Beautiful and Unique Bookshelves

Despite living in the same apartment for the past year, very little has changed since the day we moved, including our bookshelf situation. Right now we have one bookshelf for my cookbooks, and two bookshelves and a clothes organizer in the closet for what would easily fill five bookshelves! But our apartment is small (two bedrooms, 660 square feet) and the baseboard heaters severely limit furniture placement. So while I may not have the money or motivation right now to change things with the wedding in a few months, I’m certainly taking inspiration from these creative bookshelves.

Architectural Digest

I have a seriously love for bookshelves that wrap around doorways. They take great advantage of small spaces that can’t easily hold other decor, and add visual interest to doorways. This style seems especially useful on narrow walls where a bookshelf would fill the entire space, and seems like it would be perfect for a doorway between the kitchen and living room or dinning room to hold cookbooks and pretty bows.

There are no stairs in my current apartment, but I really love this look. I’ve seen many staircases with broom closets and storage, but never a library! Especially if the staircase is in a living room or den, the huge amount of storage space this adds would be wonderful for organization. Along with books I would keep board games, extra blankets, and my knitting basket in this space. I imagine if you had children it would be nice to have a place to store toys and games as well.


Other under-utilized spaces are weird shaped walls and ceilings. Along with not having stairs, my apartment doesn’t have a loft, but I still love how these simple shelves add function and style to an otherwise bare room. If you have some basic tool skills and the space to work, custom bookshelves like these made from plain boards can be made to fit any size wall or angle where a pre-made bookshelf can’t fit.

Unknown Source

I’m a huge fan of window seats, and anything that combines reading and pretty views is a win in my book. I love the storage under the seat for added functionality and easy access to favorite books in this photo. If you don’t already have a window seat however, I’ve seen many great DIY versions online. By placing a bench between two bookshelves (and solidly bolting everything to the walls!) you can make your own reading nook, comfy pillows required but beautiful view out the window optional.

Today’s edition of Beautiful and Unique Bookshelves brings you some very visually stunning shelves, as all the books are arranged by color! I love some colors (purple, green, and blue mostly) and hate some others (pink mostly, and anything neon), and for many people colors have very strong emotions attached to them. A red tie at work turns a boring suit into a power suit, a lacy white summer dress is fun and flirty, black is mysterious or dangerous…so why can’t we attach those same colors to our books? While looking around online for pictures of color-coordinated books, I found this Flicker group called Rainbows of Books, the source of today’s photos. Have you ever arranged your books by color, or would you ever consider doing it?

Each photo links to the original source on the Flicker Rainbows of Books group.

Yesterday I ran into town to sell a bunch of books back to my favorite bookstore, Powell’s. Between me and the boy, we had six very full bags. Many of the books I sold were ones I have read and reread since middle school or high school and had strong sentimental value, but with my TBR stack of books taking over my one bookshelf, desk, and dining room floor, I figured it was time to pass on my old favorites to someone else (although I did keep a few that I just could not stand to part with!). Do you keep books that hold fond memories, or do you constantly change out read books for new ones?

After spending so many hours in bookstores yesterday, I thought it only fitting that today’s theme for Beautiful and Unique Bookshelves be beautiful bookstores. When you’re picking a favorite new or used store do you decide based on their wide range of books, helpful and knowledgeable staff, convenient location, or are you like me and want your store to be pretty? In the comments, please share what your favorite bookstore is and what makes it so great!


Each photo links to its online source

I have this memory from when I was very young of a library. I’m not even sure where it was, because it was just one of many stops running errands with a friend and her mother. But the library had pretty gray (maybe marble?) steps leading up to it, a huge staircase up to the second floor, and tons of dark wood shelves. When I moved to Boston and saw the most amazing library I had ever seen, it kind of  reminded me of the one from my childhood. So today’s edition of Beautiful and Unique Bookshelves features some of the stunning images that probably inspire every book lover’s dream library, and include both public libraries and private collections. These pictures come from another site I’ve found that collects book images, and while I have tweeted about it I don’t think I have mentioned it here. So take a look around Bookshelf Porn, and share your thoughts in the comments below!


Each photo links to the original source on the website Bookshelf Porn.

While looking around the internet today for inspiration on how to re-organize my bookshelves (yes, I do this every few months), I found a Flicker group for Bookcase Design. After finding such wonderful pictures, I decided to start a new semi-regular post sharing pictures of beautiful and unique bookshelves. For this first post, I gathered all the pictures of bookshelves that are anything but ordinary! If you have any pictures of great shelves, please share them in the comments!

Each photo links to the original source on the Flicker Bookcase group.