There’s nothing nicer than a room full of vintage books: shelves, stacks or piles on the floor; they do wonders to cheer up even the smallest of spaces and one of the few things with which you can really experiment.
Bookshelves come in all shapes, sizes, styles and finishes, and with a growing fascination for ever more modern design, it can often be quite hard to find something simple. With bookshelves, I think the bigger the better. Floor to ceiling bookcases or bespoke shelving to fit under stairs will likely need to be specially made but if you’re after a simple, tall bookcase then the University range from Julian Chichester is ideal. Available in three sizes, the University bookcase can have a range of vellum finishes or can be made with classic (and very elegant) eglomise inserts. The frame itself is fairly thin and so once this is filled, it will be the books that have the impact. To make a bit more of this as a piece of furniture, have the odd gap in between rows of books for ornaments or bookends. One of these University bookcases works very well on it’s own but as ever, when there’s a range of similar styles, consider experimenting with different pieces and put a few of them together to create your own unique library.
University Bookcase in Large
If you have an absolute mass of books and want to show them off as well as store them, then consider a Kitchen dresser as a way of doing both. This idea obviously only works if you have the space; a dresser or display cabinet will absolutely cripple a smaller room, especially one with low ceilings so keep this idea for a large Hall or big Drawing Room. The great thing about this dresser from Fontaine Decorative at Decorative Collective is that the cupboards underneath are perfect for storing masses of books, whilst the glass doors can display all your favourite titles. Group series together, coordinate them by colour or juxtapose the antique with the new by storing magazines in this rather lovely rustic dresser.
Bleached Oak Triple Doored Glazed Bookcase
For something a bit more modern, a ladder style shelf is a bit quirkier and would work in a slightly more contemporary home. Piles of books can be placed horizontally as well as stacked vertically and the width of these shelves mean that they are a good option for when space is restricted. Consider a pair of these either side of your bed as an alternative to a bedside table or on a narrow Landing for something that perfectly strikes the balance between fun and functional. Ladder style storage is very popular at the moment and you’ll be able to find a use for it in the majority of rooms.
White Wide Leaning Bookcase
Although there are endless wonderful bookcases and bookshelves around, wall space is often overlooked as a great place to store your various tomes. Wall shelving inevitably comes in every shape, colour and material from wood and glass to plastic and metal so the first thing to do is make sure that you choose the right material and texture for your wall. It sounds obvious but black shelves against a white wall won’t look right next to period furniture or traditional portraits for example. Secondly, make absolutely sure what weight the shelf can hold. Bracket-less shelves (the floating style) will hold far less than a cubed shelf for example and the last thing you want is to overload it and it fall off the wall.
With floating/wall shelves, there’s also the problem of how to hold the books up. The Franco set solves this problem by having the frame act as a bookend but for shelves that are open-ended, perhaps think about having your books stacked horizontally, rather than vertically. With shelves like these you can display and store books however you like, creating a feature wall of books to tie in with your own interiors.
Franco Two-Piece Floating Shelf Set
Nina Floating Shelf
Whether it’s under the stairs; in a corner, above a desk, by the bed or in a tiny alcove, there are so many ways of storing and displaying your books. We always have more books than we think and so it’s worth putting some thought into how you’re going to create, and enjoy your mini Library.
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