How to Choose the Perfect Bookcase

How to Choose the Perfect Bookcase: Bookcases are not usually thought of as necessities when it’s time to choose furniture for your home décor unless you have a sizable book collection. But bookcases are wonderful additions to any room, and before choosing one, you first have to determine the size you need. That will be determined by the number of items you have and the space available for a bookcase.

Start by taking measurements to figure out the dimensions you should look for. The height, width, and depth are all important. If you are storing large volume books, you’ll need deep shelves. Standard hard and soft covers can fit on any traditional bookcase.

If you don’t have a lot of floor space, corner bookshelves are the answer. They’re slim and tall, so they’ll use more vertical wall space. A grand, ornate bookshelf is the right fit when space isn’t the issue. It will be a focal point, so choose wisely. You don’t want a piece that clashes with the current décor.

“wp-image-138348 size-full” title=”How to Choose the Perfect Bookcase” src=”” alt=”How to Choose the Perfect Bookcase” width=”1000″ height=”667″ /> How to Choose the Perfect Bookcase

How to Choose the Perfect Bookcase

Bookcases can be bulky, so if you have an open floor plan, you’ll want to go with an open design. A piece without a back that allows you to see through the shelves won’t disrupt your line of sight or the room’s free-flowing pattern. If there are areas you want to designate as their own space, use the open bookcases as room dividers to enhance the design.

A bookshelf for bedroom storage is a great way to show your creative side. Store one in a walk-in closet to give for folded clothes. Use this instead of a dresser, and you’ll be able to see and easily access your clothing. Do you need someplace to keep your shoe collection? A bookcase is a right choice. It’s also perfect for purses and overnight bags you use often.

The shelves are also great for bulky winter sweaters. Place your bed linens and comforters on them, and you won’t have to add more furniture to the space. Having room to move around is essential to every room’s design.

Bedside tables

Have you considered using smaller versions as bedside tables? If not, you should. The surface space gives you enough room for lamps, eyeglasses, water bottles, and other items you keep close while in bed.

Keep your tablet or laptop on the shelves next to any reading materials you like to peruse before bed. If you don’t have enough room for bedside tables, then a bookcase headboard for your bed will do the trick.

Bathroom Bookcase

Bathrooms are another room you may not think to place a bookcase in, but they have their uses here as well. Use the shelves to store tissue boxes, bath towels, liquid soap, and more. Find one with a cabinet for extra toilet paper and hand towels.

They’re great for guest bathrooms as you can keep travel-sized toothbrushes and toothpaste available for visitors. Decorative soaps and oil diffusers can line the shelves to give the bathroom a luxury spa feel and make your guests feel like they’re on vacation.

Dining Room

Place one in the dining room to display unique plates and silverware you only use for formal dinner parties. When entertaining, use it as a dessert bar. Place small plates of cakes, pies, and other sweets on the surface for guests to grab as they interact with one another. A beverage station is another way to utilize the bookshelf. A punch bowl surrounded by cups or a hot beverage bar will keep visitors happy.

“wp-image-138349 size-full” title=”Dining Room Bookcase” src=”” alt=”Dining Room Bookcase” width=”1000″ height=”667″ /> Dining Room Bookcase


A bookcase in the kitchen is great for storing cereal and other snacks you love to grab on those busy days you need something to start your early day. If you have small children, they’ll appreciate that the items are accessible, and they won’t have to ask you for help reaching high cabinet shelves. The right bookcase will make life easier for everyone in the household.


If you work from home, you’ll find bookshelves to be a lifesaver. Use wicker or cloth baskets to organize files and store other important paperwork in your home office space. If you have several binders you need for work, deep shelving will give you ample storage room.

Locked cabinet doors on a bookcase give you the security you need to store important personal documents. Birth certificates, passports, receipts for home repairs, and more can be in one central location, ready whenever you need them. You won’t have to shuffle through drawers or boxes in the attic looking for this valuable information.

The smaller bookcases add surface space for desks. Keep supplies like paper, staples, and notepads on the shelves. Use the surface area for a printer and free up desk space for a lamp or personal items like family pictures.

In the family room, create a reading corner equipped with a bookshelf, reading lamp, and comfortable accent chair or loveseat. Or use a bookcase to display the family’s hobbies and interests. If someone in the home is a big baseball fan, dedicate a shelf to baseball cards of their favorite players. Add an autographed baseball or cap to personalize the space.


Once you know what you’ll use the shelves for, it’s time to decide on a style. Metal frames with wooden shelves look great in industrial-designed spaces. A formal space can use a large ornate piece that holds several objects. The hand-carved designs and etchings add a touch of sophistication. Rustic bookshelves complement farmhouse or antique designs.

Asymmetrical bookcases

If modern or contemporary is more of what you’re looking for, asymmetrical bookcases keep the look updated. The sleek and clean lines add a simple, minimal aspect to the design. Many of them have open backs, which, as stated earlier, work in open floor plans or small rooms. No matter the style you need to fit with your current décor, you’re sure to find one that works in the space.

There are dozens of options when it comes to design. A standard bookcase has evenly spaced shelves with a closed-back frame. These are what people typically think of when considering bookcases. Ladder-style bookshelves are made to lean against the wall and have stopped shelving that decreases in size as you go up the ladder.

Cubed bookcases

Cubed bookcases have horizontal and vertical divisions that create cubbies for storing items. Use them in your kid’s room for toy storage or arts and crafts. Crayons, drawing paper, glue, rhinestones, and more can be organized on the shelves.

Also, take into account the special features you may need, like adjustable shelves and built-in lighting. As your home changes, your storage needs will also. A bookshelf that grows with you is important as you may have to change the shelf heights to accommodate new decorative pieces. Lighting is needed in those spaces that may not get enough natural light or when a lamp will crowd the space. Many modern bookcases come with spotlights to highlight the artwork or books showcased.

Wheels are another special feature you’ll want if you are using the bookshelves as room dividers. It makes them easy to move from space to space, especially if you redecorate often.

Solid Wood

After selecting a style, another key factor is material. Solid wood is heavy and can be costly, but it is the most durable material you’ll find for your bookcase. The piece can be passed down to your children or donated to charity when you no longer have use for it. They are also simple to maintain. Dust and polish them to help the shelves keep their shiny glow. Synthetic wood is a great choice if you plan on moving within five years or less and won’t take the furniture with you. Because they scratch and stain easily, they are only good for short-term use.


The finish used should complement the other pieces in the room. If you have lacquered accent pieces, a bookcase of the same finish will add to the room’s appeal. Mirrored finishes will give the illusion that the room is larger, and sunlight will bounce around the space giving it an open, airy feel. Irons and metals give the bookcase a strong, sturdy look perfect for houseplants and colorful flower arrangements.

Color is a huge determining factor in the room’s overall feel. Dark woods and colors provide a warm, cozy vibe, while lighter woods and colors give off a cool and casual feel. Decide what you’re going for prior to settling on a color.


Whatever kind of bookcase you eventually decide to use in your home, it should make life easier. Remember to keep your home’s functionality at the top of your list, and the right style and color will fall into place. Whether it’s floor-to-ceiling shelving or a short stack of shelves you need, there is an option for every room.

Bookshelves have many uses, and you shouldn’t limit your design ideas based on the name of the piece of furniture. Yes, they’re great for showing off your library, but they’re also wonderful for displaying those personal items that tell guests who you are and what you like to do outside of the home.

Related Posts