The addition of shelving is an easy way to add character to a space, while increasing storage potential and serving as a display facility. They’re fairly simple to assemble, relatively inexpensive and take up less space in a room than purpose built units or ready-made bookcases. The team from Decorex South Africa bring us five creative shelving ideas that beautifully blend form and function and are guaranteed to turn your walls into talking points.

Pipe Dream

Going for an industrial-chic look? Bracket your shelves with iron plumber’s pipes to give a contemporary space that extra edge.

Give your pine shelving boards a suitably masculine look by treating them to a couple of coats of dark wood stain – do this at least 24 hours before you start your installation process. Use pipe clamps to fasten the boards to the pipes and attach the pipes to the wall with dry-wall anchors to ensure a secure connection.

ELLE Deco SA

Covert Cabinet

If storage space is scarce, Decorex suggests incorporating a hinged fold-down breakfast nook into your space.

‘For avid DIYers, the project is easily accomplished with little more than a few pieces of strong hard- or plywood, hinges and hinge supports. Some designs require piano hinges with S-hooks and chains, while others will make use of a pair of folding brackets.’

ELLE Deco SA

Pretty Neat

Create a focal point in the room by installing decorative display units in different shapes and sizes.

The key to creating a shelving vignette is to work with the negative spaces as much as you the positives. Don’t fill every nook with things – instead, remember that empty space allows the eye to rest and focus on the important things you want to show off.’

ELLE Deco SA

Culinary Contrasts

A trendy option for kitchen cabinets is to go doorless. Sticking to a strictly monochromatic display, creates a striking effect.

‘Your choice of cupboard paint is all-important in the kitchen, which is exposed to high levels of grease and steam. Plascon Kitchens & Bathrooms is a water-based enamel formulated with Silver Protect, which is designed to inhibit the growth of bacteria, mould and fungus, reducing the chances of your units discolouring.’

ELLE Deco SA

Divide and Conquer

Open shelving in closets have made a grand entrance into the design world by serving as a place to display and store your sundries while simultaneously making a space feel lighter and bigger.

‘What is required, however, is that you be a ruthless editor – get rid of or store all those dust collectors you just don’t use. And if you’re going for a floor-to-ceiling ensemble, consider investing in a stylish stepladder.’

ELLE Deco SA

All images courtesy of Decorex


Decorex Johannesburg 

Venue: Gallagher Convention Centre

5 – 9 August 2016

5 August – Time: 1pm to 6pm

6-9 August  – Time: 10am – 6pm

Ticket prices: R110 for adults; R90 for pensioners and students; R80 for trade; R20 for kids under 12

Visit: www.decorex.co.za

Facebook: Decorex SA

Twitter: @decorexSA


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The Africa Issue is a celebration of the future of design in Africa and its potential to drive change. We explore the concept of ‘Africaness’, what this means for our aesthetic. We also  dream big with bedroom inspiration and take you on a tour of homes that truly embrace the spirit of the continent. Pick up your copy today and tell us what you think on Twitter @Elle_Deco using #AfricaIssue.