The Appeal of the Built-in Bookshelf

Do you need a built-in bookshelf? Certainly not! And yet, built-in bookshelves, and their cousins, built-in shelves, hold considerable appeal. The open cabinet trend we talked about in a previous blog is something people aren’t just doing in their kitchens: it’s extended to other areas, as well, such as the bathroom, living areas, and, of course, bookshelves. Today we’re going to talk about some of the reasons built-in bookshelves are so appealing.

Classic architecture


A built-in bookshelf is a higher-end improvement. Traditionally, those who own bookshelves are educated and those who have books and beautiful things they wish to display. Some people like the visual interest of built-in bookshelves, while others like them as a way to show off their treasures. Either way, they hint at luxury and bring custom comfort and solidity to a home. They are rarely a standard feature in a home.

Filling in the niche

A built-in bookshelf can be a grand affair which covers one or more walls, or partial shelving for a particular section. It can be subtly tucked into an odd niche or dead spot, or become a corner feature. Some people even opt for a tiny little stud-to-stud feature which begins as a cut-out from the drywall. A built-in bookshelf can hide the hole from an old doorway which is no longer in use, or be built in such a way as to create a passageway surround. They can also turn the space beneath the stairs into a useful commodity, or enclose the area around a window.

Shelving details

When bookshelves are customized, the homeowner has much more control over many aspects of the project, beginning with the size of the bookshelves. If the homeowner has a unique collection, this allows the opportunity to custom-build whatever size would be suitable to display it to its best advantage.

The type of wood material, the frame, trim or molding, the color, and accompanying cabinets are other options. It can blend perfectly with the architecture of the home, and offer either a subtle or startling aspect to the room.

Feature of interest

Not surprisingly, a built-in bookshelf can become one of the highlights of a home if it’s in an area where the family entertains. If the homeowner decides to sell the house, the real estate agent will, no doubt, highlight built-in bookshelves as a feature of interest. The drawback of this is that while they may be one of the elements which sell the home, and a homeowner can’t take them along.

The Wood Doctor is the leader in wood restoration, refinishing and refacing in the Portland area. Call 503-560-5220 for a project consultation.

etcGreen Thumb Local