Tension-pole shelving system for living room

ISS Designs tension-pole shelving system

A rendering of the shelves we're ordering

Ever since I moved in to my wife’s apartment shortly after our engagement (she owned, I was renting, it was a no-brainer where we’d live) we’ve been slowly moving toward some semblance of organization. Today we took a big step toward finally putting everything in its place—we ordered a custom shelving system from ISS Designs.

Ours is compression-pole shelving—the poles sandwich between floor and ceiling and use a compressed spring to jam into place. Like a tension rod for a shower curtain. We didn’t want to have to drill any holes in the walls to put these up.

To the right of the bedroom door is a mini work station. To the left, enough shelving to accommodate all the books we currently keep in what is now the “office.”

Delivery comes in 2 to 3 weeks. I cannot wait to install this system and clear out a large portion of office.

About the author: Adam Kuban is a one-time foodblogger turned aspiring pizzeria owner — see margotspizza.com. Founder of Slice and A Hamburger Today and founding editor of Serious Eats. He enjoys photography, urban hiking, and naps.

2 thoughts on “Tension-pole shelving system for living room

  1. so, how did this go. I really like their system, and want one from them, but they seem to be very slow to send me the design idea and just plain get back to me re pricing etc.

    • Hi, Judith. I feel bad that I haven’t posted about the system yet. It’s up and working well, and it has helped us migrate A TON of clutter from our former office/storage room (now a nursery). The reason I haven’t posted has more to do with my slobbishness than anything. A lot of our clutter has migrated to the ISS shelves and I’ve been too embarrassed to take photos and post them. … THAT SAID …

      I had read reviews about ISS being slow to respond. Most of them were on Apartment Therapy. I personally didn’t have much trouble getting in touch with them. They seemed responsive enough for me. Maybe I caught them at a really opportune time.

      Did you work with them over the phone? I had a conference call with a representative there. She was able to give me the drawing/pricing within a week or so.

      Once I pulled the trigger and ordered, I braced myself for a long wait. This is where the reviews said it took forever. I was quoted 4 to 6 weeks for delivery. (We ordered ours with “Shelves With Sides,” which apparently takes longer than the aluminum shelves.) The first box (with the poles themselves) arrived right as the fourth week was ending. And the shelves came a week after that.

      Like I said, I didn’t think they were that slow in getting back to me. But if you can wait it out, I think you might be happy with the shelves. Ours hold an incredible amount of crap.

      They’re fairly easy to put up. They’re by no means painless or “a snap,” but it’s pretty amazing that all you need to install them is a screwdriver and a level. If you get the “Shelves With Sides,” note that you’ll have to assemble each shelf separately before mmounting it to the compression poles. We had 20 shelves total, so I put the shelves together on one night and then took a second night to place the poles and install the shelves.

      If there are any more questions, feel free to ask. I’m happy to talk more about the shelves.

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