in Design

The Best Fifteen Bookshelves With a Twist

The Roman philosopher and politician Marcus Cicero once said that a house without books is like a body without a soul. Those who are passionate about reading will surely agree with him in this respect. In fact, not only you and your house need books, but your books need a house as well. Also, displaying your favourite stories on some beautiful shelves will help with starting a conversation when you invite someone over, so you have to make sure that you choose the right bookshelves to set up in your house. If you’re interested in finding out about stunning bookshelves that combine functionality with aesthetics, we’ve made a list.

Do you find it tedious to keep having to move books from one bookshelf to another so that you don’t mix the books you’ve read with the ones you’ve just brought home? If so, then Meb Rure Design Studio is what you need – they came up with a stylish and practical design to help you keep your books organised: a two-level bookshelf that helps your sort the “has been read” from the “will be read”. 1

In case you would prefer a more specific way of organising your books, Marcos Breder’s  equation bookshelf will come in handy. Use the lovely braces, square brackets and parentheses to distinguish between genres, priority order or any other preferred criteria. This bookshelf will not only showcase your literary preferences, but also your personality.


Multifunctional spaces make good purchases in today’s urban living and you definitely can’t go wrong with Fishbol’s Bookseat. It’s a “seat” for your books and for you as well, a unique piece of furniture which can be a great addition to any room.


If you don’t think a chair would be comfortable enough for you, then how about a reading bench? The Latvian designer Stanislav Katz created a chic yet practical console bookshelf which will not only help you wind down while enjoying a book, but will also add a touch of elegance to your home.


In case you’re on the look-out for a bookshelf that would reflect one of your hobbies or maybe you want to give your child a fun and unique present, then the skateboard shelf is perfect for you. It provides enough space for book storage and even for displaying various skateboarding souvenirs.


The solid-oak Kulma book shelf is hand-made in Finland; its name translates as “corner” in Finnish, the intention behind this design being to put to good use and emphasize both the space within the shelf and the corner surrounding it. It’s a great solution for those who want to utilize every inch of their homes.


Some of us like to have our favourite books at our fingertips even when we’re getting some work done. Luckily, we now have the K-workstation – a single working unit that, thanks to its ingeniously folded curved shape, can host both desk space and a few shelves in various sizes.


The designer Charles Trevelyan created Shelflife, for all those who have had a difficult time while trying to browse, hold and read books at the same time. This design piece will catch your attention due to its bold angular lines and, upon a closer examination, you’ll be surprised to discover that the shelving unit has a chair and a side table incorporated into it. Moreover, the intersections between straight and angular shelves create a satisfactory range of storage and display spaces.

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Perhaps most of us appreciate bookshelves for their practicality, but the Italian company Lovli manages to show us that they can also have artistic value. They’ve created a collection of five bookshelves made of wood that, when put together in the correct order, create “Lifeblood”. This bookshelf imitates the shape of a leaf, thus acquiring a symbolism that reminds us of nature.


If you don’t think bookshelves can be fun, here is some food for thought. The architect Victor Vasilev put together a structure that from a certain angle looks like a minimalistic decorating object. However, if you change your position, you are able to see that there are books hiding on the diagonally constructed shelves. This is truly a unique design – it’s not that often that you can play hide and seek with your books.

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Dripta Roy’s “Dream Bookshelf” has a playful design that will inspire you to escape your daily routine for a few moments and just think about what truly makes you happy or maybe about being on holiday somewhere exotic. Create your own daydreaming spot by using this charming bubble to store the books you cherish most and the souvenirs from your favourite places.


Built-in bookshelves are, beyond the shadow of a doubt, the best way of putting your square footage to good use.  The Cutshelves, by designer Tembolat Gugkaev, represent one such example; perhaps their best feature is that they have stunning design but, at the same time, they are not less practical than a regular bookshelf. In fact, they have an additional feature: a backlight. Now you’ll be able to find your favourite book even at night without  much effort.

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All readers know that books are wondrous, but maybe not everybody knows that bookshelves can be too. Have a look at Umbra Conceal Metal Book Shelf, or briefly put, the invisible bookshelf, designed by Miron Lior. This ingenious book organizer can hold up to 15 lbs. of books and it’s also a space saving item. It’s made of strong steel with a silver powder-coat finish added for greater endurance and it’s incredibly easy to set up – all you have to do is screw the bookshelf into a wall stud.

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There’s a bookshelf for everyone, including for those who dislike streamlined furniture. WoodCurve has a handmade unit that is more than an unconventional set of bookshelves – it’s a statement piece that will liven up any room in your house, thanks to the four “teacups” in bright and fun colours and to their bold setup.


Finally, if you are a true bookaholic suffering from the insufficient-storage-space-for-books syndrome, i.e. you gathered so many books that you have no room left to put them, you’ll need something more hardcore than the previous bookshelves: the bookshelf staircase, by the London-based Levitate Architects. This was done by joining together a staircase with the desire of having an extra library, which resulted in a stunning library staircase made out of English oak. Both the stair treads and the shelves are completely stacked with books. If you view yourself as an avid reader, this will really be your stairway to heaven.

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I read, I write, I sleep.