Choosing the right shelf




Thinking of investing in some shelves? We spoke with Russell Gardner, Howards Head Buyer and uncovered how to get the most from your wall space along with the benefits of a versatile shelving system.

HSW:  Wall space is prime real estate for storage. What products should we consider using in order to get the best from this vertical area?

RG:     Wall mounted products offer an ideal solution as they maximise what we call positive vertical space.  The leader in Howards range is elfa custom shelving, which enables our storage/organisational specialist stores to come up with a complete solution that change with the customer’s needs.

The next wall-mount option is floating shelves with hidden attachments.  These provide a quick solution with a minimalist profile.

Freestanding shelving in the form of our easy-build range should also be considered.  This is a fully adjustable chrome system and we have a complete range of kits and components to customise a solution that suits a whole range of needs.

Finally we have ecobuild; a modular bamboo system that suits many rooms in the home/ office.

How important is a versatile shelving system and why?

RG:     Modern living is organic and ever changing.  A solution for today may not be relevant in the future, as your needs change.  This is perfect for either a homeowner or apartment dweller.  For example a room can be setup for a young child.  As they grow and their storage needs change the custom shelving can be changed to suit their requirements.  The exciting thing about working at Howards is that we have exciting products that deliver real solutions; that transform your space.

  How is easy-build versatile?

RG:     This is a simple to assemble, freestanding, fully adjustable system with a quality triple-plated chrome finish.  The only tools needed for assembly is a rubber mallet and if you’re using a clothes rod; then a Phillips-head screwdriver.

How is elfa versatile?

RG:     With elfa, the only component that requires hard fixing to the wall is the top track.  Everything else hangs down and interconnects.  This results in a solid yet dynamic frame that is fully customisable; in any room around the house.  Because elfa uses your vertical wall space it keeps everything off the floor. An entire wall can be utilised in a modular way.  With elfa you can achieve a simple Classic look, or a Décor style if you’re looking to glam things up.  There is also a smart utility design to organise the garage and laundry space.

What are the main differences between elfa and easy-build?

RG:     elfa custom shelving fastens to the wall and is made from epoxy bonded steel, whereas the easy-build system is a freestanding solution that’s made from triple coated chrome. Both are component systems that can be customised to suit your needs.

Where does elfa come from and why is it considered to be an ultimate solution?

 RG:     elfa is a Swedish system; it’s completely customisable and comes with a 10-year guarantee. We love that it’s available in a range of finishes and built to last.

  What’s the difference between easy-build standard products vs. easy-build kits and why would I choose one solution over the other?

RG:     We’ve a variety of specialised components in our easy-build range to provide a customised solution. From these we have created a range of convenient kits, most of which were developed based on favourite customer solutions. Because they are packaged in kits, we are able to sell them at a cheaper price which makes them very popular. Our store teams are experts in helping you to choose the best solution for your needs. Often this means starting with a kit and customising it with additional components.

easy-build can be quite industrial can’t it?

RG:     It can and it’s a growing trend in lifestyle homewares. There is a trend towards industrial evolution, of having a fusion between a light industrial look incorporated into a living space whether it’s in a kitchen or pantry or laundry or even in a lounge. It’s quite funky.

Tell us about easy-build’s weight ratings.

RG:     The average easy-build weight capacity is 70kgs per shelf.

What is elfa’s weight rating?

RG:     elfa’s ability to spread the load across the unit, despite only being attached with a top track, is a great example of Swedish engineering. In a 1.8m wide unit, mounted on gyprock with timber studs and a top track that is fully secure, you can typically expect to hold up to 250kgs.  On a brick wall this jumps up to 400kgs.  Bracket weight tolerance is 50kgs per bracket.

Does elfa and easy-build have a warranty?

RG:     The elfa warranty period is 10 years, the exceptional quality due to it being made from epoxy bonded steel. The easy-build warranty period is five years as it is made from triple coated chrome.  To see our full warranty details click here.

What finishes does elfa-shelving come in?

RG:     There are a variety of finishes to suit your design taste.  Basic componentry comes in Classic White or Classic Platinum brackets and shelving.  Then upgrade the look with Décor timber trims in White, Birch stain or Walnut stain. elfa baskets are available in white wire/ mesh or platinum wire/ mesh.  These are made from epoxy-bonded steel, which is more rust resistant in damp areas than regular painted finishes.

  What finishes does the easy-build shelving come in?

RG:     Just the one stylish finish, which is premium triple coated chrome.

What’s the key point to consider when trying to make the most of your vertical space?

RG:     The most important thing is to have in mind what sort of solution you are trying to achieve and this is where it’s great that the customer can come in-store and get professional expert assistance. Our free design, measure and quote service enables customers to receive a fully customised solution to suit their needs.
© Copyright Howards Storage World, 2014.

Accurate as at March 2014.

Components and prices may change over time. Some stores may not stock all components however they can usually be ordered. We suggest that you check with your local store prior to commencing your own solution.