Julia's Product Research: Industrial-Style Bookcase for Under $100

Julia's Product Research: Industrial-Style Bookcase for Under $100

Julia Brenner
Aug 13, 2013

The bookcase story begins with a near $1,200 impulse buy and ends with an $82 purchase, with a few Craigslist encounters along the way (to clarify: not those kinds of encounters). In the end, I found a discontinued model from World Market that was 75% off and stalked stores in the Chicagoland area until I found one in stock. I think it looks similar to the Distressed Utility Bookcase from Anthropologie ($998). We haven't brought it home yet, so finger's crossed this isn't too good to be true. 

This is the original bookshelf that made my heart beat a little faster, the Parisian Cornice Bookcase from Restoration Hardware, which (on sale) is still $1,195. While not an outrageous price, it's definitely more than I felt comfortable spending on a shelf right now. But then there's financing. Oh, financing, the cheeky little devil! Always such a tempting option, especially when shopping online...at 1 am...after a glass of wine. Lucky for me, the style I initially wanted (distressed white) wasn't available until early September, so I talked myself down from impulse buying a $1,000 bookshelf. Not proud of that moment, but there it is. As Mick Jagger says, "You can't always get what you want...but sometimes, you find, you get what you need." 

Which leads me to the $82 bookshelf. This was another late night internet find that I stumbled upon after finding Anthropolgie's Distressed Utility Bookcase, which sells for $998. I was trying to locate a similar style shelf at a lower price when I happened across World Market and found the discontinued Warner Bookshelf, marked down from $329 to $82. I had to re-read the price a few times and then did a bunch of Googling to see if people were saying awful things about it. Reviews seem mostly positive, and while I don't think it compares to the RH shelf, I do think it's a solid comparison style-wise to the version from Anthropologie and er, $900 less. 

*I should also note that I've also been scouting thrift stores, Craigslist and neighborhood sales looking for a shelf or hutch to makeover, but work and kids don't leave me a lot of free time this month, so I'm pretty excited to have found a shelf that seems like it will work without spending more than I'm comfortable with or creating shelf-related debt. 

Oh! A happy accident of scouting vintage and thrift stores is that I found a fantastic large mirror for only $40! I have big plans for that mirror...

(Images: 1. Distressed Utility Bookcase from Anthropologie & Warner Bookshelf from World Market 2. Paris Cornice Bookcase from Restoration Hardware  

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