Whether you want your bookcase to be decorative or purely functional, there are countless options available for you to choose from. That is why learning about the different types of bookcases is important before making a decision.
A bookcase can be a very personal piece of furniture, and the type you choose can depend on your interests. You may have an endless library of volumes, ready to fill up a floor-to-ceiling bookcase. Or you might opt for something modern and bare to show off your knickknacks.
How do I choose a bookcase?
Unlike other items of furniture that you are in direct contact with, bookcases are generally used for storage and will take a longer time to wear. For this reason, materials that might be less practical for other furniture can be a unique feature for your bookcase. As well, little more than a dusting is required for a routine cleaning, as spills are less likely to happen on bookcases.
Decide whether you want your bookcase to be the focus of attention or simply a piece of furniture on the sideline. You might want to build it into an existing wall for a seamless look. Alternatively, it might stand alone in the center of a room.
Do you have plenty of room for a bookcase or should you be looking for a smaller design? If you’re tight on wall space but have high ceilings, think about including a tall bookcase with a small ladder. Otherwise, expand the size to cover an entire wall if you have the area for it.
Reviewing these various factors will help dictate the features and style of your bookcase.
Type of Installation
If you’ve got items to show off, an open design like this one by Lago is an excellent choice. Minimal materials with open backs and sides mean that each shelf is wide open to possibilities. Whether you stack your favorite books for easy access or decorate the shelves with ornaments, an open bookcase makes your items stand out.
Molteni displays this stunning freestanding bookcase, used as a room divider. Freestanding designs can be useful for creating sections in a larger space, and they also integrate well into a smaller space. Rooms with uneven walls can benefit from a freestanding option since the bookcase can be placed anywhere. For bookcases that are open on both sides, you’ll have to be sure to keep your items organized to avoid any falls.
Twils shows off this funky sectional bookcase. Mix and match with different sizes of shelves stacked together to create your ultimate design. Models can be simple with lightweight materials, or the effect can be more complex. Add one to your modern decor for a complete look.
Barba Design highlights the dramatic effect of a double-sided bookcase. This one displays decorative items, allowing the light from the window behind to pass through. If you’re lacking wall space, using an open double-sided type is a great way to avoid a crowded look.
Bencore shows a unique example of a modular design bookcase. This style can be created to fit your exact desires. The best thing about investing in a modular design is that you can constantly revive the decor depending on your needs. Each piece is made to fit into different formations so that you always have the right configuration for the moment.
This room divider bookcase by Composit is ideal for breaking up a room into sections. Whether you live in a studio or want to create a cozy reading nook in a large space, the divider type is a practical and attractive option. For more privacy choose one with a back, or to keep it airy go for an open type.
Lola Glamour shares one of the infinite possibilities when it comes to a custom bookcase. Think of style, function, materials, and overall design when deciding. Match it to your existing furniture, or create the setup of your dreams and make it the center of attention. The ceiling is your limit!
We can’t get over this swivel bookcase by Albed. Do you want to be able to shift the entire look of a room with the flick of a wrist? The swivel type accomplishes pretty much that. This feature makes your choice a versatile piece of furniture, that contributes to the dynamic decor of the room.
This corner bookcase by Damiano Latini is cool and practical, adding a unique twist to the room. This open style with sleek lines has a minimal yet highly functional purpose. You don’t need much extra space to fit it into the corner! This is a great idea for smaller rooms.
This sleek bookcase by Woodman shows off how casters can fit into a decor without looking clunky. These are essentially wheels integrated into the design, which makes it particularly convenient if you want to be able to move your furniture around. Whether you enjoy switching up your decor or need the casters for functional purposes, they are a great addition.
If you are looking for more storage space, then a bookcase with shelving units might be the right solution for you. This model by Acerbis is a great example of a practical piece of furniture with a unique and stylish design. It’s the perfect way to get the most out of your space so that the clutter doesn’t build up.
Karl Andersson shows how a Scandinavian style fits into contemporary minimal decor. Clean lines, neutral colors, and simple yet sleek designs make the Scandinavian style elegant and timeless. Choose it to tone down an eclectic decor, or include it seamlessly in modern decor.
This Japanese style design by Cinius is a prime example of the classic nature of this type. Straightlines, lightweight materials, neutral colors, and the ideal balance between simplicity and elegance. For a type that seamlessly fits into any decor, choose one with a Japanese style.
This unique bookcase by Arrediorg highlights the quirky features of the shabby chic style. Whether you are looking for bohemian antiques or find a newer model mimicking the look, a shabby chic design certainly makes a statement. Include it in eclectic and vintage decors, or use it as the centerpiece in a simpler decor.
This bookcase by Karpenter showcases straight lines and a design with geometrical influences. The Bauhaus style may be minimal but it definitely makes a statement. For a powerful yet simple look, choose the Bauhaus style to pair with contemporary decor.
This piece by Vidame Creation exemplifies industrial style with straight lines, neutral colors, and distinct shapes. There’s no doubt that industrial furnishings are at home in modern and contemporary decors. Opt for vibrant solid colors as an accent, or go for a shade that blends right in.
Kare Design makes furniture with the best fashions throughout history in mind. This 50s style bookcase is a fun and original addition to your decor. It’ll look great in classic decors, or in sparsely furnished rooms as a focal point.
Houtique shows off the playful features of the post-modernist design style. This bookcase is fun and artsy, and is the ideal piece of furniture to display decorative items. It can also be used for storing countless objects, and the casters make it especially practical to move around.
This elaborate design by Modenese Gastone highlights the ornate nature of the baroque style. Detailed edges, gold fringes, pastels, and wood, are common features. If you’re especially fond of the style you might match your bookcase to a similar decor. However, a baroque style piece can also fit into simpler modern spaces as a striking contrast.
If you can’t get enough of life at sea, incorporate the style into your furnishings. This bookcase by Caroti shows just how elegant navy decor is, bringing a bit of the pleasure of being on a boat into your home. Choose this type if you enjoy quality wood with unique details.
This Provencal style bookcase by Arrediorg is a clear depiction of this charming style. Usually, in white or pale colors, this type can fit into many interiors. Classic, country, and casual designs are certain matches, or incorporate it anywhere as an elegant detail.
Roche Bobois highlights the hip deco style with this bookcase. The design is unique, creating a fun yet polished look that accompanies contemporary and modern interiors. Include this deco-style piece as a standout object to contrast with a classic interior.
For the ultimate elaborately ornate style, look no further than King Louis XVI. This bookcase by Faber Mobili reflects the lavish attention to detail and luxury characteristics of the time. For royal decor, include the Louis XVI style in your living room.
For an elegant and grand decor, look no further than an Empire design bookcase such as this one by Scappini & C.. Detailed carvings, inlays, and intricate patterns make this type unique and eye-catching. Include it in a study room or library, paired with soft neutral colors and pastels for a stunning look.
Callesella Arredamenti creates the ideal balance between a casual and classy style with this country bookcase. With a friendly and welcoming feel, the fresh look makes you feel right at home. Warm neutral colors and light tones are a solid bet when going for the country style.
Arredoclassic shows off this impressive neoclassical design, ideal for making a statement. With dramatic geometrical lines, gold details, and a simple yet powerful allure, a neoclassical style bookcase is the perfect addition to classic decor.
If you’re looking for a bookcase type that is at the forefront of trends, try this design style by Zanotta. This is the perfect option for a piece of furniture that is intended to be the focal point of a room. You can use it as a room divider or as a floating piece for a wildly creative look.
De Rosso demonstrates the way that a wall-mounted bookcase fits seamlessly into a room. Taking up minimal space, this method of installation is great for smaller areas, or to leave open space in the center of a room.
De Castelli shows off this trendy floating bookcase, a perfect complement to modern decor. Whether you are looking for something different or lack the space to put it elsewhere, this installation method is what you need.
This beautiful floor-ceiling mounted bookcase by Porada is a prime example of how this type can be the main feature of a room. For book lovers or to display small items, this dramatic idea is a sure choice.
Porada includes drawers in this bookcase model for added storage capacity. While it can be nice to display our nicest items, let’s face it, loose objects with no decorative value can be an eyesore. Tuck them out of sight in drawers, where they will always be at easy access.
If your television is just as important as your book collection or you don’t have space for separate furniture, look no further than this bookcase with a built-in TV stand by Pianca. This feature is ideal for practical purposes and can be a good solution for organizing space.
This sleek design by Natevo has built-in lights, excellent for creating some mood lighting. Whether you use the lights to identify one of your numerous tomes or simply to illuminate the space, integrated lights can be a great feature.
Dyrlund shows how you can fit multiple items of furniture within one, such as by incorporating a small secretary desk together with a bookcase. Whether you are using the books for your desk work or are trying to save space, an integrated desk can be a great option.
This bookcase by MDF Italia shows how wood can be the perfect material for a classic interior. Natural earth tones and neutrals make wood an easy match with other furniture and decors. It is timeless and elegant and can be used for both casual or more formal styles.
Désirée makes a hip metal bookcase, showcasing this trendy material. For sleek lines, shades of gray, and an industrial vibe, opt for metal. As well, the material can be painted to fit into a wider range of decors. You can be sure that this piece is going to last!
Glas Italia highlights the beauty of glass furniture with this bookcase. Chic and classy, glass is airy and clear, creating a bright open space instead of weighing a room down. Pair it with a crowded decor for levity, or match it to a sleek modern design.
B-Line shows how plastic furniture such as this bookcase can come in all sorts of shapes, styles, and colors. Cheaper than glass yet with a similar reflective nature, plastic can be a good choice for funky designs and a colorful style. Depending on the quality, make sure it is sturdy enough before you fill it with encyclopedias.
This marble bookcase by Salvatori exudes luxury and natural charm. The stone furnishing makes a statement without overwhelming the decor, and it is the ideal accompaniment to contemporary decor. Match it with cool colors and soft shades for an effortless style.
This bookcase by Pellington Design is made from composite materials, designed with purpose in mind. Composites are sure to be durable, efficient, and suited to the characteristics of different models. These materials are great for funkier styles with unique shapes.
This bookcase by Devina Nais is a stylish example of how to include fabric materials in a design. The added detail would look great in a country style interior, and can also add a hint of sophistication to casual decor. Depending on the model, simply dusting might not be sufficient, and a dust buster might be more appropriate.
This synthetic bookcase by Roche Bobois looks anything but artificial. Quality synthetic materials can be used to make stylish furniture that fits into all interior designs. As well, they often mimic the look of natural materials without the added cost.
This concrete bookcase by Manufatti Viscio is the epitome of style. For a dramatic look that makes a statement, opt for this heavyweight material. The soft neutral colors will avoid overwhelming your interior, but the piece will certainly be noticed.
Flexform highlights the total cool factor of this metal design with cowhide boxes. While sofas are regularly made from leather, using it in a bookcase is a unique touch that adds plenty of glamour. Stick to neutrals and earth tones for a sophisticated style.
Keigio displays this trendy bookcase made from acrylic glass, and the look is striking. Including acrylic strengthens glass, making it more resilient so you can have a stylish look without any worry. Use this type if you want to create a sleek ultra modern look with clean lines.
Tonelli Design displays this ceramic bookcase, highlighting the chic material. Ceramic is less commonly used in larger furnishings, yet including it adds plenty of quality and charm to your decor. While it may not be the best option for a kid’s room, it is undeniably elegant and fitting for classic styles.
This bookcase by Stay Green shows how quality furniture can be made using natural materials. Using eco-friendly fibers to furnish your home is a conscious way of minimizing your ecological footprint. Not to mention, the earthy hues are a great foundation for other colors.