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L Conceal bookshelf: Umbra's new twist on a classic

January 16, 2012 |  8:30 am

L-Conceal Umbra bookshelf
No, it is not an anti-gravity book bookshelf. Umbra's L Conceal, shown as a pair here, is the latest twist on a minimalist design that allows books to be stacked on an invisible bracket, so they appear to float on the wall.

Screen shot 2012-01-12 at 1.34.07 PMIn 2005, Pratt Institute student Miron Lior won a competition sponsored by Umbra with the simple powder-coated steel hardware -- an L-shaped bracket with a clip that holds the bottom flap of a hardcover book in place, right. The bottom book creates a cantilevered platform upon which other books could be stacked.  

Nicely priced at $13, the Conceal was an immediate hit when it launched in 2006. Umbra has since rolled out three additional sizes, including one specifically created for stacking towels.

The newest addition to the line, L Conceal, uses the same apparatus placed on both ends of a bentwood shelf. 

"The beauty of this L-shape shelf is that it plays with the traditional and typical straight line shelf, and creates the unexpected," said Matt Carr, Umbra's director of design, in an email.  "The gentle bend in the shelf allows the user to make compositions on the wall." 

L-Conceal-main shot_UmbraWhen mounted on a right angle, as shown at the top of the post, the books appear to float; multiple shelves can be combined to create a staircase effect. In its upside-down V shape, at right, Carr said, "the books appear to be bending the shelf."

The L Conceal is 18 inches long and 7 inches wide and can hold 30 pounds. It sells for $35 on the Umbra website. For more bookish designs and inspirations, check out past L.A. at Home stories on bookcases and home libraries.



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Photo credits: Umbra