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Shelf Life: How to Place and Style Bookcases

Let's talk about the unsung hero of the furniture world: the bookcase. We all own or have used one before, but we don't fully recognize their versatility. Despite their name, bookcases are not just for books. Where you put them depends entirely on what you want to use them for.

Living Room & Home Office

These are probably the most common homes for bookcases, especially if you want to house your library. If you want to add intrigue, try stylish, modern figurines and art between books or on the top or bottom of the bookcase. Play with different heights and be sure the shelves have balance – a larger object will be your focal point, and you can work around it with smaller objects to fill the space.


If you have a small entryway or don't have one at all, you can use a bookcase as a drop zone spot. Keep shoes, scarves, keys, and more handy.


An étagère or a narrow bookcase works great as extra bathroom storage and organization. You can keep all of your essentials within reach, especially if you're lacking in drawers and cabinets.

Room Divider

Yes, a bookcase can act as a room divider in a shared space, dual-purpose room, or just a small space that you want to appear larger. Use a bookcase with no back so it looks great at every angle.

TV Stand

Your DVD and Blu-ray library needs a home too, so why not use a low-sitting bookcase as a TV stand? Just be sure to pay attention to weight capacities.

Shoe Rack

Create the look of custom shelving with modular bookcases you can stack for all the shoe storage you need. You can keep this in your closet, bedroom, or entryway.

Closet Organizer

If you need more space for clothes and other accessories, add a bookcase to your closet space (or anywhere in your bedroom). This is a great option if you don't have a dresser or just want more room.

Bar & Kitchen Storage

Use a bookcase you love as a dining buffet or a spot to display your beloved barware. You can place a corner bookcase, a short bookcase, or a tall, narrow bookcase in your rec room, dining space, or home bar area.

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