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7 functional yet beautiful bookshelves

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modern  by KSR Architects, Modern
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As long as books have existed, so too has our need to store and present these wonderful works of literary art. The humble bookshelf is easily one of the most important shelving units in the home. Not only does it hold the obvious collection of reading material, but it is also a stylish place to organise a variety of home accoutrements. Ornamentation, objet d’art, curios, electronics, linen, and crockery are just a few items that a bookcase can carry. As well as being a practical workhorse of home storage, bookshelves also come in countless different styles and designs. There are built-in units, stand-alone systems, wall to floor library shelving, and simple compact units. Bookcases also come in a range of prices, from the extravagant statement making pieces, to run-of-the-mill items, you are sure to find a bookshelf to suit your budget, décor, and taste. 

If you would like a little more inspiration, and some helpful ideas to choose your bookshelf, take a peek at the following examples, and purchase your new furniture with certainty.

A stylish statement

scandinavian  by We Do Wood, Scandinavian
We Do Wood

SJ Bookcase Large & Midi

We Do Wood

If you want to make a statement with your bookshelf, why not create a statement feature wall? This exciting collection of crate-like boxes are affixed to the wall to provide a neat way to store all manner of books, ornaments, music, or knick-knacks. The key to ensuring this style looks trendy and not overdone, is to carefully pick and choose what you will and will not display. Choose books and pieces that bring you happiness, and avoid anything that is unappealing to the eye.

Sleek and contemporary

Perfectly sleek and uber-contemporary, this bookshelf is an excellent example of a piece of furniture that will suit almost all home interiors. From traditional to modern, this dark timber veneer shelf is a brilliant illustration of furniture which can transend any home decorative theme, while imparting a sense of elegance and smartness to the space.

Perfect for small spaces

scandinavian  by And Then Design Limited, Scandinavian
And Then Design Limited

Lean man Shelves and Isaac

And Then Design Limited

These days we often live in small or compact homes—finding a bookshelf that can provide ample storage space for important reading material, without looking or feeling intrusive and cumbersome, can often be a difficult task. This bookshelf is an excellent example of a compact and stylish piece of furniture. Although it may only hold a dozen books, this shelf creates a space that can easily hold your important reading material, while you keep less popular titles stored away neatly.

Industrial and useful

This beautiful bookshelf and storage system from Inspirit is a ingeniously designed piece of furniture that will suit many varying décor and home designs. Configurable into different arrangements, this is a brilliant idea for a loft apartment, or an interior that embraces an industrial ambience. Constructed from repurposed timber, you can store more than just books upon these shelves. Think outside the box, and incorporate some fresh flowers, curios, and plentiful objet d’art.

Built in bookshelves

Built in bookshelves are often one of the most common ways to store books at home. They look sleek, contained, clean, and can be built or modified to suit almost décor or architectural style. From traditional or heritage décor, to uber-contemporary style, a built in or recessed bookshelf is an ideal way to store your reading material.

Inventive child’s room

Girls' Bedroom Modern nursery/kids room by homify Modern

Girls' Bedroom


A child’s room needn’t have a boring or standard bookshelf, and this example shows a wonderful alternative. Tree-like in design and construction, this is an exciting way to get your little ones interested in their book collection. Forget those novels that get pushed into the corner of a shelf never to see the light of day, this shelf is guaranteed to give those books the space and light they deserve.

Library-esque style

modern  by KSR Architects, Modern
KSR Architects

Thurlow Road 1

KSR Architects

When you want to evoke that at-home-library feeling, a tall floor to ceiling bookshelf is the only way to go. This example perfectly illustrates how beautifully a dark timber book shelf can be implemented and infuse a sense of scholarly importance and intrigue. Pair this bookshelf with the obligatory rolling ladder, plenty of space to sit, and some ornamentation to balance the volume of books on display.

Modern houses by Casas inHAUS Modern

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