Shelving Ideas to Satisfy Your Inner Book Nerd
Fit more of your favourite books into your home with these stylish book storage strategies
Books are the pretty face of the built-in storage in this home with a sliding door concealing more mundane objects within the same unit. This design is set on the staircase, but the principle could be used in an open-plan layout with a block of storage at the centre and seating, eating and cooking areas beyond.
Standard bookshelves can waste vertical space with shelves set far too far apart for paperbacks. This bookcase solves the problem with individual shelves positioned with just enough height for them, packing more in from above-desk level. Alongside, deeper shelves have been fitted to accommodate hardbacks and taller formats.
Calling in a pro or making to measure yourself is the way to squeeze in the paperbacks, but do make sure the shelves aren’t so crammed from side to side that you can’t pull the books out.
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This idea would work on a landing or in a nook created by your home’s architecture, and while this space allows for lengthy shelves and a chaise, even small areas can fit shelves if your collection needs a place to go.
This area is filled with natural light that makes it ideal for reading, and the colour scheme of the shelves is reflected in the soft furnishings to stylish effect.
This room multiplies book space by going around the door as well as either side. Although these are double doors, you don’t need grandeur to repeat this storage-boosting trick. Neither does an above-door shelf have to be echoed by shelving either side if the wall space is required for other furnishings.
Tip: Keep the volumes you aren’t going to take down often in this lofty position.
Even a narrow addition to a home can be a place to fit more volumes, as seen in this unusual side return conversion. Here, the wall-hung desk is accompanied by matching book shelving. In the niche created by the panelling, the look is streamlined and neat. Teamed with the tiled floor, the colours of the books help to bring colour and personality to the small space.
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Think only grand country houses benefit from library ladders? Here, the owners have taken advantage of the height of the room to fit shelving right up to the ceiling either side of the chimney breast. Since it’s not easily reachable, a library ladder’s been added so the whole book collection is accessible.
This room’s library ladder and track have a traditional look, but specialist sellers offer designs with lighter, contemporary lines, too.
In this room, extra space for bedtime reads has been fitted into a headboard unit that also has room for a reading light. It’s a great solution for a small room where there’s limited floor space and even wall-hung shelves would intrude into the room’s passageway or sleep space.
Note how natural warmth’s been added to the all-pale space with the grain of the wood showing at the back of the shelves.
If a library is your dream and the reality is not in this lifetime, how about following this room’s example and install shelving all round? Made-to-measure shelving is a sound strategy here as you can limit the depth of the shelving to ensure there’s sufficient floor space left for seating. The downside is that you won’t be able to reach shelves behind a sofa or side table readily.
The upside? The decorative presence of the books, which work just like patterned wallpaper with the effect enhanced here by their reflection in the mirror.
Like the area either side of a chimney breast, the space beside a staircase or under a flight of stairs is a book-storing opportunity waiting to be exploited. Here, the woodwork’s been painted in a subtle shade, leaving the books as the standout feature, but it’s simple to make the shelving an attention-grabber with a strong colour instead.
This room makes a display of books by putting the covers rather than the spines face out to the room. You can still fit plenty of titles in this way by overlapping different sized books, and re-arranging the selection to give different covers prominence from time to time has the same effect as swapping an artwork in changing the feel of the room.
Picture shelves with lips will keep the display in place and are available on the high street and in DIY sheds.
What solutions have you found to make space for your books? Show us or tell us in the Comments section.