ISSUE 21  |  Modest Modern

Return of a Modern Classic: The Royal System Shelving Unit

May 26, 2014 5:00 PM

BY Julie Carlson

Margot and I spotted the recently reintroduced Royal System at Design Within Reach in Los Angeles a couple of weeks ago and admired its sleek profile, handsome hardware, Danish attention to detail, and its versatility. Designed in 1948 by Danish inventor Poul Cadovius, the Royal System shelving unit is a midcentury classic that’s recently been revived by dk3. The winner of the Gold Medal at the Finland Furniture Fair in 1950 and silver at the Milan Triennale, the system is now available at Design Within Reach in the US and Twenty Twenty One in the UK. 

Above: Shelves are available in walnut or soaped oak veneer over MDF; the rails are available in solid walnut or soaped oak. The hangers come in raw brass (which is meant to patina over time) or stainless steel. The design is sold in parts and can be configured in myriad ways. Prices start at £397 for a Royal System Desk Shelf at Twenty Twenty One and $1,775 for a Royal System Shelving Unit A at Design Within Reach.

Above: “Most of us live on the bottom of a cube,”  Cadovius said. “If we put the walls even with the floor, we get a lot of space to live in.”

Above: A detail of a soaped oak shelf with raw brass hanger.

Above: Details of the walnut shelving with raw brass details.

Looking for more storage options? See our roundup of 10 Easy Pieces: Wall-Mounted Shelving Systems.