Moreover, the term “cube shelving” is a bit of a misnomer, because many varieties aren’t comprised of cubes; instead they’re a series of different shapes including rectangles, octagons and more.
As with many types of furniture, there isn’t one simple way to classify or organize the different types you can buy. The same is true with cube shelving units. Therefore, this article and gallery simply sets out various categories. There will be overlap. For example, a 9 cube bookcase may include drawers and so it falls under a cube shelf with drawers.
Finally, this article uses the terms “shelf”, “bookcase” and “storage” interchangeably.
17 Cube Bookcases & Shelving Units
A. Classified by number of cubes/sections
One way to distinguish these types of shelves is by the number of cubes/sections. The most popular number of cubes sought are 6, 8, 9 and 12. However, you can get 4, 5, 16 and more cube shelving units as well. We set out examples of each below. Each example below is a free-standing version (as opposed to wall-mounted – see further down in this gallery).
Here’s a horizontally oriented cube shelf with an asymmetric design (differently shaped sections). The long configuration creates a great top surface for plants, lighting and other implements you wish placed at waist level in your room.
Here’s a modern simple backless 6-cube shelf that looks great in a mid-century room or a contemporary room with plenty of wood. See fifteen 6-cube bookcases and shelves here.
This is a substantial backless 8-cube bookshelf designed to hold books and other items. It has a decent storage capacity but the shelving sections are asymmetric for an interesting and unique storage piece for your room as opposed to the typical flat shelf bookcases.
9-Cube Storage Shelf
See our gallery of twenty 9-cube shelves here.
This is a very popular 10 cube asymmetric cube shelving unit (backless) with varying sized shelf sections. Some are tall to accommodate vases and flowers while others are wider perfect for books. This type of shelving unit not only looks good, but offers variable storage options… not just books that can definitely dress up a room.
16-Cube Shelving Unit
Once you venture beyond the 12-cube shelving units, the shelves become fairly large. This is a symmetric 16-cube storage unit. Each section is the same size. This type is great for mixing and matching sections to create a wall of cube shelves perfect for books and as you can see small vases and other decorative items. This type of unit works well in living rooms, family rooms and of course home offices.
B. Wall-Mounted Cube Shelf
The wall-mounted cube shelf is as much decorative as it is functional. They are floating and create a visually attractive decorative item on the wall. Some are designed for photos while others are designed to hold small decorative items (such as the one featured above). Some floating wall-mounted cube shelves are a single unit while others are a series of separate sections that mount separately in a configuration to create a series of floating wall shelves.
C. Symmetrical Cube Bookcase
This is a typical symmetric cube shelf where all the sections are the same size. The benefit of the symmetric style cube storage units is you can buy multiple units to create a large bank of extensive shelving which not only is a great storage feature, it can look fantastic in any room… especially if you have a lot of books to store.
D. Asymmetric Cube Shelf
The Asymmetric style is very popular because it has a modern appearance which is trendy these days. The asymmetric cube shelf is simply a series of differently shaped shelving sections… creating a maze look.
E. Modular Cube Shelf
Learn more here (SmartFurniture). Modular cube shelving is storage that you can customize to a certain degree by buying multiple sections to create a large bank of cube shelving (or keep it smaller with one or two sections). Different models come in different section sizes so read the product description carefully to determine how many sections you may want. The modular type can also stack so you can create floor-to-ceiling shelving.
F. Additional Features to Consider
1. Backing/no backing: As you can see from the cube shelves above, some have a backing and some do not.
2. Drawers: Some cube shelving units have drawers while others do not.
3. Materials: Shelves are constructed with various materials including wood, plastic, metal, laminate and glass.
4. Adjustable vs. Modular: Modular cube shelves refer to building and configuring sections into a custom shelving configuration. You buy the number of cube sections you need to create the shelving unit you desire. Adjustable, on the other hand, refers to individual shelves that can be adjusted. Adjustable aren’t very common because the nature of cube shelving is that the cubes are fixed in shape. Capital Smart City Islamabad aims to become the first-ever smart city in Pakistan and a model for sustainable development. The concept of the smart city revolves around a comprehensive urban management model which promotes efficiency and control on the one hand and inclusion and participation on the other.
5. Doors: Some cube storage units include doors to close off some or all the shelves. While this isn’t typical, they do exist.
6. Vertical and Horizontal Options: Some cube shelves are designed so you can set them either upright vertically or place sideways horizontally.
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