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Luxury Shelving: 10 Modern Bookshelf Ideas for Your Home Library

Stephanie Kratz
|
May 20, 2020

A home library is perfect for curling up with a book after a long day at work or inviting friends over for a late-night cocktail. Interior designers can help make your home library dreams come true. 

The first step is to decide what kind of shelves you want in your library. Are you looking for modern bookshelf ideas? Keep reading below to get inspired before reaching out to a designer. 

1. The 'Classic' Built-In Bookcases

They call built-ins “classic” for a reason. Besides being the most popular choice for bookshelf designs, they also come in a variety of sizes, styles, and colors. 

Hire a professional to custom build them and the shelves will fit like a glove in your home.

When considering built-in bookshelves for your home, one tip is to think about your space and how you interact with it daily. How could you change the room to feel more satisfied and improve its overall functionality?

You should also use timeless materials for shelving so you aren’t regretting your style years down the road. 

2. Build a Traditional Mahogany Study

You don’t have to watch the BBC to get your fix of mahogany and leather-bound books. An interior designer can help turn your fantasy into reality.

The mahogany-clad study is especially popular among men. Their favorite part is ordering the furniture and accessories for the room, including a captain’s chairs, ornate cigar boxes, and wooden desks. 

Finding a chesterfield sofa and vintage rug for your space is also recommended. Don’t forget to pick up as many antique books as you can to fill your shelves.  

3. Install a Rolling Library Ladder

Get a library ladder to find the exact title you want to read.

There is more than one kind of ladder to choose from. Most library ladders are custom-made to fit your space and needs.

They come in three styles: straight, bent, and freestanding with a platform. You also have the option of getting them in aluminum or wood, as well as with multiple wood finishes and matching hardware.

4. Enjoy Curving Wood Shelves

Why be boxed in when you can install curving wood shelves? Transform an entire wall into a tidal wave of books or opt for floating curved shelves to hold keepsakes or decor. 

Curved shelves bring an organic or surreal feeling to your space, and can be a design solution for any uneven walls in your home. 

While they look amazing, having curved shelves can result in wasted space or guests knocking into things. The problem is most furniture is designed in rectangles, which won’t fit snug against a rounded shelf.

5. Fireside Book Shelves

No cozy home library is complete without a fireplace. At night you can snuggle next to a crackling fire with a good book and glass of red wine. 

Reach out to a professional designer or architect to install your bookshelves so the chimney isn’t damaged in the process. They'll also customize the job how you want it.

You can choose to go rustic with earthy wood and neutral colors, or modern with sleek white and vibrant wall colors. 

The only caveat for bookshelves around your fireplace is that it can leave a black residue on your books, which is problematic if your collection is old and expensive.

6. Floor-to-Ceiling Shelves

There’s no reason to be shy about your book collection. Display everything proudly with floor-to-ceiling shelves

Just like built-in bookcases, this style can be customized for most spaces. It helps to be open-minded to layouts based on the shape of your room. 

Build them flat against a wall, to the top of cathedral ceilings, or around a doorway. Think about which cool bookshelf design works best for your style. Get creative!

7. Modern Bookshelf Ideas: Open Concept

Open shelving is a trendy option to show off your unique personality and spice up the design of any room. 

If you aren't ready to make a shelving commitment, the open style is perfect because it's easier to move and rearrange. Although open shelves stress variety, a pitfall is they can easily appear cluttered.

The other thing to consider is what will be on display for everyone to see. 

8. Custom Built Creative Bookshelves

Real artsy folks may decide to custom-build unique wall shelves. The sky’s the limit with this kind of project. 

Some people may want to transform a giant piece of driftwood they found into a corner shelf. Others may want a metallic spiral twisting on their living room wall or a combination bookshelf/bunk bed for the kids.  

You should sit down with your interior designer and plan out your vision. 

9. Select the Best Bookshelf Lighting

One thing you shouldn’t forget is good lighting for your bookshelves. This is a finishing touch that will make it pop for you and your guests.

LED lights are the best choice for a bookshelf because they don’t emit a lot of heat and will last longer than traditional bulbs. 

Besides deciding where to install or mount your lights, you also need to choose the right temperature of LED lamps. This determines whether the light is warm or stark.

Warmer lights typically work better with bookshelves, but it’s all a matter of preference. 

10. Don’t Neglect Bookshelf Storage

And last, but certainly not least, don’t forget to ask about bookshelf storage. Obviously, your shelves will hold books, picture frames, and small decor items. 

But, some shelving units come with additional storage. These are ways to keep your life organized if you have small children, too many hobbies, or a propensity to hoard.

If you’re getting bookshelves custom built into a room, perhaps inquire about cabinets or systems to put things neatly away. 

Want to Speak With an Interior Designer?

Don’t let another day go by without having the home library of your dreams. Consider the ideas we mentioned and reach out to an interior designer to find out what else is possible for your designer bookshelf.

An interior designer will consider important design attributes like symmetry, contrast, harmony, boldness, comfort, playfulness, and coordination. Some projects can be done on your own, but it’s better to let the professionals handle it. 

Reach out to Stephanie Kratz about modern bookshelf ideas and read more of this blog for her tips on home design. 


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