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Not quite "Stairways to Heaven", but totally unique and extremely stylish structures nonetheless
There are other compilations of unique shelf designs, as we are in no way alone in liking visually outstanding and effective ideas in interior design - but bookshelves hold a special place in our hearts... oh, such a special place! First of all, they contain books, a deeply comforting amount of books that we will never be able to read in its entirety in our lifetimes.
(images via 1, 2; bottom right is the "Coiled Serpent Book" - more info)
Second, it is one of the very first desires of human spirit to climb the "stairs" and reach the unattainable (or lost) kind of Paradise, so called "inner peace" - starting all the way from Tower of Babel, and continuing through Jacob's Ladder to our current fascination with "skyscrapers": in every case, there is a sort of stepped structure (filled with knowledge at every level) which ultimately leads to inner satisfaction, or so the story goes. The "stairs and ladders" part of this sentiment we will cover in the next article, but today we'll see some lovely stacked bookshelves and some inspiring home library set ups.
(more info - Sebastian Errazuriz Ivy shelves, Books with legs and arms (made with bent nails), Circular Moving Bookshelf)
Book shelves, book cases and library stands satisfy on many levels: they contain loads of potentially fascinating knowledge, and they beckon by their very presence to come and partake of their contained wisdom - and be inspired by their fantastic forms in the process. "Fantastic forms", that is, if we consider some of the spectacular designs presented on these pages.
The Most Amazing Reading Adventures: Starring the Most Amazing Bookshelves!
Perhaps not very practical, but totally radical and great in every art studio is this Neverending shelving unit from Luca Nichetto:
(image credit: Luca Nichetto)
Fabulous shapes of every color and persuasion:
(more info - USA map, Spiral, and Wavy bookshelves)
(more info - Diagonal units, FlexiTube round units and a Shelf Tree)
(more info - Bookshelves with a bench, Ellipse book case, and Saba Italia bookcases)
(more info - Round Shelf by Irina Zhdanova, Genetics Bookcase by MYDNA)
(more info - Second a Half Dimension book shelf at lower right)
Some of the more radical ideas of storing books can be seen here:
(more info - The Brace Case, and Hanging Bookshelf)
I personally love this Sphere Bookcase (more info):
Russian Constructivism design on the right, and the Sean Yoo's Opus Shelving:
(images via 1, 2)
Pulseline, Inverted Shelf which you can make yourself (left) and Pin Press (right) - more info:
Why just set books straight on the shelf? Here is a bold idea: hang them! and preserve the place you're reading, turning book shelf essentially into a bookmark (more info):
(images via 1, 2)
On the left image above is the "Equilibrium" set up, and on the right is another hanging idea, this time from Frankfurt, called "Book Wave".
The idea of infinity of books is conveyed nicely in these creations: "Eternity" in the library of Melk monastery in Austria... and the inside of a "Book Cell" sculpture by Matej Kren:
(images credit: Cilest, http://www.matejkren.cz/cs/book-cell/, via)
Same "book tunnel" idea can be seen here (on the right is the famous project in the Prague Library, where they used mirrors to achieve this effect):
(image credit: Petr Kratochvil)
The famous book staircase features awesome views from every angle - more info:
And... if you are really proud of your books, then display them OUTSIDE, for all neighborhood to see (just kidding, this is a street art):
(images credit: Andre)
Optical Illusion Bookshelves
This mind-bending bookshelf is based on the "Impossible Fork" illusion 9see on the image below right). It's been designed by John Leung from ClarkeHopkinsClarke Architects- and fittingly called the “Bias of Thoughts”
(image credit: ClarkeHopkinsClarke Architects)
"How many shelves are there? Look to the left: four shelves. Look to the right: three shelves." Neatorama has more images and optical illusion explanation.
Not really an optical illusion (and not really a book shelf) but still a puzzling apparition, is this recursive design by Markus Hoffer:
(left image via, right photo manipulation via)
"Read your bookshelf!"
This is a sort of a puzzle (if you look closely and see how the shelves are arranged) - but extremely satisfying once you start to read through each and every compartment:
(image credit: Arredamenti Saporiti)
Designed by Arredamenti Saporiti: it can also contain a hidden message... or not:
(images credit: Arredamenti Saporiti)
Love some weird fiction, or a healthy doze of Lovecraft stories? Then try this Fungi Shelf by Katharina Mischer:
(images credit: Katharina Mischer)
Reading Nooks & Hideouts
Here is a nook that we all would like to cuddle inside, with a good book:
(images via 1, 2)
The lovely kid's reading corner in the right image above is done by Thrifty Decor Chick, where you can find the detailed instructions how to make it yourself. Below you can see the The Cave Bookshelf, designed by Sakura Adachi:
(images credit: Sakura Adachi)
Here's a couple of great reading nooks that fit perfectly into the existing interior design of your house. Find that extra-space under stairs, or at windowsills - and use it! -
(images via 1, 2)
Help! My books are sinking! -
(image credit: Raw Edges)
A Wild, Wild Shelf Space
A cube? A book cube! - A Bibliochaise Book Shelf Chair:
The bottom right image above is another "book chair" that you can order here. Love book chair idea? Makes sense for those who want to keep their library close to their reading space... here are some more designs like this:
(images via 1, 2, the recycled book sconce light is via)
... and a few not as functional designs - rather sculptures, good perhaps for your living space visual appeal:
Books themselves can become shelves sticking out of the wall (order here), or be used as library furniture (oh, blasphemy!):
(images via 1, 2)
Things organized neatly
First, you have to weigh in your "READ" pile vs. "UNREAD" pile... and decide is it even possible to catch up? - Bookshelf by Niko Economids. If you have a bunch of books "unread", then it is easier just to hang them from the ceiling (just like on the image far right) than to go ahead and read them:
By now, you all probably have seen the Rainbow Bookshef? if not, here it is, in all its obsessive-compulsive organizing glory:
You can observe great shelf organizing in action in a video here
Here is an example of a total fail in organizing your reading/working space (some of these, we have to say, have been done "on purpose"):
Some bizarre shapes seem to crop up every time, with some presenting quite a challenge in fitting with the rest of your furniture. Here is a "wisdom Tree" by Spanish designer Jordi Mila
(images credit Jordi Mila, Barcelona)
If you run out of space in your existing bookshelves, then... just stretch them! -
(left image via)
On the right image above is the "The Myth of Sisyphus" design by Bruno Petronzi. And for more neatness in organizing things check out this Tumbler site
Finally, here is a fun question, can you tell which image is real and which has been Photoshopped? -
Well, obviously, the one with books bent all out of whack is Photoshop. That was easy. On the left, by the way, is the gorgeous ItalianSherwood Bookcase, which is a clear winner in our books.
For further inspiration and hours of browsing, we invite you to visit Bookshelf Porn website (which has nothing to do with porn, of course, and plenty to offer a curious booklover). In the next article in the series we will highlight some stairs and ladders that will lead to... more bookshelves, filled in turn with... more books, containing in turn more knowledge... well, you get the idea.
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