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How to Choose a Bookcase (Bookcase Buying Guide)

Every house needs at least one bookcase to display everything from books to framed photos. If you’re in search of your home’s first bookcase—or just need to add a new one to your current collection—you should study this guide. After all, there are so many options on the market that you’ll likely have trouble deciding on the best one for your house. Here’s what you need to know before you set out to browse bookcases.

How Big Do You Need Your Bookcase To Be?

One of the most basic considerations to make is what size you want this piece of furniture to be. This will depend on a few factors. First, how much space do you have in the room you’re planning to put it in? If there’s plenty of open space, you can choose a wide bookcase that measures several feet across.

bookcase buying guide - size
bookcase buying guide - austin But if there’s not much room, you’ll need to go up—not out—meaning you’ll need a taller bookcase if you want to store a lot on it. And if you don’t have much to put in it in the first place, one or more small bookcases may be just right. So make sure you measure the room before you shop.
bookcase buying guide - purposeful If you have children in your household, consider the purpose of the bookcase: do you want your kids to be able to access what’s on the shelves of the bookcase? If so, a shorter option may be best. If not, a tall bookcase may be just right so you can keep special or fragile items out of reach of little hands. Just be sure to mount it to the wall if you have a curious climber in the house!

What Type of Bookcase Do You Want?

There are lots of bookcases on the market, so think about the look you like and what you need to fit in this piece of furniture. 

bookcase buying guide - industrial
bookcase buying guide - basic If you’re thinking of just a basic bookcase for storing books or showing off knick knacks, a standard bookcase should suit you. This can be tall or wide, with either an open or closed back.
bookcase buying guide - decorative Another option is the cube bookcase. While standard bookcases tend to have long shelves, cube storage options have square shelves where you can fit books, decorative baskets or boxes. This allows you the option of easily hiding some of your stuff in plain sight.
bookcase buying guide - functional Additionally, some bookcases are meant to be almost as decorative as they are functional. For instance, etagere bookcases were basically designed to look pretty while showing off your nicest décor. You’ll notice these bookcases are not exactly heavy duty, as they typically have thin frames, open shelves and a few decorative touches, such as a unique pattern or shelves made into interesting shapes.

Which Style Best Suits Your Space?

bookcase buying guide - details Finally, put some thought into what color and materials you want for your bookcase. Sure, when you think of bookcases, you probably think of the typical wooden kind with long shelves, and that is a popular choice. 
decorate a wood buffet server If you love wood furniture and have a traditional home style, a wooden bookcase would work great. Just think about how light or dark you want the wood to be, and if you want any details that stand out—such as hand-carved shapes or scrolls.

But maybe you’re ready to try something other than traditional wood. If you want a more modern look, consider a metal bookcase with glass shelves. And if you want a little of both styles, you can combine them by choosing a metal frame with wooden shelves. Then decide what color you want the metal and wood to be, and you’ll end up with the perfect bookcase for your home.

bookcase buying guide - metal

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