8 Ways to Use Bookcases

More than 500 years have passed since the invention of the printing press, but our love of keeping and displaying books continues to show no sign of waning. Almost every home has at least one bookcase and according to interior design writer Leslie Geddes-Brown, people nowadays will buy them as a decor essential in their own right, even covering up the bindings to get an overall harmonious effect.

Bookcases are, in fact, an incredibly versatile piece of furniture with a whole range of uses that go beyond storing and displaying our favourite reading material. Here, we look at ten ways that you can use bookcases in your home that range from providing useful storage through to creating browsing and boasting opportunities.

1. As a room divider

Bookcases make fantastic room dividers, especially if you pick a wide, open design that doesn’t have a back. The Canyon is a great example – with its sturdy construction, simple styling and sleek white gloss finish, it blends well into most colour schemes and room designs, neatly sectioning off your space whilst offering plenty of room for storage. The Canyon is the perfect way to break up a large area without blocking any of your natural light or making the room feel enclosed.

2. As a wardrobe organiser

Many old style wardrobes have a simple hanging rail without any shelving or space for organising your things. Replacing them can be pricey, and sometimes it is cheaper and quicker to add in your own shelving by putting a bookcase inside the wardrobe. Place a tall narrow bookcase to one side of the wardrobe, or use a wide, low bookcase to the base of the wardrobe to give yourself much needed storage for jumpers, jeans and shoes. Add baskets to the shelves for storing undies and socks, and put hooks on the side of tall shelving to store ties, belts and extra hangers.

3. As a media console

If you’ve got a tall narrow bookcase and you don’t need it for keeping books, turn it on its side and use it to store your games consoles, DVD and Blu-ray players and other entertainment devices. If the bookcase is a little flimsy, add a thin piece of wood to the back to provide additional support. Finding a new use for old furniture is called upcycling or repurposing, and this is a fantastic way to reduce our ecological footprint and help the environment.

4. As a headboard

A bookcase makes a fabulous headboard and gives you plenty of space to store your favourite books for night time reading. You’ll need to buy a bookcase that roughly matches the width of your bed for it to look good, or buy a bed that incorporates a bookcase like the stylish Satty which also features useful headboard storage and handy underbed drawers.

5. Back to back

Good quality sturdy bookcases placed back to back will usually be able to support themselves and can therefore be used to create a cosy ‘reading nook’ in any room. Just push the edges of the bookcases up to the wall to provide support. For kids’ rooms, try joining two low bookcases together back-to-back and adding castors for an instant roving library that can be moved around to make space when needed.

6. As a desk

Two small bookcases can make excellent supports for a table top to create a practical desk with plenty of space underneath for storing your favourite reads. You’ll also have room for printers and computer equipment which can be kept neatly tucked away out of sight on the shelves. If you already have a desk, low bookcases underneath are the perfect way to add additional storage to a room without taking up more floor space.

7. As a bedside table

A bedside table is an absolute must for keeping your books, magazines, keys and bits and pieces off the floor and out of the way. A small bookcase provides plenty of room for your favourite reads, bedtime drinks, and a lamp; and you’ll have lots more space for other bedroom essentials too.

8. As a talking point

Even if you’re not much of a reader, a bookcase is always an attractive addition for the home and your choice of books can provide an interesting topic of conversation for your guests. Choose a stylish bookcase for the dining room and fill it with your favourite titles for an instant talking point over dinner; or position your shelving near the seating area for guests to browse whilst relaxing in the evening.

Visit our bookcases section to view more beautiful bookcases that are perfect for every room in your home.

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