10 Creative Locations for Built-In Bookshelves

From on October 07, 2008 in General Remodel

Built-in BookcaseIf you are like me, you will not get rid of a single book you have; you will probably read it again or need the information in it. You’ve likely had to ask yourself numerous times, “Where in the world will I put all my books?” If space is a problem, then built-in bookshelves make perfect sense.

Here are some creative ideas for locations – some pretty conventional and some, well, they just might fit your twist of imagination and decor style!

  1. A full, wall-to-ceiling bookshelf. The bookshelf can even surround a focal point in the center. Imagine shelves built around French doors leading to a porch or the fireplace … stunning. Built into the wall space, the bookshelf should use only about 12 inches of floor space. It will easily accommodate all those books and some decorative items for character.
  2. A closed-off area such as a closet or stairwell leading to a loft is a perfect double use of space. There is usually plenty of room within the wall to build into, and the books make perfect insulation for sound.
  3. Exposed rafters are usually found in open space floor plans. If that space is a little cramped, those rafters can be converted to a perfect place for books! A shelf across the beams with an attached sliding ladder will do the trick.
  4. A corner or small wall with little other use except hanging a picture, can easily be made into a built-in shelf with a built-in cabinet below. Great for keeping books organized. This type of built-in works well under the window space, with the window sill becoming a nice shelf.
  5. Use an archway. Then build shelves, with cabinetry or without, all the way to the floor or above the archway, depending on how much shelving you need. These can be made even more interesting by using track lighting to highlight any art work infused with the shelves.
  6. Whether you have a window seat in your mudroom or kitchen nook, the window is an ideal place to build shelves around for cook books, school books, and arts and crafts books. This is a great idea for any window seat element in any room – the kid’s room for study or the bay window for reading and relaxation time.
  7. I saw this one at 15 More Creative and Unique Bookcases and Bookshelves, it was a chair with the frame as the bookshelf. It looked very interesting and could match some interesting decors, especially for dorms.
  8. How about creating a secret door leading to another room – very mysterious. Back the door with a bookshelf that opens up to a home office or the play room for the kids.
  9. Turn the guest room into a library by converting the headboard of the bed into a bookshelf, either full-wall or arms length. Attach swing-out reading lamps and send your guests away to their evening reading adventures.
  10. If you have a large open room that is divided up by furniture areas, build bookshelves around the main posts of the room, tying all your room spaces together.


Well, that’s 10 ideas. For more, check out this link: The Best Bookcases and Bookcase Designs and our built-in bookcase photos. What are your ideas? Let us know.

Photo by Seamus R. Cudden Construction