35 Built-In Bookshelves Design Ideas

Featured Image: Jessica Helgerson

Built in bookshelves provide the chance to blend highly functional storage with a personal and unique design statement. Extremely popular during the 1900’s American Craftsman era of design and style, built-in shelves are experiencing a resurgence in recognition among homeowners throughout the United States. Today’s built-in bookshelves encompass numerous design types than just Craftsman, reflecting the owner’s preferences and the house’s makeup. Bookcases can be conventional, transitional, contemporary, or modern. The possibilities are endless! If you need inspiration, check out these 35 built-in wall shelf design ideas and images.


Roeser Home Remodeling

A nook off the living room provides a quiet workspace and a safe place to display collectibles.


East End Country Kitchens

Not interested in watching TV? Then grab your favorite book and curl up under the window.


Gina Roberts-Wagner

Custom built-ins on either side of the bed serve double duty as a bookshelf and bedside table.


East End Country Kitchens

Bookcases purposely have a dark back panel so that the white pottery looks strikingly beautiful.


Sandra Ericksen Design

The addition of bookcases around the loveseat creates a library feel to this sitting room.


Don Welch Architecture

Red Birch was used to fabricate the custom bookcases that encase the entire wall.


Studio Sarah Willmer Architecture

Utilize wall space that would normally go to waste to house cookbooks and display glassware.



An abundance of options in this space on where to sit and savor quiet time reading.


SHM Architects

This classic traditional library design is worthy of the most amazing vintage book collection.


Caroline Beaupere Design

Red pop of color in the back of the bookcases add some fun and whimsy to this neutral playroom.

What Built In Bookshelves Can Bring In Your Home 

Bookshelves are one type of the more generic phrase “wall unit,” thus they’re a storage unit that is generally built against a wall. White built in shelves are often physically connected to a wall or any other permanent feature of the house. This is what helps make them “built-in” instead of a slice of freestanding furniture. Whereas the furniture usually leaves together with the household when they sell the home or move, but built-ins stay. This is the reason they can increase home value.

Built-in bookshelves are an excellent way to add extremely creative and private design elements within the house while concurrently keeping a basic backdrop for resale. Neutral color choices are usually preferred by realtors to make the home charming to a lot of customers. Nevertheless, when the style is attained through the launch of personal treasures shown on shelving units, a considerable amount of character may be injected into an otherwise raw and easily changeable wrapper. 

The additional storage area from a built-in storage unit must boost the home’s worth, so long as it’s suitable for the home’s performance, is in high quality, and is versatile enough to support the homeowner’s storage requirements. For instance, a wall structure of quality created in bookshelves of office at home will probably increase home value since they’re appropriate for the home’s performance and put practical storage in the room. Built-ins that are terrible quality because of substandard material or installation never increase home value, since they will be the initial thing home buyers tear out whenever they go into a different house—so DIYers beware. Versatility is likewise crucial as the built-ins should undoubtedly support the next owner’s various possessions. This may be quickly accomplished by producing at least several of the racks adjustable to be moved around.


Griffin Enright Architects

Modern take on traditional library space, including white epoxy floors and ebony-stained wood.


Smith & Vansant Architects

Need a book at the top? No worries, a rolling ladder makes any book easy to grab.


Darci Hether

Wood bookcase recessed into the wall looks like a piece of art even though it’s quite functional.


McKinney York Architects

A two-story bookcase certainly makes a statement that supports the biggest of book enthusiasts.

Different Styles Of Built In Bookshelves 

Here are some built-in bookcase suggestions that provide opportunities for more storage, extra personalization—all while including value. Include a wall structure of bookshelves around a doorway or window. Bookshelves can help identify the focal point of the home. You can utilize built-in bookshelves as a frame for a gorgeous view. They call attention to the aspects of your house that you would like to be noticed. Personalize them with favorite objects and family mementos to help make them come alive; even the window screens are shut.

Construct an integrated bookcase around a fireplace for personality and warmth. Bookshelves as a hearth surround are standard methods to frame a fireplace. Like how built-ins are used to draw attention to a beautiful view out a window or terrace door, bookshelves help draw out the hearth as the home’s focal point. Use cabinet doors over the reduced shelves to conceal storage places that you do not always wish in public view. Utilize the wide-open shelves for preferred treasures, such as photos, art, and books. When combined while using the fireplace’s warm glow, they create an incredibly cozy and inviting space.

Use built-in bookshelves as a room divider. With the increase in popularity of wide-open floor plans, numerous houses are lacking a hallway. Bookshelves could be an excellent way to separate areas within a big room. Use them to help determine the objective of various parts in the space or provide privacy. Mount integrated bookshelves above the bed as a headboard. A bedroom, by its very core, is a personal space. Personalize the room even further with a bookshelf wall structure device surrounding the bed and functions as a headboard. A bookcase adds this kind of built-in special storage, that may be quickly depersonalized by eliminating items from the shelves when it’s time to market. Use your bookshelves as a great piece of art. Custom lighting effects, coupled with an overall theme, can transform a wall bookshelf into an individual art installation.



More than just a bookcase, this stunning wood built-in doubles as a piece of wall art.


DHD Architecture

Bookcase was designed, integrated, and became a hidden door to secret rooms beyond.


Bel Crest Builders

Simple design with a huge impact. A great example of how color can transform a neutral space.


Lucy Call

Tucked into the wall, these wood bookcases are out of the way but remain easily accessible.


Bel Crest Builders

A room traditional left blank, but by adding bookcases, it transforms a single use room to multi-purpose.


West Village GC

Decorative styling options, like the crown molding & toe treatments, bolster the look of this bookcase.

Creative Bookshelf Ideas For Your Home

Built-in bookcases are useful for the additional storage they offer and the possibility for increased profits when it’s time to market. Furthermore, they enable the homeowner to personalize their room while keeping a neutral pallet for resale. Crucial to getting top dollar when it comes some time to sell is appropriate positioning of the bookcase. Proven placements are the assembly of a wall structure of bookshelves close to a window or doorway—an integrated bookcase around a hearth to add personality and warmth, bookshelves as an area divider, bookshelves above the foundation as a headboard, and a wall of bookshelves as a huge piece of art. Also critical will be the quality of material utilized to construct the bookcase and quality of assembly. Somewhat less than professional handiwork is not hard to notice and could reduce instead of improving your home’s value.

Flexibility in the shelves’ setup is essential because the next homeowner’s possessions might not fit in the same spacing utilized for your treasures. Because of this, adjustable shelves are recommended. With a bit of assistance from the experts, you can include a lovely floor to ceiling bookshelves to the house. This will provide enjoyment and a fabulous way to show all of your favorite treasures, most while recouping the price to build it when your house is ready for resale. 

It is difficult to pinpoint precisely when built-in bookshelves started to be such drooled-over, blogged-about design elements, but we are certain members of the fan club. And so much, so we like incorporating built-in bookshelves to our clients’ houses, particularly those residing in urban areas where each additional square inch of storage space or display room is valued (and needed). In case you move into a rented house or apartment with built-ins, consider yourself lucky. But in case you get the possibility to build custom bookshelves for your area, make the most of your chance with lots of planning and research to design your perfect setup. 

Built-in bookcases put not only lots of storage and character; they can produce more room in a house and make it appear to be much bigger. Moreover, built-ins look tidier and appear a lot better than freestanding furniture, additionally enlarging an area’s design dimension, display area, and storage space. Bookcases, particularly the integrated variety, are starting to be more trendy. It was once all about entertainment facilities, but those suddenly passed. Bookcases could now be organized in numerous types and manage to stay classic. Below, you are going to find shelving ideas and suggestions to provide your built-in bookcase pizzazz.



Integrated into a fireplace surround, the flush nature of the case goods adds an exquisite detail.



Simple concept based on clean lines and a fresh light color palette delivers pure serenity.


Coats Homes

Attic spaces can come with challenges, but these bookcases shape and enhance the ceiling line.


Coats Homes

Perfectly placed in the room so that everyone can see the beautiful display of books and keepsakes.


Design42 Architecture

When faced with little or no wall space, consider taking advantage of a stairway.


Within Design

On the backside of a curved staircase, this wall got a facelift and an ingenious one at that.


JAUREGUI Architecture

Circular library design with traditional wood wainscot has an intimacy about it perfect for reading.


D. Stone Builders, Inc.

White bookcases are a common sight, but by changing the shelf shape & adding a mirror is unique.


Bower Architecture

White rectangle-shaped cubbies within the bookcase showcase important pieces.


Matt Gibson Architecture

Contemporary entertainment piece that also serves to divide the kitchen from the living space.


Ariana Ahmad

A door camouflage with intricate design patterns incorporates seamlessly into the wall of case goods.



Small section of the wall creates a desk nook, and by adding shelving to the top, it’s much more interesting.


Thibaud Mazet

Trendy built-in home office outlined with light toned wood shelves curiously put on an angle.


Unum Design

Antique mirror and LED create a soft glowing section between the dark walnut shelves.

Having Fun With Built-In Bookcases

Keeping everything looking better and organized is a breeze with built-in bookshelves. Moreover, you can also go out of space for additional essentials such as a TV or computer. This particular kind of bookcase is customized with a table and positioned in a home office. The scenarios are infinite! The rhythmic silhouette of publications on a shelf can show up as a particular portion of furniture in your living, dining, or hobby room. Rows of books positioned along a bookcase produce a spectacular patterned backdrop. Not only that, but wall bookshelves can also bring warmth and friendliness to the room.  A wisely arranged bookcase can appear as attractive as a picture window. One strategy that experts use is painting the bookcase’s interior a few shades darker than the room color. Placing unique products for a built-in bookcase gives a particular wow factor on the entire look. Use items like antiques, porcelain statues, photographs, a doll collection, or something which adds distinctiveness and depth.

Bookshelves in a kitchen area are practical. They provide recipe books a place to rest without cluttering the countertop area, and they stay in reach. A recessed bookcase with wide-open shelves & closed storage will balance well in your kitchen’s higher cabinets. Highlight built-in appeal by matching the bookcase for your kitchen cabinets. Create a beautiful scene close to a window with built-in shelving and include extra seating. The appearance is very different, particularly with appealing cushions for sitting to read a book or relax while looking outside.

Patterns truly add that additional flair in the back of built-in bookcases, particularly with modern decor. It is much like the impact a backsplash has on the kitchen. Except by having a bookshelf, an attractively patterned fabric may be used instead. Painting could, in addition, be effective; however, the cloth is going to have a plethora of patterns that painting may well not have the ability to duplicate, or even usually takes an excessive amount of time. Make sure you complement the patterned bookshelf with the room’s decor and color scheme.

This is an image roundup post, curated to showcase and promote other reputable contracting companies’ and their amazing work.  To have any of the images removed, please reach out to us and we would be happy to do so.

About the Author:

" We are very passionate about educating homeowners. From design ideas to hiring a contractor, we hope this blog helps you in the process of remodeling your home. " ~ Bryan Sebring