Shelving ideas for the bedrooms of book lovers

5 min read

Last Modified 6 December 2023 First Added 20 October 2023

Let your bedroom be more than a place of rest; one where you explore worlds upon worlds and display those adventures for all to see.

Are you someone whose heart belongs to the world of literature? Do you revel in immersing yourself in the words, worlds, and stories that books offer? Then you’re probably no stranger to the desire to have your cherished tomes within arm’s reach.

Whether it’s a fascination with a particular genre or an ever-growing collection, the bedroom is often where your love affair with literature comes to life. When storing books, wall-to-wall shelves have their undeniable charm and draw but not all of us how the space or the budget.

Here, we’ll explore creative alternatives to enhance your bedroom’s aesthetic and add a touch of flair to your literary haven.

1. Floating shelves

Ethereal and light as a feather, yet strong enough to hold any long-lasting series of novels.

Floating shelves are a design marvel that can breathe life into bright, airy bedrooms and cosy spaces too. They’re perfect for displaying your favourite books, allowing you to create an enchanting ambience in your reading nook.

But their charm doesn’t stop at books; you can use them to showcase framed artwork and images of beloved novels or even create artful stacks of multiple copies for added artistic appeal.

A dark and moody bedroom, using greys, greens and silver and gold touches to balance it out. A black headboard pairs with varying tones and textures of pillows, from fluffy to velvet, and a chunky knit throw matches a fleece one atop the bedsheets. Above it all, a floating shelf holds various cards and knickknacks.
Ellis Velvet-Finish Bed Frame


Ellis Velvet-Finish Bed Frame

Credit: homeatnumber67_

2. Open-ended bedside shelves

Keep your most loved books near your bedside for a night-time read beneath dimmed lights.

Open-ended bedside shelves offer a perfect blend of functionality and aesthetics for a book-loving soul. These unassuming shelves allow your well-loved paperbacks and hardbacks to shine right by your bedside. Having your favourite reads within arm’s reach as you unwind in the cosy haven of your bed adds a layer of comfort and convenience.

But why stop at one when you can have bedside shelves on both sides? Hotel-style beds are an excellent choice for achieving the symmetrical look, with built-in bedside tables, storage and lighting on many models to illuminate the pages. Doubling your storage space for novellas and other literary treasures, investing in dual bedside shelves approach enhances your bedroom’s functionality and aesthetics. Your books are no longer confined to dusty old shelves; they’re now an integral part of your bedroom’s design, displayed with the respect they deserve.


A white and black space, with an open concept bedside table. Inside are nestled a collection of books, while atop it rests an alarm clock and a lamp. There is a black metal bed, with varying textures printed on the pillowcases and blankets.
Westbrook Metal Bed Frame


Westbrook Metal Bed Frame

3. Turn half-panelling into handy shelving

Dramatic and strong, like the lead of your favourite stories; take this approach to make a true statement in the room.

Your bedroom’s half-panelling might have started as a decorative feature, but it could also offer a little practicality. With a touch of creativity, it can become the perfect place to stow away an extra page or two.

The shelf created atop the half-panelling is a multifunctional platform where you can display anything from your most cherished volumes to an assortment of trinkets. It’s a space you can choose to keep tidy and minimal or fill with everything that fires up your dopamine receptors.

This design approach is a fantastic way to turn a decorative feature into a practical and stylish asset for your bedroom. It harmonises well with a mid-century and neo-classical bedrooms, adding an element of functional elegance to your space. It will also work well in a maximalist room, allowing you to create a space that overflows with visual delights.

A bedroom filled with earthy and grounded tones, natural flaire with plants spread about, and a half-panel shelf above a bed that displays pictures and candles alike.
Lucia Upholstered Bed Frame


Lucia Upholstered Bed Frame

Credit: casey_r1x

4. Hanging shelves

Think upwards, and read upwards, too.

Do you have a penchant for the bohemian aesthetic, and is your bedroom an embodiment of free-spirited design? If so, dangling shelves might be the quirky addition you need to infuse boho charm into your bedroom. These shelves add a dash of whimsy and can be brought to life with a simple DIY approach.

By making the most of vertical space, they reduce the need for floor-standing furniture and can help your room feel less cluttered. Considering you may need a late-night tea break during your reading sessions, a clearer path might be well-needed! Just try to stick to herbal teas which will help you sleep once the words are done with for the night.

The beauty of dangling shelves is their versatility. You can craft them using wooden panels and twine rope that match the warmth of your wooden bed for a cosy, natural look. Alternatively, if you’re inclined towards an industrial vibe, consider using a metal bedframe with metal shelves and cabling.

A bright and autumnal room, with pumpkin bedsheets, a boho bedside table, and a hanging shelf with books, plants, and some spooky ghosts.

Credit: @mymoonsandmore

From enchanting floating shelves to the understated elegance of open-ended bedside shelving, the transformation of half-panelling into a literary showcase, and the playful charm of dangling shelves, your options are boundless.

Each design brings a unique character and style to your bedroom, showing that when it comes to books, there’s always more than one story to tell. So, happy reading, and may your bedroom become a haven for the words that fill your heart!

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