Bookshelves are a necessity in almost every home, but they don’t have to be basic or boring. The designs available today are varied and cool, and bookshelves come in all decor styles to fit your personality and home. Choices includes small units to hold selected volumes and decor accessories to large, full-wall style for bibliophiles of all types.
Distinctive shelves can be fashioned from upcycled materials and designer Adam Fullerton has transformed discarded radiator pieces into the frame for a lovely accent bookshelf. Rough hewn planks left in a natural state, rather than stained or painted, and the right choice for the shelves within. It is compact enough to fit almost any space and can display books, bookends and accessories. This style could also be used in place of a console if space is tight.
Slightly larger is this stackable unit. Versatile and suitable for any room, it’s the kind of bookshelf where you can display selected books and store piles of paperbacks inside the cupboards. This keeps the look clean and showcases your special volumes.
Making the most use of a space is easy with a shelving unit. In addition to serving as an entertainment center, this bookshelf from Amuneal can store books, magazines and display accessories. While a wall-sized unit can seem too large for a smaller home, it offers plenty of space for books and other items. Larger shelving units also create a more unified look in a room, rather than an assemblage of mixed pieces.
Shelving units come in all kinds of styles. This one from the Casati Gallery is a wooden masterpiece that is portable yet sturdy thanks to the supports that press against the ceiling. With this method, you can have a narrower depth without the danger of the unit timing over. The remarkable woodwork along the columns makes the bookshelf a showstopper.
Some book lovers have loads of books and need a full wall of shelves. That said, it does not have to be a standard boo wall. This curved bookcase has a massive amount of space and adds a unique design element to the room thanks to its curved profile. A variety of shelf sizes allows for the storage of large and small books without wasting a ton of space.
A feature wall full of shelving does not have to be boring. This floor-to-ceiling library, wall-to-wall shelving unit from Lema includes standard spaces for books and a center lighted section for accessories or a special collection. Whether it’s in a family room, living room, home office or bedroom, it’s definitely the dominant feature of the space.
If a built-in unit is not possible or desirable, individual bookshelves can be combined to create a room divider or feature wall. These shelves from Noir feature angled shelves and dividers that give it a different look. Because the books are accessible from both sides, it is a natural as a room divider. It could also be places along a wall just like standard bookshelves.
Bookshelves are also available that provide more closed than open storage. This style is particularly functional for smaller spaces where you might want to display fewer books and store more items behind closed doors. This unit has added interest with the shades of gray that accent the fronts of the closed units. The dark frame is a modern counterpoint.
Those who prefer taller, more spare designs will like this bookshelf that goes well in a minimalist or Scandinavian style room. The clean lines and pale wood make it versatile and unobtrusive and the design is an innovative one. It is also perfect for combining books and decor accessories on the shelves.
A similar height and profile is found in this bookshelf from woodworker Wyatt Speight Rhue. The sleek shelves have ledges to keep books in place and the bottom section has a larger, open section for bigger books or the items. The top of the lowest section is ample enough to hold extra large books and accessories.
Tall and slim but in a different way, Twils‘ bookshelf is lighted, vertical and very tall. The thinner unit runs perpendicular to the main shelves, and the lights are a perfect way to highlight favorite books. Lesser viewed volumes should go at the top! This type of bookshelf is a wonderful accent for tall spaces and highlights the height of your ceiling, making the space seem taller.
For smaller spaces — or smaller book collections — this bookshelf from the Fragments Collection is a unique piece for displaying books. Made with bluestone and different types of marble, designer Lex Potts created this shelf that is actually a series of three-sided rectangles stacked within each other, creating the shelves and layers of color.
For some, flexibility is important and Muuto’s bookshelf is comprised of individual units that you can attach and stack to fit your space and needs. Some sections are open and some are closed, allowing you to include the style that works for your collection of books and decor pieces. Stash the magazines and paperbacks behind closed doors and display hardbacks and current reads on the more accessible shelves. The company also has few baskets you can use in the shelf to corral other items and keep things tidy.
A very artful take on the bookshelf is this piece by Paulo Alves of Brazil. The Forest Shelf is a play on the concept of wood and a forest. Asymmetrical lines feature on the front and back, supporting the wooden shelves. The unit is free standing and can serves as a room divider as well as bookshelf, thanks to the tree-like structure on both sides. Alves was inspired by traditional Brazilian concrete artists, who create their desired design using simple angles and planes.
Whimsical bookshelves are nothing new. In fact, back in 1940, Italy’s Franco Albini designed the Veliero bookcase, meant to evoke the rigging of a sailing sailboat. Even more intricate is the pillar structure that suspends glass shelving using steel rods. Although he made the challenging piece only for himself, Cassina started producing it in 2011, after solving some of the structural aspects while staying true to Albini’s vision.
This bookshelf not only has an unusual shelving style, it hinges in the middle of the narrower right-hand section, folding into a deeper and slimmer unit. The transformative shelf from Potocco is versatile, in case you want to move it to a new location in your home or want to change up a room.
The Friends Bookshelf from Sentient is a very avant garde design that is as much art piece as book shelf. The compact shelf is suitable for any space and will bring added attention to your books and accessories thanks to the unusual shape and lines.