How to design a library

The bookcase is an essential element for every home. It is certainly useful for storing books, but it is also an excellent piece of furniture that helps to make our home cozy. But how to design a really functional bookcase? We have collected several tips to guide you in the design and construction of a library.

Where to place the library

The bookcase is a truly versatile piece of furniture that adapts to different environments of the house. It can be placed in the living room, bedroom. It can be used as a partition wall between two rooms, thus creating a wall bookcase that does not take away light to the two adjacent rooms. A made-to-measure bookcase can be designed to be placed under the stairs, thus becoming a piece of furniture that takes advantage of otherwise difficult to use space. Not to mention the suspended ceiling bookcase: unique and unusual, it gives an extra touch to the rooms.

The bookcase helps to take advantage of the vertical space and is usually designed that goes up to the ceiling. They can also be used to exploit the space above the door, thus creating a bridge library. In short, the bookcase is suitable for different locations and environments of the house. Once we have chosen the ideal place we can see how to make a library.

Library for sleeping area

In the room or in the bedrooms it is easy to make a bookcase. Often just place the shelves that serve as a book holder. In the double bedroom the bookcase can be made between two wardrobe. In this way the continuity of the wardrobe is broken by lightening it, and at the same time you go to create a comfortable compartment to store books and knick-knacks. If the room is in the attic, shelves can be placed behind the bed to be used both as a bedside table and as a bookcase.

The library in the bedroom

In children’s bedrooms the library can not be missing. It is usually associated with the desk. The most classic layout is that of a bridge bookcase that runs over the desk. Other times it is preferred to simply use shelves to be placed over a freestanding desk or they can be made into large bookcases next to the wardrobe.. This is definitely the solution that has a larger capacity among all those described.

To create a perfect bedroom bookcase it must be roomy and accessible to children, to allow them to use it at an early age. Here are some examples to take a hint on how to design a library.

The measurements of the bookcase

Bookcases are usually modular and therefore do not have standard dimensions. However, we can provide some guidelines to guide us in the design phase. Shelving usually has a depth of around 30 cm. It is in fact useless to choose a deeper piece of furniture because there would be a lot of space left behind the unused books.

There are several modules for height. There are bookcases with a height of one meter up to libraries that go to the ceiling, then 2.50 meters high up to 3 meters. The width must of course be chosen according to the space available. To create a lively effect, larger compartments and narrower compartments or different heights can be mixed.

If you have a lot of space available the best thing to choose the size of the library is to calculate the space you actually need for the books and objects you want to store. Put them in a row and calculate the linear meters they occupy. Considering that the shelves are spaced 30 cm apart from each other it is easy to design the ideal bookcase. Let’s take an example: all the books I want to store measure 3 linear meters. We can design a bookcase 100 cm wide and 90 cm high with three shelves, or a bookcase column 150 cm high and 60 cm wide. My advice is always to calculate more space to predict any new purchases.

Obviously in some cases, such as in the presence of a niche, you will not have many solutions available. The best thing is to build a library built into the wall to measure to make the most of all the space available.

Example of height modularityExample of width modularity

The materials of the library

The materials with which to build a bookcase are countless. You go from wood, to laminate to iron. Each type of material has its own specific characteristics and adapts to different environments of the house. Scandola Mobili produces wooden bookcases that are well suited to all rooms of the house. Just choose the right finish and the same bookcase can go well in the living room or in the bedroom.

Iron and wood bookcases are very fashionable in recent times. There are some models that have iron pillars and wooden shelves. A natural wood bookcase is undoubtedly the best choice both from an aesthetic point of view and from a sturdiness point of view. A 3 cm thick wooden shelf has a greater capacity than a laminate shelf. A wooden bookcase project is definitely a lasting and perfect solution for those looking for a timeless furniture. They can also be easily customized to suit your needs, for example, by creating wooden wall bookcases.

Types of library

We have seen that the bookcase is a truly versatile piece of furniture because it is suitable for all the rooms of the house, but also because it allows a wide range of customization possibilities. Next to the classic bookcase with shelves, we can design a bookcase with open compartments and doors or with comfortable drawers and baskets. In this way it becomes a useful piece of furniture both to contain books, but also to contain other objects. Designing a bookcase therefore means thinking first of the functions it will have to perform and then thinking about the rooms we need.

So let’s see the main types of library that you can design.

Bookcases in wood wall

The wooden wall bookcase is the classic bookcase. Next to the wall, it may or may not have a back. It is the most classic and simple solution to realize. Also in this case we can alternate the open compartments with doors or drawers and baskets. Usually the closed elements are grounded and instead left in days the upper compartments.

A different use of the wall bookcase is to use it as a real wall, then use it to separate two environments. It is an excellent solution to create a partition that does not, however, bring light to the rooms, but at the same time creates an optical division.

For example, it can be used in an open space to separate the living area from the kitchen, or in ’70s homes where there was no distinction between entrance and living area can be used to divide the two rooms. In all these cases the library is double sided, then it can be made slightly deeper than 30 cm and be used for different purposes. For example towards the living area as a real library, while on the living room side it can be used to store plants or furniture. The ideal bookcase is therefore the one that serves both environments in a harmonious way.

Suspended bookcase

Classic bookcases are usually columns that rest on the ground and rise to the ceiling. Have you ever thought about designing a suspended bookcase? It is a type of design furniture that adapts to homes in a contemporary style.

The suspended bookcase creates a sense of lightness and the environment looks more airy. Scandola Mobili in the new living proposals Maestrale has created a suspended bookcase in dark tones. It is nice in my opinion the idea of interspersed open from closed compartments contrasting with the lacquered color.

Bookcase bespoke

As we have seen, the library can be really useful to occupy those spaces that would otherwise be lost. Then we leave the fantasy free to furnish with a bookcase to measure the underside, a niche or the space above the door. To design a bespoke bookcase, we recommend that you consult a professional who can advise you on the best solutions in terms of cost and functionality.

Bookcase with TV compartment

Why not merge the bookcase with the living room cabinet? This is an idea widely used by those who don’t have a free wall to dedicate entirely to the library. There are several solutions to associate the two functions. We can create a bridge bookcase that embraces the entire television compartment, or we can place columns to the side, maybe closed with glass doors so as to let you see the books inside. The modularity of Scandola’s bookcases is really wide and allows you to realize the dreams of everyone.

Desk with bridge bookcase

In bedroom sets, the library is usually associated with the desk. Why not make a bridge bookcase with the desk underneath? We can then design a bookcase consisting of two columns, a desk and modules above the desk. This is the minimum configuration but we can indulge in associating a library on the ground with a column and on the other side leave it suspended. We can associate the open compartments where to store the books of the closed compartments where to store other objects. And of course do not forget to play with colors: in the bedroom we can dare with some combinations and with some hints of brighter color.

If you want to learn more about how to design a desk for the bedroom you can read this article:

Designing a bookcase therefore requires attention: in addition to the material it is good to carefully choose the color and size to go to harmonize it with the rest of the house.


Latest articles

Subscribe to the newsletter

Do you want to stay updated on our solutions and inspirations?