Building Smarter Storage: A More Modern Take On Wall-To-Wall Bookshelves

When you have a big collection of books – or even just a lot of trinkets, mementos, or art pieces you want to put on display – the amount of shelf space you need to store it all out in the open can add up pretty quickly. But if you don’t love the old-fashioned library look, traditional wall-to-wall bookshelves might not be an option. The good news is, it’s very possible to build a lighter, more modern look – even if you need to dedicate most of your wall space to shelving.

Adding shelving to unused wall space might give your home an eclectic look, but it will help cut down on clutter in a big way (by Risinger Homes)
Adding shelving to unused wall space might give your home an eclectic look, but it will help cut down on clutter in a big way (by Risinger Homes)

Traditional Victorian-style wall-to-wall libraries are big – not just in terms of the space they take up, but in the impact of the look, too. Tall, monolithic shelves made of dark wood and packed end-to-end with books can make it feel like your room is looming over you, and if they’re in anything but a dedicated library, it can make your space feel crowded and a little stuffy. But not all full-wall bookshelves have to look like that. Instead of setting up or installing big bookshelves, Risinger Homes uses simple pine wood shelves throughout the living space. Not only are they lighter in color, but the backless design allows them to take up less visual space (and a little less physical space, too). Combined with their slightly asymmetrical installation, the look has a much, much more modern feel.

Rather than long shelves of solid books, the “cubby” style of these shelves helps break up where and how things are stored, making room to mix and match art and media and giving you room to get creative with setting up your displays without sacrificing much storage space. Using simple planks rather than more elaborate furnishings also makes it possible to customize your shelving to fit your specific needs, whether it’s making use of the blank wall on the staircase or perfectly fitting your TV and media center in your living room.

Not all wall-to-wall shelving has to be heavy or old-fashioned. Modern minimalist shelves made of simple, light-colored materials give you the same amount of storage, but won’t weigh down a more contemporary home.