Top positive review
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Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, or the shelving unit with a split personality
on May 8, 2009
We're a family of bookworms who've had to get creative about adding linear feet of shelving. We also love oversize hardbound books and folios, so we need sturdy storage. A few months ago, I found these low-rise units on Amazon and realized they would fit in some unused space under a picture window. I ordered a single unit as kind of a test run to see how I liked the shelf in person -- color, stability, durability.
That shelf rated a solid six stars. I easily assembled it solo (instructions call for two-person assembly); the wood pieces were true and of reassuring heft, so I was able to put heavy books on both lower shelves and smaller items surrounded by movable decorative bookends on the top shelf (you could easily leave it bare or put collectibles there).
Unfortunately, the second piece I ordered had flaws in terms of the coloring of the finish. Because two of the three shelves and both of the rear rails are reversible, I was able to minimize the visual impact. I'm using these as bookshelves, the color issue is not a problem, but I wanted to note it for those who may be considering leaving most of the wood visible. Winsome's basket sets certainly would cover any areas and are designed to work with this line of shelves.
After a vigorous internal debate, as hinted at by the title of this review, I've given this shelf four stars. For me, the positives outweigh the negatives. It's sturdy, it's solid wood, I love the espresso tone, and it's a good value. As of this writing in May 2009, this product is sorted into the "bathroom" category and it does seem as though it would handle the humidity. However, to my mind it is well suited for a bedroom, living room or home office.