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Turn the page: 6 brilliant bookshelves that'll add character to any room

Just don’t forget the spirit level.

Image: Shutterstock/LightField Studios

THE SAYING, ‘A ROOM without books is like a body without a soul’ will ring true for any book lovers. If you have a book collection you’re keen to show off, the shelving solutions are essential.

Getting bookshelves right can change the look and feel of a home. For a good-looking book collection that will urge you to continue (or rekindle) your love of literature, we’ve found six super shelving designs perfect for any room.

Bibliophiles take note…

1. Looking forward: Steal some style inspiration from @denoffoxes and create instant artwork with your favourite tomes. Facing the front covers outward, displaying your favourite pages and adding personality through the use of framed photos and mementos turns your shelving system into much more than functional storage.

The floating effect of these shelves is another great way to make your books the star of the show. This can easily be achieved with IKEA’s PERSBY shelves and a lick of paint that matches the wall behind.

2. Simple symmetry: By adding antique finds, plants and flowers, a bookcase be can transformed into a perfectly curated vignette – as done here by @jamesfarmerinc. Adhering to a symmetrical display works wonders for this traditional look, yet adding in a slightly more haphazard section avoids a look that could get boring.

Wooden bookshelves will never date and look elegant in bedrooms, sitting rooms and hallways, should space allow. EZ Living Furniture has a super collection of traditional styles, like this weathered oak version, which will have you well on your way to achieving this look.

3. Floor to ceiling: Painted or papered feature walls often get a bad rap when it comes to decorating. For something that’s not as permanent, floor to ceiling shelving adds interest and function without the commitment. 

Choosing the right bracket is important with floor to ceiling shelves, as there’ll be several brackets on show. Check out Lenehan’s for a choice of all shapes and sizes – and don’t forget a spirit level if you’re attempting to fit them yourself. 

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4. Go bespoke: If you’re on the hunt for more space, sometimes the only way is up. Looking to the professionals for help with designing a bespoke bookshelf could be your next port of call. Check out Irish companies like Noel Dempsey Design or Enigma Design for bespoke cabinetry to suit your needs.

Bespoke shelves can work well for awkward ceiling angles or tight corners. Like this V-shaped alcove, for example, which @abeautifulmess has turned into a colour-coded library (albeit on a grander scale than most of us would have room for).

5. To the wire: For the industrial look, think wire, dark materials, raw woods and brick, and tarnished metals. This black wire multi-storage unit as seen @arnisistercollection is versatile and can be configured to fit almost any space. You can find similar at Vincent and Barn.

Word of warning – the industrial look can be tough to pull off in colder climates, so if you’re going all out, heat things up with warm colours and soft, tactile materials to get the balance just right.

Capture Source: Instagram/arnisistercollection

6. Dress to impress: Create your own home library and let your books take centre stage with a commanding bookcase that’s sure to be the room’s main feature. An added ladder for hard to reach places, as well as an inviting aesthetic really steps up this look.

Investing in a real show-stopping piece when it comes to storage shows your love of books knows no bounds. Neptune has a range of dressers and units that you can mix and match for the style to suit you.

Modern shine: 6 pendant lamps that will give any room a mid-century feel>

Think vertical: 6 design suggestions to make the most of a small living room>

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