Where to Put a Bookshelf: Placement & Styling Tips

Bookcases are a must-have piece of furniture because they are so versatile. You can use them to store books, of course, but they can also be used to showcase art, plants, prized possessions, knick-knacks - you name it.

Beyond just their practical, functional use, they are versatile in that you can put them anywhere in the home. Bookcases work great in the living room, a den, office, your bedroom - you name it. In our opinion, there aren't any bad places to put a bookcase.

With that said, if you're wondering where to put a bookcase in your house or apartment, we've got some tips for you! We'll share our favorite places to put a bookshelf along with how you should position it in the room. You'll even gain insights into how you should style yours - so let's dive in!

Does It Really Matter Where You Put A Bookcase?

As we mentioned, bookcases are incredibly versatile pieces of furniture. You can put them just about anywhere in your home and they'll look great. However, there are certain places where a bookcase might make more sense than others. Even the best ladder shelf won't shine if you don't position it correctly!

For example, if you're looking for a place to store all of your books, then putting a bookcase in the living room might not be the best idea. The reason being is that people tend to congregate in the living room and having shelves full of books could create an obstacle or be disruptive to the flow of traffic. It could also turn your living space into something resembling a library. There's nothing wrong with that - but if it isn't the aesthetic you're going for, then it may be better to use the den or an office as your bookcase placement choice.

On the other hand, if you're using your bookcase as more of a display case - something to showcase art or family photos - then the living room might actually be the best place for it. This is because the living room is typically one of the most trafficked areas in a home and people will naturally gravitate toward it. Plus, putting a bookcase in the living room can help to create a more inviting space.

So, as you can see, where you put your bookcase really depends on what you plan to use it for. Keep reading and we'll share some of our favorite places to put a bookcase along with how to style it accordingly!

Where To Put A Bookcase: Our Favorite Placements In The Home

Now that you understand why finding the perfect placement for your bookcase isn't as simple as "wherever it fits", it's time to get into the topic at hand today. We're going to share our favorite placements for a bookcase in the home. But beyond just telling you where to put yours, we'll explain how to use it in a given room - including styling tips and more. Let's start with our personal favorite use: the home office.

Home Office

The home office is a great place to put a bookcase for several reasons. First, if you're going to be using it to store books, then you'll want to be in close proximity to them. This way, when you need reference materials or want to grab a quick read, they'll be right there within arm's reach.

Another reason a home office is a great place for a bookcase is that it can help keep your space organized and tidy. By having all of your books stored in one place, you won't have to worry about them being strewn about the room - which can make work feel more chaotic than it needs to be.

And lastly, putting a bookcase in your home office can act as a makeshift divider. If you have a large home office, placing a bookcase in the middle of the room can help to break it up into two separate spaces. This can be helpful if you need to focus on different tasks at different times or if you're working from home with someone else and need to create individual workspaces.

The Bedroom

Putting a bookcase in the bedroom is a great way to make use of otherwise unused space. In fact, it is one of our favorite modern bedroom furniture ideas. If you have a small bedroom, then putting a bookcase near the foot of the bed can help save valuable floor space. And if you have a larger bedroom, then you can use a bookcase to create a cozy reading nook.

Another great reason to put a bookcase in the bedroom is that it can act as a nightstand. If you don't need or want a traditional nightstand, then using a small bookcase - or even just stacking some books on top of each other - can be a great alternative. And if you go this route, then you'll have plenty of space to store things like your alarm clock, lamp, and any other bedside essentials.

The Living Room/Great Room

We talked about this a bit earlier, but the living room is another great place to put a bookcase. And if you're using it as more of a display case than anything else, then consider placing it along an empty wall. This way, you can use the shelves to showcase family photos, art, plants, and other knick-knacks.

If you have a larger living room or great room, then you might also want to consider using two bookcases - one on each side of the room. This can help to create a more balanced look and feel in the space. Plus, it gives you twice as much storage or display space!

The Kitchen

You might not think that the kitchen is the best place for a bookcase but hear us out! Putting a bookcase in the kitchen can be incredibly helpful if you're tight on storage space. For example, you can use it to store cookbooks, baking supplies, and even non-perishable food items.

And if you don't have a lot of counter space, then using a bookcase as a makeshift island can be a great way to get some extra prep space. Just add a few shelves and voila - instant counter space!

Of course, where you put your bookcase in the kitchen will largely depend on the layout of your home. But we find that putting it near the dining room or living room is typically the most convenient spot.

The Entryway

Last but not least, another great place to put a bookcase is in the entryway. This is especially true if you don't have a lot of storage space in your entryway. A bookcase can act as a makeshift coat rack, storing things like coats, umbrellas, and hats. You can also use it to store shoes, bags, and other belongings that you need to grab on the go. Take a look at some of our other modern entryway ideas for more inspiration.

And if you don't have an entryway - or if yours is too small for a bookcase - then you can always put one in the hallway leading into your home. This way, you'll still be able to take advantage of all the benefits we mentioned above!

Styling Your Bookcase Depending On Where You Put It

We've shared a few of our favorite places to put a bookcase. But beyond just finding the perfect spot for it, you need to know how to style it for that specific room and aesthetic.

We want to help you with this, but keep in mind that we don't know what your space looks like. The best way to style your bookcase will depend on your design preferences and the space in question. With all that said, here are a few general tips for styling your bookcase in different rooms:

  • The bedroom is typically a more intimate space, so you'll want to stick with smaller, more personal items. Think family photos, small art pieces, and sentimental items.
  • The living room is a great place to showcase larger art pieces and any other decorations that you want to put on display. You can also use it to store things like books, magazines, and games.
  • The kitchen is all about function over form. So if you're using it for storage, then make sure that everything has a specific place. And if you're using it as an island or prep space, then be sure to keep it clear of any clutter.
  • The entryway is all about convenience. So be sure to store the things that you need to grab on the go, like coats, umbrellas, and hats. You can also use it to store shoes, bags, and other belongings.
  • And finally, the hallway is all about making a good first impression. So be sure to style it in a way that is welcoming and inviting. This might mean adding a few pieces of art or some family photos.

Want more inspiration? Our complete guide on how to decorate a ladder shelf is a great read.

Final Thoughts On Where To Put A Bookcase

As you can see, there are a lot of different places where you can put a bookcase. And beyond just finding the perfect spot for it, you need to know how to style it for that specific room and aesthetic.

We hope this post has given you some inspiration for where to put your bookcase and how to style it accordingly! Keep in mind that all the inspiration in the world can't save a cheap, unappealing bookcase. So, treat yourself to a furniture overhaul at Nathan James.

We offer high-quality, design-first furniture that won't break the bank. Designed specifically for those hoping to design small spaces, our furniture is practical and functional - and it looks stunning. Your new contemporary bookshelf is going to be the talking point anytime guests come over. With a lifetime warranty, this is the last bookcase you'll ever buy.

And as you'll soon discover, it's just one of the many types of furniture we offer. We're your one-stop-shop for all things furniture - including modern accent cabinets, contemporary entertainment centers, and anything else you could need. Take a look and see what we have in store for you!

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