Bookshelf Ideas from All Angles

By Matilda Davies
Photo by Christin Hume

Few things are quite as photogenic as a great bookshelf full of books. We at House Method don’t believe in perfectly curated shelves or decorative trinkets. We’re readers ourselves, so we believe that a great bookshelf is a trophy case: full of titles you love, that you’re proud to display, that you’ve read (or maybe haven’t). It’s not perfectly arranged or even sorted. And the best bookshelf ideas come from the homes of readers who simply love books, so here are six of our favorite bookshelves to give you ideas for your own home library.


Photo by Chuttersnap

Tight and orderly

The parallel organization of this bookshelf is so satisfying. Sometimes simplicity is the best style, which is why we love this straightforward bookshelf organization.


Photo by Radu Marcusu

The built-ins

Oh, the built-ins. So many book-lovers dream of having a set of built-in shelves like these. This library (with plenty of cabinet storage) in a dusty blue-gray is made to feel like a quiet, rainy day.


Photo by Ashley Gallerani for House Method

Upscale wabi-sabi

Beyond the built-ins, many bibliophiles dream of the library with a rolling ladder. The idea that you have so many books that the only way to go is up is such a delight. This Manhattan library belonging to a former architect (now vinter) and interior designer embraces the idea that a home, though beautiful, does not have to be perfect.

See more of this home: Tour a South Street Seaport Home Full of Texture and Color


Photo by Ashley Gallerani for House Method

Dual-purpose bookshelves

Also from the same lower-Manhattan loft, this industrial shelf is both display and storage. If you need your shelf to hold more than just books, add a few baskets and file organizers and you’re set. I love the oversized furniture, especially that red rocking chair, that makes you feel like you could disappear into a wonderful story.

See more of this home: Tour a South Street Seaport Home Full of Texture and Color


Devil-may-care chic

No one has mastered devil-may-care chic quite like the Europeans. This mini home library is set up with a reading table that doubles as a dining space. Light the fire and enjoy dinner with a book.


Photo by Ben Garratt

The wall-length case

This wall-length bookcase allows for both vertical and horizontal arrangement, the latter of which is perfect for magazines or art books with beautiful spines. (Bonus bookshelf idea: print mags like Cherry Bombe and Apartamento have beautiful spines.) And don’t forget plenty of seating so you can settle in with a classic.


By continuing to browse or by clicking “OK” you agree to the storing of first- and third-party cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. Privacy Policy.