Gone are the days of bookshelves only being for books. Sure, you can display your impressive library, but with the right piece, you can also make a style statement and showcase favorite art work, picture frames, plants, and more. But where to start?
First, assess your needs. Determine whether or not you have a massive book collection to store, a few reading materials with some artful accessories, a little of both, or maybe you just have some negative space on the wall you’d like to fill. Once you gauge what you want, it’s time to go over key points for shopping for your new, multi-tasking bookcase.
Measure the space you are working with. That will help narrow down the size of bookcases to focus on in a sea of options. Be sure to measure shelf space if you choose a bookcase with fixed shelving. Factor in head room above the books as well.
Bookcases will serve the purpose you are looking to solve regardless of material. However, material does play into how long a bookcase will last as well as how easy it is to move. Solid hardwoods and metals are an investment piece and will last you longer. On the flip side, they are much heavier and more cumbersome to move. Wood veneers and plywood are common materials used in bookcases, great choices for rustic or more traditional décor themes.
3.) Adjustable Shelves
Customize your storage and play around with different heights to suit your needs. Not all books and décor are created equal, so if you have varying sizes and want the freedom to change up your items, adjustable shelves might be the way to go.
4.) Open Back Bookcases
Do you share a space or want to give the illusion of a larger room? An open back bookcase works well as a room divider, and it’s accessible from the front and back. Open back bookcases can be placed anywhere, not just against a wall or in a corner.
5.) On Display or Hidden Away
Consider a bookcase with doors and/or drawers to hide any unwanted clutter or items you don’t want on display. Bookcases with doors are also known as bookcase cabinets. They have the added security of keeping contents concealed and dust-free. A display bookcase, or an open bookcase, is more common and not only stores your items but displays them also. If you have mementos, pictures, or art work that you love, a display bookcase is for you.
6.) Finish & Style
What looks good in one space may not suit another, so consider all finish options (even bold colors, if you so desire). Have an open mind with style too. For instance, if your style is more on the modern side, you might be surprised to find that a rustic, weathered bookcase fits in perfectly.
7.) Types of Bookcases
Choice is a beautiful thing. Read on to learn more about the different types of bookcases and find the perfect fit for your space and storage.
This one might be obvious, but these are the basic, freestanding bookcases in either vertical or horizontal styles. Designed to sit flush against a wall and shelves to hold regular-sized books, this type of bookcase is available in a range of heights and widths.
Want something that’s still functional but with a little more oomph? We got you. Decorative bookcases and étagères will hold and display whatever you want, but they also double as a style statement in your home. If you need a dose of glam, mid-century modern, or industrial in your living room or home office, there’s a bookcase for that.
Designed to look like stacked cabinets, these bookcases are more formal looking with flip-up glass or solid doors. If you’re all about vintage, traditional styles, or you have a more professional space, a barrister bookcase will compliment your classic sensibilities.
Cube bookcases can do anything (seriously). They can stack, store shoes, work as closet storage, hold baskets, display your TV, and more that we haven’t even thought of. This type is ideal if you want a more modern, casual cubby-style bookcase that can be expanded in width or height.
A great space-saving design, the leaning or ladder bookcase will lend casual style to any room. The shelves start out larger on the bottom and get narrower toward the top, so you can play around with different items and create a unique focal point.
Every bookworm has an idea of what they want their dream book display to look like, and it starts with a library or wall bookcase. If you have the extra space, you can even dedicate an entire room to library bookcases. Even if you decide to house it in a smaller space or a dual-purpose room, just make sure you have an empty wall available (or two, if it’s a corner configuration).