The best bookcase designs grow and adapt with our homes. They can be endlessly modified to suit our needs, and include accessories and functional solutions that give them enduring appeal. These classic bookshelves and storage systems, conceived by designers Dieter Rams, Fritz Haller and Peter Lassen respectively, have stood the test of time, and can be adapted to any space. Each of the carefully considered designs has grown into a collection beloved by architects, globally.

Iconic bookshelves based on minimalist design principles

Vitsoe 606 Universal Shelving System by Dieter Rams 

Vitsoe shelving by Dieter Rams

Dieter Rams’ ‘as little design as possible’ mantra is epitomised by these utilitarian bookshelves. In 1960, the German designer created a shelving system that can adapt to fit any space, and that can be equipped with a range of practical solutions for storing and displaying objects. Created for Vitsoe and produced by the company ever since, Rams’ wall-mounted ‘606 Universal Shelving System’ embodies the company’s ethos of ‘living better, with less, that lasts longer’.

Vitsoe shelving with desks by Dieter Rams

Ensuring flexibility and longevity, the shelving system is made sustainably in the company’s Leamington Spa factory. The shelves are simple to put together, repair and dismantle, thanks to a combination of recyclable aluminium, steel, and compostable wood assembled with mechanical joints. Available in off-white, black or silver, the ‘606 Universal Shelving System’ also includes desks, cabinets, drawers, sloping shelves, hanging rails and bookends, and can be configured to a user’s needs to fit small, large and unusually shaped spaces. 

Architectural shelving and storage for the office and beyond

USM Haller furniture by Fritz Haller

USM Haller bookcase

Versatile, customisable, enduring: this is how the ‘USM Haller’ storage system is presented by its maker USM, a Swiss family-run business since 1885. The shelving system was designed in the early 1960s by Swiss architect Fritz Haller, who essentially created a furniture-sized version of his groundbreaking modular architecture; after Haller had designed an office building for USM, company director Paul Schaerer wasn’t satisfied with the available furniture and asked him to also create bespoke storage and office furniture solutions. The rest, as they say, is (design) history. 

USM Haller bookcase with plant storage

The storage range has since branched outside the office and into the home with cabinets, shelves, desks, TV units and accessories in a range of colours and featuring a clean, modular design. New lines have been added in recent years with integrated lighting and charging ports concealed in the shelves. The latest addition to the collection is dedicated to plant display for public, domestic and office space

Colourful storage that can be customised

Montana system by Peter Lassen 

Best kitchen storage by Montana

There isn’t a storage solution that Danish furniture company Montana hasn’t thought of. From mega to mini, the colourful storage arrangements first created by founder Peter Lassen in 1982 have grown into a collection that includes shelves of all shapes and sizes, cabinets, mirrors, notice boards, a plinth, and more. The system is entirely customisable (with integrated lighting, and a choice of pulls and legs, for example) and elements can be mixed and matched into dynamic compositions. The Montana furniture collection is characterised by distinctive rounded edges, as well as a vast palette of colours, from the muted to the bold, updated in collaboration with colour expert Margrethe Odgaard in 2019. 

Best colourful storage by Montana

The latest addition to the range is dubbed ‘Montana Mini’ and comprises a series of compact storage pieces that offer all the versatility of the main range in a smaller format.