The classic of the bunch, Alvar Aalto’s 1936 design is the quintessence of Scandinavian modernism. Better still, the 112B is deep and wide enough to handle a potted plant and your Finnish–English dictionary without losing its functional elegance. It looks great hung alone or with a small squadron of other 112Bs.
If the devil is in the details, then we’d be even more enamored of Aalto’s design if the screws that affix the hanging brackets to the shelf weren’t exposed.
The understated simplicity of the design and its $425 price tag may chafe when your friends ask (understandably) if you got the shelf at Ikea.