Bookshelves Make the Best Walls: 10 Stunning Designs


There are few things we love here at Flavorwire more than bookshelves — apart from books themselves. There’s just something about a well-designed shelving system that gets our bookish senses tingling. After spotting several floor-to-ceiling stunners, we searched for stylish creations from other architecture firms and design studios. Here are ten of the best bookshelves we’d love to get lost in.

From Cool Hunting about the unique design and catalogue system of London’s Libreria bookshop:

Unlike regular bookshops, books in Libreria won’t be catalogued according to alphabetic order or arranged by subject matter; instead, categories include “The Sea and the Sky” and “Mothers, Madonnas and Whores” and each features a wide range of authors. Co-creator [Rohan] Silva explains that this approach was fundamental to the store, ”I really believe that a key to being creative is to be open to ideas from different fields and different domains, and a physical bookshop is fantastic for that. Compare it with Amazon, where the recommendations based on algorithms are so narrow, so limiting—if you click on a book about physics, all you’ll get are recommendations for books about physics. Whereas in a physical bookshop, and with the way we’ve designed Libreria in particular, you might go in looking for a book on physics, but come out with three books of poetry by Seamus Heaney. And that’s the idea, the way it’s been designed—that’s the mission.”

Retail Design Blog discusses the massive Book Centre Trieste shop, which features half hidden staircases, grid-patterned shelves, and other eye-catching bookshelf solutions:

The book centre is housed in a 19th-century building in Trieste’s Oberdan Square, and has been designed as both a bookshop and a social and cultural centre for the city’s Slovenian community. The architects referenced the external diamond brick patterns of the nearby Trieste National Hall, designed by architect Max Fabiani in 1902, to create the geometric forms of the bookshelves. The practice described the building as “a symbol of Slovenian presence in Trieste”, due to its history as the centre of the Slovene minority in the city.

Kazuya Morita Architecture Studio designed a geometrically pleasing set of shelves for a client with a sizable Islamic book collection. The home’s architectural elements, including the stairs and windows, were designed around the wooden lattice structure to echo Islamic architecture.

“Grande dame of West Coast interior design” Kelly Wearstler’s spiral staircase/bookcase combo is lovely, space-saving, and looks like a gallery exhibition wall for your book collection.

Fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld’s home library requires that books are stacked horizontally rather than vertically. A sleek catwalk is necessary to access the upper stacks. The expansive collection looks like a place his precious kitty Choupette would love to get lost in — or maybe we’re just wishing Lagerfeld would adopt us so we could explore it ourselves.

Japanese architect Shinichi Ogawa created a book lover’s house, featuring shelves that stretch 20 feet, from floor to ceiling. The minimalist design is highlighted by glass windows that allow for natural light — optimum reading conditions. The home is nicknamed the “Library House.”

Designer and architect Fernanda Marques blurs the interior and exterior in this bungalow, where wood accents and glass invite the outdoors in. The impressive bookshelf backdrop in the home’s bedroom is the stuff of dreams.

Try not to gawk at this minimalist loft designed by Dutch firm Shift Architecture Urbanism. This multi-level Rotterdam home with industrial accents features an oversized library that is accessible on every floor, but comes with steel stairs for those hard to reach places. It’s worth the workout.

Architecture firm Ilai‘s got our number with this clean, functional home library that stretches to the heavens and includes a large window for dreaming.

Firm PARA Project designed a three-story garage and studio space for a family of writers. The second floor features a large library with a sunken concrete bathtub and view of the backyard. The custom-built bookshelves wrap around the home’s windows and mirrors.