Eight homes with beautiful and practical bookshelves


For our latest lookbook, we’ve collected eight homes where stylish wall-mounted and built-in bookshelves add storage and visual interest.

For book lovers, storage can quickly become a problem. But well-designed shelves can solve this issue and simultaneously function as a decorative detail.

This lookbook showcases practical bookshelves from across the globe, including custom-made steel shelving in Chicago and a floor-to-ceiling wooden bookcase in Shanghai.

This is the latest in our lookbooks series, which provides visual inspiration from Dezeen’s archive. For more inspiration see previous lookbooks featuring bathrooms with sunken baths, bedrooms with regal four-poster beds and interiors with natural materials and timeless accents.


Book shelf in living room of Residence for Two Collectors by Wheeler Kearns Architects
Photo by Tom Rossiter Photography

Residence for Two Collectors, US, by Wheeler Kearns Architects

Local studio Wheeler Kearns Architects designed this Chicago home for two art collectors to have enough space for their extensive collection.

In the penthouse’s living room, a custom-made shelf in patinated steel with its own circular staircase takes up almost an entire wall. This is filled not just with books but also with various artworks in wood and clay.

Find out more about Residence for Two Collectors ›


6House by Zooco Estudio
Photo by Imagen Subliminal

House 6, Spain, by Zooco Estudio

Bookshelves span two levels of this flat in Mallorca, designed by Spanish studio Zooco Estudio. Colourful book covers contrast against the white shelving unit, which rises up from the ground floor.

“As a unifying element, a shelf rises colonising both living and lobby spaces,” the studio said. “This way we integrate aesthetic and functionality in one single element.”

Find out more about House 6 ›


Pedro Reyes House, Mexico

Pedro Reyes House, Mexico, by Pedro Reyes

The Mexico City home of sculptor Pedro Reyes and fashion designer Carla Fernandez is filled with sculptural details including a double-height staircase and a library made from coarse concrete.

The concrete is left exposed both here and throughout the rest of the house, which takes cues from the city’s modernist and brutalist buildings, including examples by Luis Barragán.

Find out more about Pedro Reyes House ›


The Library Home, Shanghai, by Atelier TAO+C
Photo by Santiago Barrio and Shen Zhong Hai

Library Home, China, by Atelier Tao+C

This Shanghai apartment, located in the ISS Normandy Apartments designed by Hungarian-Slovak architect László Hudec in 1924, is almost completely lined with bookshelves.

The wooden storage matches the flat’s parquet flooring and contrasts with the white marble staircase in the living area, where a wine fridge adds to the relaxed feel of the room.

Find out more about Library Home ›


Turner Architects Cloistered House
Photo by Adam Scott

A Cloistered House, UK, by Turner Architects

When Turner Architects renovated this Georgian terraced house in south London, the British studio was careful to restore the building’s original features while still keeping it modern.

Built-in shelves filled with books add a splash of sage green to the living room, where a cosy mustard-yellow sofa creates an inviting reading spot.

Find out more about A Cloistered House ›


Staircase and bookshelves in Farleigh Road renovation and extension by Paolo Cossu Architects
Photo by Lorenzo Zandri

Farleigh Road House, UK, by Paolo Cossu Architects

A smooth wooden bookshelf lines the wall and connects to a chunky wooden staircase inside Farleigh Road House in east London, designed by local studio Paolo Cossu Architects.

Its deep shelves provide space for books as well as magazines, plants, vases and lamps.

Find out more about Farleigh Road House ›


Cuernavaca House by Tapia Mcmahon
Photo by Rafael Gamo

Cuernavaca House, Mexico, by Tapia McMahon

Inside this family home in Mexico City, a huge timber bookcase adds a warm feel to the concrete walls.

“Large timber bookshelves and a kitchen assembly mimic furniture installations and help to break up the use of fair-faced concrete walls and slabs throughout,” architecture studio Tapia McMahon said.

Find out more about Cuernavaca House ›


Charlotte Road by Emil Eve Architects

Charlotte Road warehouse, UK, by Emil Eve Architects

The living room inside this apartment in a former warehouse in Shoreditch, east London, features a built-in wooden bookcase that complements the exposed wooden beams in the ceiling.

Reaching all the way up to the ceiling, the oak shelving was designed to add to the warm material palette of the brick-and-timber building.

Find out more about Charlotte Road warehouse ›

This is the latest in our lookbooks series, which provides visual inspiration from Dezeen’s archive. For more inspiration see previous lookbooks featuring bathrooms with sunken baths, bedrooms with regal four-poster beds and interiors with natural materials and timeless accents.



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