I’ve had a slight obsession with bookshelves ever since I got into design. I love the idea of displaying your books in an artistic way. If you are low on art, for example, just put some shelves in, throw some art books on them and, poof, you’ve got something interesting to look at! Above is an example of industrial shelving used to house books in a workspace. I was so inspired by this idea a few years ago, that I attempted it myself.
While it looked cool in that messy kind of way, it wasn’t as practical as one might think. We stored everything in it: books, dvds, records, cd’s, magazines and even the stereo system. In this sense, it was useful since in this particular apartment, we were quite short on storage space. The shelves themselves were from Home Depot.
Before we attempted the industrial look, it was IKEA all the way. These are the “Billy” shelves, with two extensions on top. What is great about these shelves is that they attach to the wall and aren’t that deep. It allows for a more classic, library look.
In our current space in CVille, we’ve tried a combo deal. Both the wall mounted shelves and the bookcase are from IKEA. The bigger books are down below, while the smaller books go on the wall, and then resting atop the bookcase are current favorite art books and stacks of old Domino magazines. Displaying the books in this way has made the inherently formal room feel more casual.
Some tips from a bookshelf-aholic:
- Stack books horizontally and vertically. Not only does this look more interesting, but also allows for more storage possibilities.
- Hang framed art in the middle of the shelves, if at all possible. The mix of hanging art against a backdrop of books creates a great layered look.
- Put the books that you reference often in the most readily available position.
- It always looks nice to group similarly sized books together.
- If you have high ceilings, use that to your advantage. There’s nothing more dramatic than floor-to-ceiling shelving.
- If you can’t reach the top shelf, get a foot stool or latter. In addition to being necessary/practical, it’s such a cool and sophisticated look!
First image via LoftLife.