After moving to a new apartment in a Georgian house, we needed some bigger than normal shelving units to be the right scale for the higher ceilings. I've always loved the old school retro/warehouse look of the Ralph Lauren shops, so after a bit of Googling I found an awesome company who have actually made units for them (http://shop.retro.net/?page_id=579). If I was in the states I would have gladly bought some, but not wanting to ship them over to London it was time to get a pen, a post-it and a cup of coffee....
Step 1: The Design
My original idea was to simply copy the shelves I'd seen, so I started looking for scaffolding poles and a way to cut them. This lead me to Kee Klamp (http://keesystems.com/), an awesome system of poles and clamps - or Klamps :) - that you can literally build anything with as long as you have an Allen Key.
The original design I'd seen had each shelf supporting the next by using the flange bases (http://goo.gl/9HOiY). The only problem with this was that I'd need to do a lot of pole cutting and the height between the shelves would be forever fixed. If I changed the design so that the poles were at the edges of the shelves rather then between them, I could keep the poles as one long length and use the side mounting clamps (http://goo.gl/UcFBh) at whatever height the shelves needed to be. I also saw that double clamps were available (http://goo.gl/2DZVE), so by rejigging the design I could make one long shelving unit rather than three separate ones and share the mountings and pole between them.