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12 Tips for Better Bookshelves
Ready for your ‘shelfie’? You will be after checking out these fresh design ideas for the bookshelf.
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Great books make a great bookshelf, but there can be more to the story. The designers of this New York City loft gave the classic built-in bookshelf a new plot twist by covering the back with wallpaper.
Design: Anne Maxwell Foster and Suysel dePedro Cunningham
Punch It Up
Painting a bookshelf is an easy way to add drama. This built-in is coated in Benjamin Moore’s “Silhouette.” Red undertones make the gray super sultry, a powerful contrast to the white fireplace surround and molded-plaster ceiling.
Design: Michael Abrams
Beyond the Built-In
Bookshelves don’t have to be bookcases. Étagères lend lots of space to display books, collected pieces, and accessories while keeping a room light and airy.
Design: Nancy Galasso, Diane Karmen, and Thom Bellucci
Weaving a Story
Grasscloth adds an interesting layer of texture and color inside the shelf cubes of a media center.
Design: Marie Flanigan
How’s this for a different take on the bookshelf? A patinaed secretary houses favorite titles and some fun accessories that would make Poe proud.
Design: Jen Going
Don’t stop at framing a doorway with built-in shelves—run them over the door opening, too. They draw the eye up to gorgeous crown molding and infuse a white wall with a mix of color that’s as interesting as the latest best seller.
Design: Blair Harris
Setting airy shelves against a wall covered in nature-inspired paper gives this room a unique feel. Having avian friends perched nearby is the next best thing to working outside.
Design: Blair Harris
Designer and color pro Celerie Kemble had the bookshelf interiors in this apartment painted green to bring order to the colorful chaos of the books.
Design: Celerie Kemble
Don’t Be a Square
A shape shift in the design of built-in bookcases can give them a whole new mood. Tastemaker Colette van den Thillart put a French spin on this family home, including the library. Knotted white pine walls wear a moody custom tint.
Design: Colette van den Thillart
Set against linen-white walls, this barely-there bookcase is designed fade away and let the objects and art pieces it holds be the stars.
Design: Joe Parisi and Donna Martin
Mix Things Up
Can’t decide whether to paint or wallpaper behind your shelves? Do both! Here, acrylic-backed fabric wallcovering frames the bed niche while a warm neutral hue pulled from the fabric cozies up the surrounding shelf cubbies.
Design: Heather Dewberry and Will Huff
Fit Your Style
Bookshelves don’t have to be symmetrical. This white oak veneer beauty offers up a variety of shapes and sizes in its design, giving it energy and providing spaces that are just the right fit for a variety of objects from books to art to small statues.
Design: Jennifer McGee