Studio Brunstrum

Crystal Clear Shelving

June 19, 2017

Crystal-clear glass shelves with metal framework are surging in popularity again for many reasons. I call them "shelving with a view!"

You could call these sleek units open shelves, but I like to call them “shelving with a view!” Crystal-clear glass shelves with metal framework are surging in popularity again for many reasons - particularly ones that are attached to the ceiling or wall. But for me, the elegant yet modern look of these shelves has never gone out of fashion. Whether the shelves are supported by polished or antique brass, wrought iron or chrome framework, they are functional and pretty, providing display space for treasures, storage for dishes, bar ware or bathroom necessities, and much more.

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Designer Elizabeth Krueger installed a tri-level glass and brass shelving unit in her entry gallery at the Lake Forest Showhouse, which called out to Senior Designer Angela Lavista and inspired this blog. This suburban Chicago show house is always packed with ideas you can take home, whether classic or cutting edge. Not only is this shelving unit a beauty, but I’m in love with the crouching bird who seems to be guarding the books on the top shelf. So much energy!

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These individual glass and brass shelves keep glasses and bottles stylishly organized and echo the polished gleam of brass in the faucet, sconces and upper cabinet hardware. Here the shelves are stacked squarely on top of each other, but I like the look of offset shelves, too.

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Ceiling-mounted glass and metal shelving is dramatic, but the mood is open and breezy, too. The view is almost completely unobstructed from the kitchen to the family room and through the windows to the back yard, compared to built-in wood cabinetry that would section off the space. The rough-luxe contrast of the sturdy wooden beams against the glass and brass shelves is appealing, too.

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This kitchen combines the look of wall-mounted and ceiling-mounted glass and metal shelves. The mix of metals is important, too. While the shelves and light fixture are brass, the refrigerator and stove top are stainless steel and the framework of the stools is a darker metal. Nicely done!

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Bathrooms are perfect for glass and metal shelves, too, again because of their light, open look. This modern wall-mounted unit, above, stores bathroom essentials neatly and within easy reach. The black metal finish is a perfect match for the crisp white walls and black hexagonal floor tiles, and I’m crazy about the way the bottom “arms” return to the wall to support the whole unit. A small piece of sculpture, my favorite bottle of lotion and a pretty Jo Malone scent diffuser would complete the picture for me!


Susan Brunstrum
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