The transformative powers of built-in bookshelves

Who doesn’t covet a home library? Whether you’re aiming to create a space-saving solution or are looking to construct a decorative feature wall, built-in bookshelves are the DIY way to do it.

The transformative powers of built-in bookshelves

From filling up a spare room with your favourite novels to stocking an alcove full of newspapers and magazines, here are a handful of ways to slot built-in bookshelves into your home.

Create an alcove

Shaping your book shelves into a faux alcove is not only a salient use of space, it also adds eye-catching structure to a simple rectangular room. It’s the ideal way to utilise corners that are too small or too awkward for a piece of furniture to fit into and also saves on floor space.

In addition, a bookcase alcove makes a homely reading nook, adding a sense of cosiness to your room.

Fill up a passageway

Transform your home’s corridors by wrapping them in wall bookshelves. As well as making a striking design feature, this also serves as an excellent use of dead space.

Adding a window seat or a cushioned bench in your newly renovated hallway or landing creates an inviting nook that encourages guests to stay awhile and read. Install it within close proximity of the brightest spot in the space, preferably next to a window or underneath a skylight. Ensure your new reading nook doesn’t block out any natural light and opt for construction materials in neutral colours or pale wood finishes.

Design an entire library

Children and adults alike can lose themselves in a library for hours – which is to be encouraged. The ideal study room design incorporates floor-to-ceiling built-in shelves. Complete the look by trimming the tops and bottoms with the same moulding that edges the room’s ceiling and floor for a seamless finish. A rolling ladder will add an authentic touch to your genteel home library. For more tips on transforming an entire room of your home into a library, head to our guide on the Engel & Völkers blog.

Get practical

The beauty of designing your own built-in bookcases is that you can customise the size of your shelves to ensure they’re the perfect fit for your books and ornaments. A large antique globe, a stack of limited-edition books or a much-loved magazine collection all deserve pride of place, and a shelving unit with mismatched cubby holes ensures your library is truly unique.

Which material you use is entirely up to you, but a mixture of plywood, MDF and hardwood boards is usually favoured. Think carefully about the look and feel of the wood if you’re leaving it raw or opt for plywood, which can easily be painted to complement the interior design you have in mind.

Modern life is hectic, so the home should be a place where we can truly relax. A reading room, or just a compact nook filled with built-in bookshelves, is a space that provide much-needed escapism.

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