How Modular Bookshelves Can Transform Your Living Space

Modular bookshelves are not just an average shelf. Designing custom shelving to cover an entire wall is a great way to create open storage for any living room, kitchen or home office. A fantastic investment for any homeowner as you can customise it for your needs and as opposed to built-in storage, you can break it down and take it with you. We had the chance to build modular bookshelving for our client's Bankside London apartment last year who wanted us to accommodate his love of books. We knew these would cover an entire wall so persuaded him to forgo standard shop-bought bookshelves units and create something extra special that could bring our whole apartment look together. Once built and installed, the final piece became one of our proudest achievements of 2018.

Bespoke Design

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We had one craftsman in mind when it came to designing our Bankside unit. Jack and Danni Leith of Leith Furniture who have been crafting bespoke furniture since 2013 in their studio in Dalston. Our collaboration started after we invite Jack to check out the apartment to see the space and take initial measurements. We talked about what solution would work to house not only his collection of books and ornaments but a media unit which included a new Serif widescreen television which would need all its electrical cables hidden as part of the design. We decide the TV would act as the central piece using symmetrical cube-like shelving system to frame it.

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Exact measurements are a crucial part of a project like this but once triple checked and the design approved Jack started work. Creating this unique piece of furniture took several weeks to build, but it was worth it for the excellent carpentry skills. We also needed the shelves to accommodate several large hardback Taschen coffee table style books which our client wanted to be displayed. By adding mini backlights to give his collection museum style spotlights during the evening.

Finding a focal point

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If you’re looking to create a modular shelving unit for your own home but not sure where the best place would be in your room, you could always start by creating a display for your TV, books or photos. For kitchen shelves, a unit like this would work well for large appliances and for displaying your best dinnerware. Try to vary the content of the shelves though to avoid it looking like a supermarket or library. Remember, the more varied, the more eye-catching it will be. 

If you're looking to add modular shelving to your home, don't forget to consider the following factors:


Image:  Maayan Zusman

Many studio apartments tend to be an open plan in design which sometimes needs to be divided into two functional spaces. Using a sofa or screen is the usual method, but a ceiling-high modular bookshelf is a brilliant alternative to solve this problem. Choosing a design that isn’t solid but allows you to see through it ensures your space can breathe without it becoming too cluttered.

Material & Colour

Image:  Mann Made

Image: Mann Made

The choice and material are also an important consideration as your unit needs to work seamlessly with your existing space. Anything too bold will dominate, and different materials like metal or wood will completely change the feel to your environment. If you don't want it to stand out, then try painting the same as your wall colour. 

If you have any plans to install or build a modular shelving unit for your space, we'd love to hear from you.

Love Omar x

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