String bikinis, string vests, String shelves, string cheese... All revolutionary design concepts in their own unique way, but only one is synonymous with great taste.
The String shelving system was created in 1949 by Swedish inventor Nils Strinning who had a philosophy I can totally get on board with. He believed that nothing is too modest that it cannot be improved and was inspired to enter a competition to design a bookshelf so good that it would encourage the Swedes to buy more books. Och Voila! the extendable shelving system was born, featuring another of Nils' new inventions - plastic coated wire. He won the competition of course and his design has been winning admirers ever since.
Needless to say, I am one of those admirers. It's always been a love of the iconic design, rather than the practicalities that have driven my lust for String shelving when, let's face it, Ikea's £30 Billy bookcase will clearly do the job. But following a ruthless cull of my belongings in readiness for my current house renovations, I've managed to edit down my tat to only my favourite things and everyday essentials. Only now... now that I can see what I've got and appreciate it, do I feel ready to invest in a useful, beautiful way to organise it all.
Art... books... ceramics... there's a place for everything in the String range and arranging the shelves in different size and depth configurations makes for a wall of art in itself. Whatsmore, with the String system I can add an extra layer or a couple more rows as the need and the budget allows.
Colourwise, the string system comes in white, black, grey and three wood varieties. I'm fancying a mix of white and retro walnut for my new modern-scandi living-dining space that is currently under construction.
What colour and style would you choose? Don't just mull it over mind, that's just too British. The kind people at String have gifted us a build your own configuration toy to play with on their website (basically Tetris for Interior nerds). Here you can design your own dream shelfie situation and wonder at the genius of Nills Strinning's invention. Try it out HERE.
Whilst you're doing that, I feel the need to list my top five reasons why it's String for the WIN where my future shelfies are concerned:
It is the iconic delicate side panel which gives the String shelving system its character. Kerstin Wickman, professor of design and handcraft history at the university college of arts, crafts & design in Stockholm describes it as "elegant and clean-limbed - a slender ladder ascending the wall." Bet you'd never thought hanging your coat up could be a romantic affair did you?
Now I'm no DIYer and neither is my husband, so the simplicity of construction is right up there with looks as a top priority for any piece of furniture that enters our house. String shelves are so quick and easy to assemble that I can keep adding, taking away and repositioning to my heart's content.... Prepare for endless Sunday shelfies people.
String shelves have not changed in appearance since they first appeared on the market almost seventy years ago and I wouldn't be surprised if there was some sort of legal document to insist that they are preserved this way forever and ever amen (or important words to that effect).
I mean, Nills, I hear you man, modesty can be improved upon, but perfection can't.
I promised myself my own little reading corner, back in January when I got annoyed with how our house had turned so horribly wired and I can't think of a better excuse to put that plan into action. After all, encouraging book buying was the very reason the String shelving system came into being in the first place and I like that 70 years on it is still doing just that. f that's not a marker of brilliant design, I don't know what is.
Do you shelfie on a regular basis? Have you fallen under the String spell too? I'd love to hear your feedback. Please get in touch below.