As a book designer, teacher, researcher, book collector, and avid reader, Faride Mereb has more books than she knows what to do with. Step into her New York apartment that doubles as her studio and you’ll find books lining the shelves, filling the closets, and stashed under the bed. Upon deciding that her Ikea shelves weren’t getting the job done, Mereb began the hunt for a new set of shelves and stumbled upon Modern Shelving.
Hailing from Venezula, Mereb was drawn to Modern Shelving because it reminded her of the huge modernist movement that happened in her country. As an archivist, she also appreciated the vertical design of the shelves and the fact that they didn’t’ need be backed against a wall. The clean design works to prevent problems with humidity and collecting dust, which is a huge plus for archiving and conserving books.
After perusing the website, Mereb found a design that she liked and reached out for a quote. Mereb immediately received a response and was then asked to take measurements and send photos of her current shelving unit. After receiving the proposal she made a few tweaks and was then given a quote of the final proposal. Once she received the unit, Mereb and her husband spent the afternoon assembling the shelves and getting her books organized on the new unit.
“The thing that shocked me the most is that I have the house filled with books—not only on the previous shelf but I have books in my bedroom, under the bed, and in the closet,” says Mereb. “When I put the shelves up, I put all of my books on them and I still have room left. It occupies the exact same space as my previous shelving unit but fits three times more books because it goes all the way to the ceiling—it’s amazing.”
Mereb wears many hats as a designer. She designs covers for publishing companies as well as art directing and complete directing of projects for children’s publications. She also teaches several courses at the Center for Book Arts in New York, is a visiting scholar at Columbia University, and will soon be teaching book structures and digital design at Purchase University.
Space is limited in New York and Mereb’s apartment doubles as her home and workspace. Her living room is currently set up with her couch and books while the other part serves as the studio and houses her tables, computers, and printers. Mereb often teaches at her house in addition to hosting shows and exhibits, so her shelves serve as an art display as well as a storage solution. Another thing Mereb likes about Modern Shelving is that the units are easy to move and reassemble—she has tentative plans to reconfigure the apartment, with the shelves serving as a book wall to separate the two spaces.
“The apartment is like a transformer,” she jokes. “It’s very modular.”
Mereb is a big fan of Modern Shelving and has plans to add more shelves to her unit to accommodate her ever-growing collection of books.
“A lot of my neighbors have come to visit and they’re always asking where I got my shelves,” says Mereb. “My designer friends also have a lot of books and ask me for your website. I’m always recommending Modern Shevling because I’m really happy with my shelf.”