Vitsoe Shelving

Posted by Scott

Since we’re on the subject of Dieter Rams this week, I thought I’d post on his Vitsoe Shelving series. You may remeber the name Vitsoe from the Name That Chair post a while back, but it’s not enough just to have a Rams chair, you must also surround it with his amazing shelves. The Vitsoe site features a nice gallery of the shelves in their natural habitat, and you’ll also catch a few 620 chairs in there.

If course, a setup like those in the gallery will no doubt cost you an arm and a leg, but it’s nice to look. It’s always funny, whenever I somehow randomly find myself in some rich guy house, they never have anything as cool as this. It’s either gaudy old classical gold leaf stuff dripping with ornament or garish nouveau riche style with white carpets and bad marble floors. Apparently you have to be broke or German to appreciate this stuff.

14 Comments Leave A Comment


Kevin says:

April 10, 2009 at 5:55 am

man, those airplane models are fantastic. i’d just have to hire someone to clean them every week tho, cause i aint doin it. :-)


Jeremy says:

April 10, 2009 at 10:21 am

Yep, that’d be me…the broke one who appreciates this but can’t afford it. It would all look beautiful in my 1963 midcentury modern home…here’s to dreaming!


Matt says:

April 10, 2009 at 4:16 pm

I like the shelving, but it sort of falls into the belief that “as long as it’s white it’s good design”. You can basically paint anything all white, throw on a few chrome doo-dads and say it’s good design.


StigC says:

April 11, 2009 at 5:06 am

Those shelves are every in the danish public school system and in government buildings – at least they were when I was a kid. I’ve seen a lot of those in my time.
I guess it’s never occured to me that they were actually designed by someone. I guess sometimes you forget to appreciate things that you see every day and get used to.


Marc says:

April 11, 2009 at 1:44 pm

To those thinking cheap, you need to see for yourself, Vitsoe is industrial quality. The comment abou school and gov is correct after years and years still looking amazing. Cheap is a really bad choice of words for this company. One thing thaugh, distribution of Vistoe is sucky sucky in North America… I ended up doing my own with a mix of russian ply and high grade melamine but it was a real biatch to find some hardware as nice as Vitsoe.


Daniel Nelson @ Vitsœ says:

July 4, 2009 at 8:02 am

A really nice post Scott. I loved your post about the 620 chair – it made me smile.

For those worrying about how much Vitsœ shelving costs – just ask us to quote on something. We’re nice people… and don’t bite.

Apologies to the North Americans who sound like you’ve had problems. If you do have any issues, let me know at and we’ll get right on to it.

Keep up the good work, Scott.


Bob Russell says:

October 4, 2009 at 5:29 am

Hi, we have spent quite a lot of money on Vitoes shelves, not because we are rolling in it but because it is so easy to put up, and move if required, its easy to clean, flexible and versatile, will carry tons of books etc yet looks almost invisible! It just makes a small space look bigger because it will take anything! And while its a shame about what has been said about their supplies in the US, we have had faultless service from them in the UK!

PS – I do not work for them!


Bob Russell says:

January 15, 2010 at 1:41 am

Hi, good point – experience says that most (if not all) ‘well designed’ things tend to be more expensive but in this case, surely its not only the design but the quality of manufacture as well? The bits they make do just fit together with the sort of ease which I have never found with Ikea – and they are well made, beautifully finished and do take the bashing life gives them. We have just bought the desk units as well, and they are really excellent. I just think we got what we paid for – in the long run the chaepest will always be the most expensive!


John J Rice says:

January 16, 2010 at 8:19 pm

Best quote ever; “Apparently you have to be broke or German to appreciate this stuff.”

I can say that never has a truer statement been made, but then I am a Working Class American of mostly German decent ;-) I’m sure we have all been frustrated by some rich guy with no taste, and thought “Oh, what I could do with that money!” Like the guy I saw at Turkey Point, Maryland, USA that thought his beautiful Mid-Century Modern house with stained wood exterior would look better painted WHITE!

Great site. I will have to look into the Vitoes shelves, but I can provide my own model aircraft.


Daniel says:

February 11, 2010 at 4:29 am

Oh Dieter I love you, but that really is one hideous chair.

I popped into Vitsoe’s London store a few weeks ago. Really friendly staff, nice, simple set-up.


Eero says:

September 25, 2010 at 8:36 am

I dreamed of Vitsoe shelves for years and finally decided to make my own cheaper version. As much as I “hate” Ikea their products made it possible – their Stolmen line has just the right kinf of vertical poles for the design, almost as cool as Vitsoe’s. Google “ikea”, “hack” and “stolmen” and you’ll get the general idea and see some pictures (not my shelves). Though the white on the Stolmen poles and all the little parts is quite yellowish so I had to paint (and sand that the paint would stick)those. Also painted the pine shelves I bought – all off-white like Vitsoe. So lots of work but it’s coming out looking great – not ready yet but soon…