Storing books stylishly

There’s nothing nicer on a chilly afternoon than curling up with a good book. But how do you prevent them from taking over and cluttering up rooms?

Dedicated book cases are the answer, and if you arrange them carefully, you can even turn them into a decor feature in their own right. Here are five great examples:

1. For the best use of space, combine bookshelves with a built-in unit so less attractive items can be stored in the cabinets below. Painting the back of the shelves in a dark colour makes them more prominent and highlights the books and accessories.

2. For this apartment designer Cheryl Herweg of Changing Spaces custom made a low bookshelf to fit behind the sofa so that it subtly separates the sitting area from the entrance.

3. Take advantage of wasted space on landings and in passages by fitting them with shelves that run the full length of the wall. They only have to be wide enough to take the width of a book. Note how the books add a splash of colour to the all-white space.

4. Turn book shelves into a striking focal point as Suttie & Marais Designs did here. By painting the shelves white, they make a graphic statement against the dark walls and mixing ornaments and accessories with books gives them extra impact.

5. If you’re a passionate bibliophile then a custom-made unit could be the answer. In this Cape home interior designer Tessa Proudfoot designed a classical unit to accommodate the owners book collection, the TV and an existing window. Placed both horizontally and vertically, the books form a pattern of their own.

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