much and the wider shelves are awkward for larger stacks, though the bottom two are great for art books. The upper ones are pretty good for DVDs though (the second/third ones down are where we store video games.)

Have you looked at IKEA's Expedit series? It looks like you can add in a work desk into the series, or maybe even get a separate board to bridge the gap between two of the systems? Very deep, very good for a lot of media items.
posted by jetlagaddict at 1:33 PM on March 6


The Expedit desk sticks out at a 90 degree angle and so would take up more space in the room than is available. Friends have suggested that we use the Billy system and just not put in some of the lower shelves in one unit, but I feel like the unit wouldn't really be stable unless all the shelves were in.
posted by anastasiav at 1:38 PM on March 6


My sister has that desk you linked to, but just the desk module. It's not very good. For heavier books, I think you almost have to have something that attaches to the wall for stability, unless you want a much bigger, heavier system.
posted by BabeTheBlueOX at 1:43 PM on March 6


elfa has freestanding setups too. I recently added some shelving to a closet using an elfa freestanding setup—I rent, so I can't drill into the walls. Seems pretty sturdy.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 1:43 PM on March 6


Ahh, sorry, misread the first photo; it's more clear in the later ones. Since Billys aren't that deep, could you maybe get two taller Expedits and one lower one, or get a Laiva in the middle that extends just a little further out (I think it's 4 inches deeper.) I would not take apart a Billy because they hold up really well, but they're really not that sturdy if you tug them, at least in my experience-- I think using it as a desk would be asking a lot if it weren't screwed to the wall. Or maybe a Galant? It has a slightly wider middle shelf at desk height, and it looks deeper and more secure than the Billys, though it's less sleek and modular looking.
posted by jetlagaddict at 1:53 PM on March 6


I don't know if this would fit your spatial requirements, but CB2 has this desk thing that you could combine with these bookshelf things.
posted by gone2croatan at 3:13 PM on March 6


What you need is Omni Shelving from the 60's, or its modern day equivalent. It's modular and very very versatile! Works with tension poles. Effing brilliant and beautiful.
posted by jbenben at 3:59 PM on March 6 [1 favorite]


I don't know how comfortable you are with IKEA hacking, but here is a fairly simple Expedit hack with a lot of storage space and a small desk area, all very snug to the wall.
posted by drlith at 5:13 PM on March 6


If Nelson Omni/CSS is up your alley, the modern version is ISS.
posted by rhizome at 5:17 PM on March 6 [2 favorites]


You could just set up the Expedit desk with the shelving to the side instead of against the wall? The cubes are open so if you did that you could access them from whichever side you preferred.
posted by Sequence at 5:23 PM on March 6


See the third image down here for what I mean, since I realize I'm not even sure what I mean from how I described that.
posted by Sequence at 5:24 PM on March 6


If you end up going the Expedit route, be aware that it's being discontinued in favor of a similar model called the Kallax. Since news broke there seems to be a run on the entire line.
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:12 AM on March 7


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