1. For the prankster
This house of fun featured recently on Grand Designs due to its witty architectural details, including charming features such as a revolving bookcase at ground level that leads you to the playroom on the top floor. It was designed by architect Matt White for his family in West Sussex. Watch the episode here.
2. For the literary type
Inevitably a project called the ‘Writer’s Shed’ was going to have to accommodate plenty of books. This cosy cabin was created by Weston Surman & Deane Architecture – on the gable wall, a bookcase meanders around the wood-burning stove, providing a centrepiece for the author to store his treasured library.
3. For the lazy lounger
This genius Bibliochaise design from Italian brand Nobody&Co means you don’t even have to get up off your seat to grab your favourite tome and settle in for the afternoon. It’s a smart idea if you’re tight on space.
4. For those with high ceilings
If you’ve got space, a double-height bookshelf is an eye-catching way to fill the vacant void. This house in London has won awards for its clever renovation by firm Stiff & Trevillion, including the floor-to-ceiling bookcase feature wall.
5. For the bed dweller
Adding shelving behind your headboard is a clever idea if you love to stay up all night with your favourite page-turner, or lounge around on a Sunday morning with the papers. Ikea handily has a ready-made design – the Brimnes model is an affordable £255 for the bedframe and storage headboard.
6. For the savvy space saver
Making the most of otherwise wasted space is a smart idea, like in this family home by Zminkowska de Boise Architects. Shelves have been cleverly incorporated into the stair risers, while the steps have becomes a central place for family members to sit, read, chat and play.
7. For the escapist
Create a cosy reading retreat away from the chaos with an incorporated bookshelf into a recessed wall. The dark painted wall in this design by Thomas Kroger Architects creates a calm cocooning affect.
8. For the architectural visionary
This wooden feature bookcase by La Shed Architects also acts as a dividing screen that lets in light while shielding the staircase. It also adds texture to the space, breaking up the solid block of red behind it.
9. For the minimalist
This is a simple update that can be done on a weekend afternoon – create a vertical ladder of floating shelves to pile up your books. These cost just £8 a pop from B&Q.
10. For the period homeowner
Take a leaf out of the book of old-world country houses and install a secret bookcase door that blends in with the wall panels. This design was created by Peter Pennoyer Architects for a house in Maine.
Essential design tips
– Organisation draws the eye for all the right reasons – you might want to display your collection alphabetically, by one colour per shelf or even through the colour spectrum along the shelf.
– Size matters – I find keeping larger art and design books lower down and smaller novels and poetry collections along the top shelves creates balance both physically and visually.
– Freestanding shelving units are making a huge come-back, allowing you to make a real feature of your favourite tomes, either front on to showcase the cover, or side by side to display the spine.