How to Plan for Built-In Bookshelves How to Plan for Built-In Bookshelves

What You'll Need
Tape Measure
Notepad and Pen

Built in bookshelves add visual appeal to a room and they also provide excellent storage solutions. As well as using them to store your library of books, they can also be useful for storing files and decorative accessories. However, you will want to plan out your room carefully before you create a built-in bookshelf.

Step 1: Choosing the Best Location

The living room is typically the most popular room in which to install a built-in bookshelf. If you have a spare room, you may want to install the bookshelf there as part of a library or home office. Failing that, the living room is definitely a good option as it tends to have more square footage than other rooms.

Step 2: Ease of Access

An important part of the planning process is to plan ease of access to the bookshelf. It may seem like a good idea to install the bookshelves along a wall behind an armchair, but will you be able to easily reach the books in that location? Will there be adequate passage between the chair and the bookshelves?

Step 3: The Size of the Bookshelves

Once you know where you will be installing the bookshelves, you need to decide how big you want them. However, it is pointless deciding upon a size before you have chosen a location. Use a tape measure to accurately measure the space available in your chosen location. You do not have to build a built-in bookshelf that will fill the entire space. The amount of books you own will help determine how many shelves you will need.

Measure the height and depth of your largest books to ensure that when you do build the bookshelf, even your largest books will fit comfortably. If space is an issue in your home, a recessed built-in bookshelf could definitely be the answer. Built into a space carved into the wall, the bookshelf will not take up any additional floor space. If you do plan to build a recessed bookshelf, it also opens up the opportunity to place the bookshelf in any room within your home. You could even place a recessed bookshelf in the hallway.

Step 4: Choosing the Right Color

Choosing the right color for your bookshelf is important. You need it to complement—or at least not clash with—the color scheme of the room. If you don’t take the time to plan the style and color of the bookshelf, it could end up being an eyesore. You should also consider whether or not you would like to have small lights placed in the bookshelves. This adds warmth and allows you to accent favorite items.


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