Built-In Bookcases: The Ultimate Shelf Expression
Built-in bookcases are bookshelves that are specifically designed for your home and then permanently installed. They're often planned to maximize storage or
display space around a window or door, in a corner or along an entire wall. A built-in bookcase can also do double duty as a dividing wall to create a reading nook,
entranceway or study.
Built-In Bookcases Are Here to StayIf you're considering installing a fitted bookcase or two, be sure you're not planning on moving house anytime soon. Built-in shelves require planning, contractors, and quite a bit of construction. They're pretty much a permanent addition to your home. If you do move one day, don't bother taking your built-in units with you. They almost certainly won't fit well in another location.
Constructing built-in shelves is certainly a more expensive proposition than buying stand-alones, but it's also one of the most elegant and aesthetic ways to display your books, collections, and treasures.
Built-in units add a completely different dimension to the beauty and character of your home. Freestanding bookcases just don't offer that kind of striking
impression. Also, you can't always find freestanding bookcases that fit in the space that you want.
Transform Your Walls with Fitted Bookshelves
Fitted bookcases can cover an entire length of wall, incorporating everything including the fireplace, doors, light switches, and windows. It's a perfect way to
create an eye-catching feast for the eyes while using every available inch (or centimeter) of wall space.
Food For Thought Before You Start Designing:
Most other shelves can be moved or adjusted if you are not happy with them or if your needs for them or the space they occupy changes. Built-in bookcases have to be done right the first time, or you won't stop kicking yourself for not thinking ahead. Take your time with the design, and ask around for tips and ideas.
Ready, Set, Design!
Designing a built-in bookcase takes serious thought but it's not difficult. Invest the time to really think about what you want in terms of both form and function and you won't go wrong. You might also consider hiring an interior designer to advise you and draw up plans for the shelving. Interior designers bring a wealth of knowledge and experience from other projects that might very well help you to create the dream design you've been looking for. While this is an added cost, if you're already planning a serious investment, add a little more money and get exactly what you need.
Before Your Start, Prepare:
Choosing a Contractor
Here's our contractor checklist:
Build Your Own Shelves
We've got ideas for free-standing and built-in shelves in our build-you-own section. So, if you're feeling ambitious, if woodworking is your hobby, or you simply want to cut down on costs, you can always build your own shelves.
See How It's Done: A Built-In Bookcase Project In Action
Our neighbors recently decided to redo their living room wall. They had a beautiful set of free-standing bookcases, but they wanted a built-in unit instead to use their wall space more effectively. Take a look at the process, including before, during and after pictures of their built-in bookcases project.
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