Storage and the Sideboard

Storage: What and why.

For generations open storage in the living rooms served convenience as organizing and display of; status, knowledge, collected artifacts, gifts and entertainment media. We display our gathered identifiers and stuff for each phase of our lives. In the end it usually lands on our kids to sort out what has some shred of worth to them as; memory, status or financial exchange to sell or integrate in their lives. Thanks to computers and the cloud we have little need for; records, documents, photo archives or sadly even lots of books. But the need for integrity through artifacts persists. There is a retro trend for LP records, midcentury modern wall storage and sideboards because we love having these reminders of our connection to things that co-form our experience and open discussion. Amid our screen dominated lives there remains a need for the graspable.

For the modern swiss adult, the bookcase, stereo/video/home cinema are still important features of our living rooms. As of 2012 you can for a reasonable cost use Sonos, a wifi Audio system throughout your home to play music from your Smartphone or computer. The stereo and cabinet are gone. Your flat screen TV/iMac can be set flush in the wall or simply moved to shared between home office and sideboard room divider. Quality digital prints on large format linen are great lifestyle statements. 

Your books on your shelves gather dust and for the most part are no long reference or statement of what you know. We learn and access via feeds and queries and not so much by flipping pages. But books are wonderful ways of discovery and sharing them is a potent way to extend your experience. They can be loaned out to friends with a simple share software (see personal library app ref. below) so that your bookshelves would have an update function. The book shelf as grid or shelves for holding up dusty volumes which you read 30 years ago has long since lost its value because most older literature and academic texts are available online, fully keyword or quote searchable, for free, online. So the sound system and the storage of knowledge is for many disappearing from the living room. What’s next?

The living room sideboard or shelving systems newer function is about fun and experience. Sure there might be a liquor cabinet in that sideboard but there are also clever games, objects of beauty or that start a conversation, tell a story or just plain have to be displayed because they represent the owner as icon. That is why sideboards are desirable again. For hundreds of years the sideboard, usually quite high ± 120 cm, was a place to display the status object of a family next to the dining table.

There are some nice examples of the traditional sideboard in the Berner History Museum and I have seen them in many others when we travel. As a lifestyle object, typically the sideboard doesn’t evolve from the bachelor’s bookshelf either high or low. It belongs in the home when one is established and purchased as a conscious statement that one has enough space, character and wealth that it really should be protected and presented. This is what is special about a sideboard over a shelving system. Open and closed storage. Closed to keep things clean, safe and the ritual of taking them out on occasions for show and use. But there also needs to be open storage for the objects which are just asking to be; shown off, picked up, discussed and maybe even played with. For instance a fine japanese tea set, several art books that don’t need to clutter the salon table, a tessellation puzzle from Escher or a drawer full of toys for the small children to play with. The sideboard now is a furniture to share experiences with friends and family.

The wall shelf has also been re-invented and tends to float or suspend from the wall, playfully displaying fewer objects, relics and images_ usually with a playful method or geometry.

Wifi home Audio systems 2016:
Personal Library:

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