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15 Beautiful Book Storage Ideas That Double As Décor

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15 Beautiful Book Storage Ideas That Double As Décor

Finding a home for your books can be difficult, especially if you’re an avid reader. But whether you have a library-sized collection or just a few favorites, there are plenty of beautiful ways to keep your books organized. Plus, having a manageable way to store your tomes makes it easier to see what’s still on your to-be-read list. From floor-to-ceiling built-ins to a small shelf or nook, these book storage ideas from interior designers are functional and elevated.

Fill a Blank Wall

Margaret Rajic

Have a blank wall in your home you’re not sure how to decorate? Fill a bookshelf with your favorite reads, then style it with plants, personal momentos, pottery, and more, like designers from Outline Interiors did here. To give the shelf a clean, organized look, they color-coded the books.

Create an Optical Illusion

Jenifer McNeil Baker

If you prefer the simple look of your books piled on top of one another, opt for this style of bookshelf. When filled, it gives the illusion that the books are stacked, while the dividers make it a cinch to grab your latest read.

Build a Built-In

Paige Rumore

A built-in bookshelf is a timeless and elegant way to store books. Plus, it will make you feel like you have your very own personal library, which is exactly what Brad Ramsey of Brad Ramsey Interiors did in this space. A gold library ladder makes books on the top shelves easier to reach.

Employ a Kitchen Island

Becca Lea Photography

Do you have a large cookbook collection you want nearby but not in the way? Create a nook in your kitchen island for your tomes. “My team and I are very passionate about the functionality of a kitchen,” says Angeline Hall, principal designer and founder of Angeline Guido Design. “When it came time to design my own kitchen, I knew having all of my recipe books close at hand was a must. When we designed the kitchen island, we added this open-faced shelving section specifically for books, which allows me easy accessibility while I am cooking and also a nice place to display new and heirloom cookbooks.”

Create a Book Stand

Lindsay Brown

If you have more coffee table books than you can store on a shelf, use the overflow to create a makeshift end table. In this eclectic reading room, interior designer Avery Cox, stacked books on top of a wooden step ladder and used them to prop up a reading lamp next to a chaise lounge.

Make a Backdrop

QPH Photography

Keep your books in a sleek bookshelf and use it to create a focal point in your home. “With four generations of old and new books, I needed ample shelving for storage but also wanted to implement materials to create a great backdrop,” says Kathy Corbet, interior designer and founder of Kathy Corbet Interiors. “This stretch of shelving was made with cinder blocks and dark stained maple wood, resulting in a functional yet eye-catching element that adds another layer of personality to the space.”

Embellish a Bar

Jenifer-McNeil Baker

When displayed thoughtfully, books can serve as décor for your home. In this space, designers from Maestri Studio flanked the entryway with two built-ins—one for books and one for spirits and drinkware.

Aim for a Focal Point

Sarah Millet Photo

Create a focal point in your home by installing shelves around your TV to show off your collection of books. “A family room is the perfect spot to combine the TV, fireplace and a custom bookcase wall,” says Melinda O’Connor, principal designer for Melinda Kelson O’Connor Architecture & Interiors. “The custom wood built-in consolidates all of the elements creating a focal point for the room and tons of storage.”

Go Floor-to-Ceiling

Martha Stewart

Floor-to-ceiling shelves are the perfect way to store a large collection if you have the space in your home. If you go this route, we recommend organizing your books by author or title, which will make finding a specific volume easier.

Embrace Open Shelving

Jenifer-McNeil Baker

Open shelving is one of the most practical ways to store your books, as they’re easier to grab and you can see your entire collection. Since this style of shelving is constantly on display, add a few accents like pottery or vintage keepsakes in between your tomes for a styled look.

Go Low

Melinda Kelson OConnor Architecture and Interiors 

Neglected spaces underneath and on the backside of cabinets are ideal spots for storing your books, says Melinda O’Connor, principal designer for Melinda Kelson O’Connor Architecture & Interiors. In this kitchen, she created shelves under the isalnd for storing cookbooks in plain sight.

Use an Entryway

Haris Kenjar

Entryways and hallways are brimming with storage potential. Breathe life into these underutilized spaces by building a bookcase into the wall, like Ore Studios did here. Fill the cubbies with your favorite books interspersed with décor for a curated look.

Lean Into Asymmetry

Sarah Linden

Built-ins aren’t the only way to have the bookshelf of your dreams. Opt for something unique like these sleek black shelves, which have a fun asymmetrical shape. Michelle Lynne, CEO and founder of ML Interiors Group got creative when styling them—turning some spines out and some in for a varied look.

Flank a Bed

Jason Varney

Make nighttime reading more functional by flanking your bed with built-ins rather than end tables. Put your books and other bedside necessities on the shelves and install sconces for reading lights.

Float a Shelf

Madeline Harper

If you have just a small collection of books, a floating shelf is the perfect no-fuss solution. Add a few of your favorites, then style them with family photos, plants, and other accents.