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Where to Place Your Bookcase

Are you looking for the perfect place for your bookcase? Putting a shelf in the wrong place can knock a room out of balance. In the right place, the bookcase will work to create a feeling of harmony in the room, and will be crazy convenient to top it all off. 

Let’s go over exactly what you need to consider as you find the right home for your bookcase. You’ve got lots of options - including a few that you may have never thought about.

Considerations for Bookcase Placement

There are a few essential things you need to think about when you are deciding where to put the bookcase. 

What Is the Shape of Your Bookcase?

The excellent interior design is all about harmony, balance, and rhythm. Sounds great, but what does it mean? Practically speaking, you need to find a way to fit the overall shape of your bookcase into the room in a way that accommodates the other features of the room. 

If your bookcase is tall, you need to place it in a spot of the room that is well spaced from the other tall items. For example, say you have floor to ceiling bookcase, french doors dressed with floor to ceiling curtains, and a tall armoire. These three tall focal points need to be spread throughout the room. Not gathered against one wall. 

Grouping them will create an unbalanced look. Spreading them apart evenly will create harmony. 

where to place bookcase

You have a bit more freedom with bookcases that take up less space, especially vertical space. This means that the bookcase can go where it is most useful, and where space allows for it. Keep the concepts of harmony, balance, and rhythm in mind. A small bookcase on one side of the room can be balanced by a small table with a lamp on the other. 

If you have a sofa along one wall and you place the bookshelf right beside it, you might find that it looks flat. Liven it up by interjecting a tall item like a planted tree or a standing lamp. Then place the bookshelf once the monotony has been broken up. This is an example of using contrast in your design. Contrast is an element of rhythm. 

Make It Useful

where to place bookcase

What items will you be storing in the bookcase? Some books, like fiction, only need to be read one at a time. A shelf holding this kind of book can be placed in the corner of the house that does not see much traffic. 

But some books need to be referenced a great deal! If you have a home office, you know that there are some items you reach for once or twice a day. Keep your well-referenced books close at hand. Think about where you will be using them and what for. Do you want to be pulling out a step stool every time you wish to access your favourite vegan pie recipes? Definitely no.

How else can a bookshelf be useful to you? The top serves as a surface for a lamp, a glass of wine, or a dish with your car keys and the latest mail. Don’t forget to consider the top of the bookshelf as you think about where to place it. That surface area might help you keep perfect track of your keys, so that you are never late for a dinner date again. 

Spatial Flow of the Room

where to place bookcase

Consider the volume of the room. When you put in a bookshelf, it will change up the way the space in the room is shaped. This can affect the way you feel in your area. For example, have you ever walked into a house and the entryway seemed to pull you inside? You felt welcome the minute you entered. The volume area of that space was working wonderfully. 

Use this idea when you think about where to place your bookcase. Putting it right across from a doorway, especially in tight quarters, might make the room feel uninviting. The bookshelf needs to go somewhere that allows for plenty of space in front of it. 

Ideal Placements for Your Bookcase

where to place bookcase

So, where is your lovely bookcase going to go? You’ve got all the theories down so now let’s get super practical. Here are some concrete ideas for the placement of your bookcase - but don’t worry. The arrangement won’t be carved in cement. You can always try one spot out and then move it if something feels off. You could even consider it your workout for the day.

Behind the Sofa

bookcase behind sofa

Behind the sofa is a perfect place for your bookshelves. This is especially true if you live in a small space. Or if you are working with a room that has weird architectural elements, like steeply slanted ceilings. This little trick can save on space, and it looks chic too. 

Try placing a large, towering bookcase behind your sofa, and you’ll see what we mean. The two combined almost become one unit. The bookshelves practically work as a piece of art behind the couch, adding a pleasing visual pattern to the wall. 

And as a bonus, you can reach for a book without moving your tush. Great for that rainy, relaxing Saturday spent on the couch with a good read. 

As a Side Table

bookcase as a side table

A small bookcase works very well beside the sofa, where it can function as a storage space and a table all at once. That surface area is gold. Put a pretty coaster on it, and you have the perfect place for your bevvy as you watch your evening shows. The convenience of having storage an arm’s reach from the couch is a bonus. 

Around the Entertainment Console

around the entertainment console

Frame your television screen with bookcases. This look adds an intellectual, warm element to an otherwise unappealing TV setup. You can put colourful books, decor, and framed pictures along the shelves. The TV will naturally fade into the background when it is off, which is a good thing. 

On Either Side of the Fireplace

What could make a cosy fireplace even better? Adding in bookcases on either side. This look transforms an already inviting room into a haven of rest and relaxation. Can’t you just imagine reaching for your favourite book and curling up by the fire? 

Discover the Perfect Placement

Bookcases can add or detract from your space. When you place them in an awkward spot, they’ll block the flow of the room. But with a little care and attention, you can place them so that they liven up a room and make it more pleasing. 

The right placement can also make your life easier. Find your keys, reach for a book without getting up, or find the perfect place for your glass of wine.