5 Expert Tips To Choose A Bookcase

Modern bookcases are open and friendly multi-purpose pieces of furniture. They interact with other elements of the interiors to enhance their elegance. Apart from their main purpose of storing books, you can use them to display your tasteful décor items or to arrange indoor plants.

There are many styles of bookcases available. The following tips can help you narrow your search down and decide wisely which bookcase will match your interior. So, read on and bring home your dream bookcase.

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Should I get a Standard Bookcase?

Standard bookcases come with multiple horizontal shelves. Usually, the shelves are not partitioned, so standard bookcases are ideal for you if you have large collections in different genres of books. Some designs have single or double glass doors.


2-shelf: 32"h X 31"W X 12"D

3-shelf: 41-48"H X 30-36"W X 13"D

4-shelf: 54"H X 24-45"W X 12-145/8"D

5-shelf: 72-77"H X 31-37"W X 12-13"D

Ideal settings: Wood beckons wood. Since Standard bookshelves are mostly made from wood, they will blend naturally with wood-dominated interiors. Apart from wooden furniture, also think of wooden floor, staircase, doors and window-panes, even that wooden coat-hanger in the far corner… Plus, pastel walls and green interior plants and shrubs.

White Metal Manufactured Wood Standard Bookcase
Natural Solid Manufactured Wood Standard Bookcase
Antique Cherry Manufactured Wood Standard Bookcase
Antique White Solid Manufactured Wood Standard Bookcase
Brown Solid Wood Standard Bookcase
Checked Oak Wood Metal Standard Bookcase
White Manufactured Wood Metal Standard Bookcase
Grand Walnut Manufactured Wood Standard Bookcase

How Can I use a Cube Bookcase?

Cube bookcases are based on hollow-cube design -- one of the most space-efficient forms for storage. You can have a wide range of configurations -- from a single cube that can also be your movable low table - to multiple horizontal and vertical configurations. Innovations in this style include in-built cubical bookcases that utilize recessed areas such as the space below the staircase.

Being a modular design, the sizes of cubes are variable. A basic cube is of 14"H X 14"W X 14"D. Material for cubical bookcases is wood or processed wood such as hardboard or planks.

Cube bookcases are perfect fit for most of the modern interiors due to its 'cube nature'.

Gray Paperboard Storage Cube Bookcase
White Solid Manufactured Wood Cube Bookcase
Concrete Solid Manufactured Wood Cube Unit Bookcase
White Manufactured Wood Cube Bookcase
Walnut Solid Wood Cube Bookcase
Weathered Manufactured Wood Cube Bookcase
Glass Manufactured Wood Cube Unit Bookcase
Solid Manufactured Wood Geometric Cube Bookcase

What Type Of Décor do Etageres Fit In?

This bookcase concept is adopted from the original Etagere furniture design that was meant to display small objects of art in living areas. Etagere bookcases are light and casually functional, consisting of just a frame with no back or side covers and open from the front. Symmetrical or asymmetrical shelves run across them.

When small planters, statuettes, or other décor items are displayed along with books on an Etagere stand, it transforms into a tall and elegant showpiece, the pride of your living area!

Steel and aluminum channels or tubes are commonly used to make Etagere bookstands. Wrought iron is also a popular option. Shelf bases are of wooden planks or steel plates.

These bookcases can be of varying heights, but their overall appearance is tall and graceful. Sizes vary, but a standard size is 48"H X 20"W X 13"D.

Etagere bookcases will match elegant interiors with avant-garde décor. They personify casual chic and sophistication. So, rooms with modern art, an imaginative DIY lampshade, boho curtains, maybe a bit of graffiti too! Also, think of openness and minimalistic interior designs. Etagere bookstands are made for such settings.

Rustic Oak Wood Metal Etagere Bookcase
Bronze Metal Glass Etagere Bookcase
Gold Metal Manufactured Wood Etagere Bookcase
White Metal Manufactured Wood Etagere Bookcase
White Brown Wood Etagere Bookcase
Brown Solid Wood Cast Iron Etagere Bookcase
Black Metal Glass Etagere Bookcase
Clear Silver Glass Etagere Bookcase

Will Ladder Bookcase Suit My Space?

Ladder Bookcases are bookcases shaped in the form of a ladder, with the upper part resting on the wall and the lower part about 18-20" away from the wall. They have a framed structure similarly to Etagere design.Materials for the structure and shelf base are also identical. And you can use it to showcase your small décor items along with displaying books. In short, ladder-type bookstands are a design variant of Etagere. They can be:

  • Foldable
  • Collapsible
  • Standing on legs
  • Movable with castors

Some ladder bookstands have closed cabinets in their lower part for storage.

The standard size is 72"H X 24.75"W X 16"D. Shelves are usually placed at about 12.75" height difference.

Ladder Bookcases will blend with interiors that are not heavy, static, or imposing. They are light and functional by nature, and they could be light or dark-colored.

They will connect with contrasting interiors, for example, a deep brown ladder bookstand will mesh naturally with ivory walls, bright floral curtains, a snow landscape hanging from the wall opposite the ladder.

Black Walnut Wood Metal Foldable Ladder Bookcase
White Manufactured Wood Ladder Bookcase
Gold Metal Manufactured Wood Ladder Bookcase
White Solid Manufactured Wood Ladder Bookcase
Brown Manufactured Wood Leaning Ladder Bookcase
Metal Manufactured Wood Ladder Bookcase
Natural Solid Wood Metal Ladder Bookcase
Dark Solid Manufactured Wood Ladder Bookcase

How to Choose a Library Type Bookcase?

These improvised versions of conventional library bookcases come in a wide range of designs:

  • Framed structure with shelves fixed to a thick wooden base
  • Tall cupboard-type with open shelves
  • Wide and deep with shelves on top and cabinets at the bottom
  • Low 3-piece with cabinets on sides and shelf unit in the center
  • Conventional library-type with glass doors
  • Open unit with asymmetrical shelves

Library bookcases are made with wood-glass, wood-plastic, and all-wood materials. Wood could be chestnut, maple, cherry, birch, oak, or teak.

Library type bookcases are very versatile and will fit almost any space and a lot will depend on the design and material you choose. Asymmetrical shelves will fit modern and contemporary spaces and units with glass doors will be a great match for retro style. Wooden framed structure on thick wooden base will go with rustic, French country or traditional spaces.

Vintage Solid Manufactured Wood Library Bookcase
Oak Manufactured Wood Library Bookcase
Brown Wood Open Library Bookcase
Sandy Gray Manufactured Wood Library Bookcase
Walnut Beech Solid Wood Library Bookcase
White Manufactured Wood Library Bookcase
Rustic Wood Metal Library Bookcase
Small Manufactured Wood Library Bookcase

Lily is a modern designer with great appreciation for sleek architecture, a love for art in its many forms, and a passion for sharing her experience with people. If you’re looking for advice on how to modernize your old-fashioned place or make your new restaurant a visual blast, she’s definitely the one to ask.