Books in Bookcases--They're Back!!

Posted by Sheela Cooper

If you've read any design/décor magazines or blogs in the past five years or so, you will have noticed that bookcases seem to only hold tchotchkes or vases or decorative bowls. There are very few books to be seen in bookcases lately! But most of us still own books and would like to display them, so the question is how to do it in a way that is both functional and fashionable? I’ll show you some bookcases (with books!) that I have in my bedroom, and I’ll also feature some other bloggers’ bookshelves that hold books and still look stylish. 

We originally had a large TV stand in our bedroom that was much too large for the space. We got rid of that a couple of years ago and found this art-deco buffet on Craigslist:

See those awesome knobs on the door? Find them on Home From India hereHere's a closer look:

This was perfect for the TV and the small stereo that fits behind the door, but the smaller size of the buffet left us with odd bare wall space along either side. We really needed a place to store our books, which were all sitting in storage bins in a closet, so I decided that these empty spaces would be perfect for bookshelves. I only had about 2 feet of wall space on either side, and I didn’t want the shelves to jut out too far into the bedroom, so it was hard to find anything to buy that could meet those criteria. I ended up building the bookcases to fit perfectly into the space. I built them using plans from Ana White’s book, The Handbuilt Home. (You'll spot her book in my bookcase!) I modified the plans a bit to fit my needs, but I am so happy with the final product. I now have bookcases to actually house books, at a cost of about $60 each. (Just for fun, I looked online to see how much it would have cost to buy similar shelves. The one that was most similar to mine was about $300, and it wasn’t even solid wood!)

Having two bookcases meant that one could be mine and one could be my husband’s, so that made it even better! Here they are – can you tell whose is whose? :)

You’ll notice that there are other things on the shelves in addition to books, but each one does have a solid number of books. Mine even has space for more, if I stack some horizontally on the second shelf on top of the books arranged vertically. (We could add some to my husband's side too if we placed them horizontally under the items on the top shelf.)

I have included pictures, decorative objects, and some other treasured items in each shelf to make them visually appealing, but the books are still the star. The bookcases are on the wall opposite our bed, and I love waking up each morning and seeing these pretty but very functional additions to our room. One of my favorite things on my bookcase is the Home From India vintage postcard painting that I put in a glam purple frame. Isn't it beautiful?

So now that you’ve seen our bookcases with books, here are a few others in the blogosphere:
Kelly at View Along the Way shows us how to save the books in this post. 

And Katy over at The Non-Consumer Advocate shows us how much better her bookshelves look with books in them in this post. See for yourself:

What do you think? Are you now inspired to bring the books back into your bookcases? Let us know in the comments below. I'll leave you with one last look at my DIY bookcases:

NOTE: I have no affiliation with any bloggers, products, or stores (except Home From India) mentioned in this post.



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