A design moment

We’re pretty happy with the way our Shelf by the Foot design has come together. It’s based on the concept of folding a sheet of plywood to create an ‘L’ shape with a useful ledge. We’d created a couple prototypes and had worked out the way it was put together with a reinforcing spline in solid wood.


One thing that had eluded us at this point was exactly how to hang it on the wall. We knew the system had to be simple and strong, and would be based on a French Cleat detail, but we weren’t sure how it would interact with the top of the vertical leg of the ‘L’. Nonetheless, we showed the raw prototypes to a colleague and received an interesting question:

“Which way up does it go?” This proved to be a useful question

Having never seen the shelves and with a fresh take on things, inquiring as to how it sat on the wall was an honest question. It was a critical question as it made us realize that the shelf worked either way up… but more importantly it solved the question of how to integrate the mounting system. By fixing two brackets to the back (one for each orientation), it provided both a mount and a standoff. This gives the shelf a ‘floating’ look as it sits slightly away from the wall, with a resulting shadow. It’s a strong, simple solution that’s easy for the end user to install – and we wouldn’t necessarily have come up with if we hadn’t been asked such a simple question.


Here’s a video showing how the hanging system worked out:

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