The World’s Most Beautiful Built-In Bookcases

updated May 3, 2019
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(Image credit: Alexandra Fedorova)

Bookcases are always beautiful, because they’re full of books. But this post is devoted to bookshelves that are especially beautiful, and the shelves that are so pretty and unique that they almost steal the show from the volumes themselves. Here are nine gorgeous built-in bookcases to inspire your next renovation — or just inspire a little dreaming.

(Image credit: Roche Bobois)

Bookcases are dramatic, stairs are dramatic, and in this living room from Roche Bobois via Luxury Magazine, they both come together to make something that’s bigger than the sum of its parts.

(Image credit: Hare + Klein)

Instead of being perpendicular to the wall, the uprights of this bookshelf by Hare + Klein as positioned at a slight angle, creating an intriguing peekaboo effect with the books: now you see them, now you don’t.

(Image credit: Yellowtrace)

Raw plywood gives these bookcases from Yellowtrace a warm, honest look. The unfinished edges are an unexpected modern detail, and the built-in window seat/desk is a clever addition.

(Image credit: Made Go Design)

These bookcases by Made Go Design (via Archi Expo) are supported with bits of rebar — an unexpected, industrial touch that gives this wall of storage an unexpected touch of texture.

(Image credit: Brown TLV Hotel)

Take a traditional bookcase, rotate it, and you’d have something like this wall at the Brown TLV Hotel in Tel Aviv, Israel. This probably isn’t the best way to store precious volumes — it’s bad for the spines — but the unexpected angle creates an eye-catching configuration that keeps your eye on the most important thing: the books.

(Image credit: Alexandra Fedorova)

Here’s another set of angled built-ins, from Alexandra Fedorova via Modern Home Decor. The zig-zag configuration creates a setup where you have to turn your head to see the books on alternating rows, a little game that draws you further into the experience of perusing the titles.

This bookcase, designed by Quincoces-dragò & Partners and spotted on This is Glamorous, looks beautiful even with hardly any books on it.

Here’s another bookcase stair, from Maxwan Architects + Urbanists via The Design Home. This delicately detailed stair angles away from the bookcase as it ascends, creating a neat little nook in between for sitting and reading.

(Image credit: Salva Lopez)

I don’t know what’s more beautiful about this photo from Salva Lopez: the dramatic bookcases of the beautifully haphazard piles of books sitting on them. It’s the perfect place to while away a few hours, or maybe an entire day, in the company of some of your favorite books.