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Store and show off with beautiful bookshelves

Store and show off with beautiful bookshelves

The books people read tell you a lot about them. Don't you feel you know someone better after seeing their bookshelves? Take it further by thinking about how you arrange your books, and you can add a decorative element that makes the whole room yours. Choosing bookshelves can feel like a challenge for practical reasons such as the size and number of books. Once you know how you'll use the bookshelf and how much it needs to hold, there are things you can do make it look just right too.

01 Select for number of books and location

Calculate the size and number of books your bookshelf needs to take first. Different bookshelves will suit smaller paperbacks, larger A5 books or A4 magazines or coffee table books.

Books come in all shapes and sizes. Some bookshelves are made for a specific size, such as paperbacks or comic books. The smallest paperbacks measure 148 x 105 mm, exactly half as deep as an A4 (297 × 210 mm) magazine. If you only have paperbacks, a shallow bookshelf holds plenty and keeps them ready to hand. But if you have lots of different sizes, look for a shelf deep and high enough for A4.

And if you have lots of books, check the load capacity of each shelf. Standard paperbacks weigh around 150 g, larger paperbacks are around 165 g and A5 hardcover books can weigh 480 g. Loading a shelf over capacity for a long time can make it bend or warp the bookcase, so think about the strength required for the number of books you want to store. Fixed shelves can take more weight than movable ones, and thicker, smaller shelves will be less likely to bend. So look for durability as well as ease of use.

After size and weight of books, see which bookcase will go with your room. The look of the bookshelf depends on materials, for example wood or steel, and whether it has legs or doors. A large bookshelf will make a big impact, so once you know what you need in practical terms for storage look again to see which one complements your room.

Attractive natural wood and steel

If the bookshelf will go in your living room or other highly visible location, pay extra attention to materials to find a good match for your decor. If you have a natural look, try an open bookcase made of solid wood.

The stylish FJÄLLBO bookcase marries steel with natural wood shelves. It looks great by itself, and even better when you add some books, magazines or plants. The FJÄLLBO collection includes shelving units, a coffee table, TV bench and laptop table, so you can coordinate all your furniture.

FJÄLLBO Shelf unit

Display all sorts of things

The shelf unit, whose shelf depth becomes shallower from the bottom to the top, is a convenient item that can store a wide range of sizes from paperback books to magazines. You can enjoy a fashionable display with miscellaneous goods and greens by coordinating with the difference in depth.

The characteristic of "LERBERG" is that the legs make the line of sight clear and the space looks wide. Although the width is compact at 60 cm, the maximum load per fixed shelf board is 10 kg, and the storage capacity is perfect.

LERBERG Shelf unit

Use bookends to organise and keep your books in place. Bracing with bookends lets you put books wherever you like, even transforming a wall shelf into a sleek bookshelf. They also make it easy to use any open spaces to display magazines and plants.

02 Select for functionality and options

Bookshelves can be open, sliding or display. Here's what you need to know about each one.

Without doors, making it easy to access books or scan shelves to find what you're looking for.

Showcase your books by displaying their covers through the doors. Many have doors that slide up into the bookcase so they look great too. Choose an open bookshelf and add some doors get the effect of a display bookshelf. It's a great choice for bringing a touch of style.

Some open and display bookshelves can be customised by adding doors and storage boxes. Movable shelves let you match shelf height to the size of your books so no space goes to waste. And doors will prevent light damage and keep out dust.

You can even use a bookshelf as a room divider. One with an open back can pull spaces together with style. Different bookshelves are ideal for different uses. Decide what you want the bookshelf for and how you'll use it, think of what options you need and you'll quickly find the bookshelf of your dreams.

Boxes and inserts for quick customisation

The KALLAX collection has shelving units for everything you want to display. There's no backboard, so you can put the bookshelf against a wall or use it as a divider by placing it in the middle of a room. Set it on its long or short edge to suit your space. Boxes let you enjoy even cleverer storage with a touch of style.

KALLAX shelving units can be used in horizontal or vertical position. They look great even from the back and work perfectly as a room divider. Add any inserts you like or find useful, such as two drawers or shelves or pegboard boxes. Mix and match inserts to store books and skilfully hide away all those magazines you've been meaning to tidy up.

KALLAX Shelf unit


DRÖNA fabric boxes are the perfect size for KALLAX shelving units, and there are lots of colours to choose from, white or dark grey, red or black. Use them to add a splash of colour to your room.


Open-and-closed shelving

Showing or hiding your books will change the look of your room. Open and display bookshelves are great for items you want to be seen. Or if you prefer not to reveal your book collection, choose a bookshelf with doors. The drawback is that it's not quite as easy to grab a book quickly. You don't have to choose – enjoy both with the convenience of a bookshelf with open and closed storage.

The BRIMNES bookshelf is open on top and has drawers below, so you can show and hide as you wish. Shelves in the upper section are movable and can be adjusted based on the size of what you want to put there. Load capacity of 18 kg per shelf means it's a good home for weighty tomes like coffee table or art books. The drawers in the lower section are 28.5 cm high, so even taller items can be hidden away. You can also use them to organise consumables or magazines.

BRIMNES Bookcase

03 Select for future expansion

If you love books, chances are your collection will just grow and grow. Even if you choose a bookshelf with plenty of space, it will be filled sooner or later. And you can't really just keep buying bigger bookshelves. Save your future self a headache by choosing a bookshelf that can grow with your collection. 

BILLY bookshelves grow with you

The BILLY collection of open bookshelves lets you expand in several ways. There are plenty of options to find your perfect style, such as glass doors or display shelves, to cater to space requirements and different types of storage. The simple design makes it easy to add shelves and height extensions, so you can enjoy increasing your storage capacity as needed. The expansion options for the BILLY collection make it extremely popular. And by extremely popular, we mean one unit sold every five seconds worldwide.

Three 106 cm high BILLY bookcases make good use of the space under a window. They're ideal as bookshelves, of course, but also as display shelves.

BILLY Bookcase 


Each BILLY shelf has a load capacity of 30 kg. The shelves are 28 cm deep, so can comfortably hold A4 magazines.

Add a 35 cm BILLY height extension unit to expand upwards. You can add more units and increase storage space without having to move your existing bookshelves.

BILLY Bookcase

The GNEDBY shelving unit is the same height as a BILLY bookcase. Compact at just 17cm wide with movable shelves, it can hold 180 CDs or 88 DVDs.
Perfect when paired with a BILLY bookcase if you want to store books together with media like CDs and DVDs. Expand your library in style while keeping everything in tune.

GNEDBY shelving unit

BILLY bookcases are 106cm or 202cm high. Convert one wall into a massive bookshelf by lining it with bookcases of the same height or stacking different sizes on top of each other. Mix and match to create your perfect reading environment.

Add a 35cm BILLY height extension unit to expand upwards. You can add more units and increase storage space without having to move your existing bookshelves.

BILLY Height extension unit

04 Select to suit a room

Think about the size of your books and what designs suit your space to find a bookshelf that makes life easier. Then start customising it to fit in with your room, which is half the fun. Considering not just size but also functionality and expansion potential lets you enjoy your own stylish open storage.

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