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These bookshelves are designed to last your entire life

The Detroit-based furniture startup Floyd is releasing a modular shelving system that can change and expand as your life does.

Shelves are an ubiquitous element of nearly every home, but they’re cumbersome when it’s time to move. Floyd, the Detroit-based furniture startup that aims to create simple, thoughtfully designed furniture that will last, has designed a shelving system that you’ll want to take with you when you move—and that makes it easy to do so. And if you want more shelves to fill up the entire wall in your new place, the system can modularly expand to fit any wall.

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“Shelves in general are something that are bought and thrown away,” says Kyle Hoff, who cofounded Floyd with Alex O’Dell. “There was an opportunity to create a great product people keep that becomes a part of their lives, that can grow with them.”

[Photo: courtesy Floyd]
Floyd’s shelves, simply dubbed “The Shelf,” come in three different heights, with fully customizable shelving—each shelf can go up or down about an inch and a half (if you want wider spacing between then you can simply remove some shelves completely). You can use the three heights—short, tall, and wardrobe—to create any combination you want, but the final piece won’t look like multiple bookcases simply lined next to each other. Instead, all the vertical elements of The Shelves are designed to transform multiple units into a single large shelving system.

“It’s a system that can grow infinitely and adapt to your lifestyle in the future,” Hoff says, whether you want to store books or vases or vinyl.

[Image: courtesy Floyd]

Floyd didn’t set out to design a freestanding modular system. Initially, the designers were going to make wall-mounted shelves, following the model for most modular shelving systems. But Hoff says the team realized that wall-mounted shelves aren’t ideal for people who move frequently, and wouldn’t ultimately help the team create the ultra-flexible, durable product they were aiming for. This choice, along with the decision to make the shelves modular and adjustable, came directly from customer feedback through surveys.

[Photo: courtesy Floyd]
“We found customers use shelves in a lot of different ways. It’s about displaying who they are,” Hoff says. “It should be elegant and simple but also be a canvas or backdrop for the things in your life that you want to show off or display, things that are about you.” The bookcase also includes a simple wall-anchoring system that uses velcro, two screws, and a wall bracket to ensure that it will never tip over.

These shelves are the latest product from the Detroit-based furniture company, which launched in 2014 with a single table leg that could turn any surface into a functional table. Now, Floyd sells several groups of products, including a platform bed, a sofa, a lamp, and a table. The company wants to encourage people to keep their furniture for a very long time; any product you buy from the company will continue to be available for years, unlike most furniture companies that cycle through new products each season.

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“People can feel confident that they can buy one unit now, and come back in two years when they move, and buy add-on units so the shelf can grow with them,” Hoff says.

Next, Hoff is looking to develop seating and to continue adding complementary products to the existing ones that Floyd already sells, like the under-bed storage containers that the company recently released (they were so popular they sold out in 36 hours).

Floyd’s shelves will be available starting on July 30, but you can sign up for the wait list today, which lets you buy the shelves one day early. The tall shelf starts at $695, the wardrobe shelf starts at $645, and the short shelf starts at $425.

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About the author

Katharine Schwab is an associate editor based in New York who covers technology, design, and culture. Email her at kschwab@fastcompany.com and follow her on Twitter @kschwabable

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