Beyond the Bookcase

A home library is every bibliophile’s dream.

We want our beloved books to have a special place in our properties.  If space is at a premium, you don’t need a dedicated room to house a hefty collection of well-thumbed novels or oversized design books, as these clever designs show.

Stiff + Trevillion bookcase space - storage solutions

Reading light

In a complete refurbishment of this Bloomsbury property, west London architects Stiff + Trevillion were tasked with increasing usable space and introducing daylight into the middle of a deep plan. A major focus of the award-winning project is the imposing wall of books that draws the eye up and above the mezzanine level. Sleek mid-century furniture and lighting pieces in black, white and natural wood contrast with the owner’s vibrant collection of books, awarding the tomes pride of place in an otherwise neutral setting, while natural daylight floods in from a huge flanking window, casting light on their colourful spines. (

Mia Karlsson bookcase space - storage solutions

Mini modern

Mia Karlsson Interior Design came to this Regency house in Notting Hill with a brief to create a modern, practical and clean family home. Proving it’s never too early to own a bespoke home library, the Highgate-based studio came up with a dedicated reading space for the littlest of bookworms. With an impressive collection of picture books, all that was needed was a shallow shelving unit with supportive dowling to accommodate the front- facing titles. While little ones might need help to reach the upper shelves, the floor-to-ceiling wall of colour in a mono contemporary scheme offers a big impact.

Cubit Minou Farkhondeh Thomas Reichel Bookcase - storage solutions

Box clever

A truly bespoke bookcase is one that grows with your collection and a modular shelving system can offer endless possibilities – especially when you get to design your own. Cubit is the brainchild of interior designer Minou Farkhondeh and businessman Thomas Reichel, who founded the brand in 2006 and were later joined by industrial designer Olaf Schroeder. With an online configurator tool that’s not unlike a game of Tetris, you can create your own masterwork of colourful stacked boxes to accommodate both the large art books, and the Penguin paperbacks, turning your library into a sculptural feature to rival any contemporary art piece. From £22.42 for an individual shelf module (

Ben Kilburn Kilburn Knightingale Bookcase - storage solutions

Lofty ideas

For architect Ben Kilburn and his wife Jane, the only way was up when it came to displaying the reading material in this, their own ambitious home project. Converting three flats into a lofty five-bed family house gave Ben free rein to play with height. The upper and lower ground floors of the property were opened up to connect both storeys of living space, allowing for a double-height library wall that makes use of every available square inch – even wrapping the doorway in bespoke shelving to accommodate the books. Because where ideas and knowledge are concerned, there are no ceilings.

Go Modern’s LEMA Selecta bookcase - storage solutions

Studied design

Today’s living spaces need to work harder than ever, with multi-functionality high on our list of demands. A general move towards more flexible working means the home office often plays a big role in open-plan arrangements. Go Modern’s LEMA Selecta rises to the design challenge, comprising a bookcase, TV and home office rolled into one. The modular system is made up of hundreds of individual components, allowing homeowners to create a bespoke library with an integrated work station – perfect for grabbing just the right book when inspiration strikes. Available in multiple sizes, finishes and colours, you can tailor it to your texts. Price on application (