Why you need a bookshelf wall... and five ways to get the look this weekend

Add instant interest to you home with this easy DIY bookshelf wall

Why every hip home should have a bookshelf wall... and five looks to copy
(Image credit: Ikea)

We've said it before and we will say it again, if you have got books you have got decoration. Yep, all those dusty classics you have been hoarding (or more likely all those Sophie Kinsellas and Jodi Picoults, not judging) can bring colour and texture and interest to a room if displayed in the right way.

So what is the 'right' way to display a book? In a bookshelf wall, obviously! Forget wallpaper and gallery walls, this the only way we are doing a feature wall from now on. Keep scrolling to find out some easy ways you can create a bookshelf wall yourself and for loads more DIY projects and tips head over to our hub page...

1. Build a bookshelf wall around a doorway

Living room by Laura Ashley

(Image credit: Laura Ashley)

Seeee, look at all the lovely colours that this bookshelf brings to this room and this is a look you can quite easily recreate yourself. We think the easiest way to get a similar finish is to build the shape around your door using floating shelves. Plan out how many shelves you want to go up each side of your doorway and measure the length above the door too so you can install a shelf there too to complete the built-in look.  

The Ikea Lack shelves come is loads of sizes so you will more than likely find lengths that will find your space. They are really affordable too!

2. Or turn a bookshelf wall into a door 

Book storage in a hallway door

(Image credit: Jody Stewart)

How cute is this idea?! Surely it's everyone's dream to have a bookshelf wall that leads into a hidden room? This might be a bit beyond the average DIYer's abilities so you could get a carpenter in to create this look but if your door swings inwards like this one you could cheat the look with wall mounted storage cubes – just make sure your door and hinges are strong enough to hold them. 

3. Go floor to ceiling with your bookshelf wall 

black sofa and checked sofa in living room in front of bookshelf with lots of books

(Image credit: Bruce Hemming)

The easiest way to create this built-in bookshelf wall look is to combine a number of bookshelves to fill your space – we would go with the trusty Ikea Billy bookshelves because there are so many size options and you can move the shelves around too. Just make sure you always secure the bookshelves to your wall. 

4. Create a floating bookshelf wall 

For a more streamlined subtle bookshelf wall, create rows with almost invisible floating shelves. These are from Tee-Books and come in all shapes and sizes so you can create a really bespoke look – they have loads of bookshelf wall inspiration over on their Instagram so check out those ideas too!

5. Use Ikea shelves to create a bookshelf wall

Ikea shelves used to create a bookshelf wall

(Image credit: Ikea)

Get down to Ikea this weekend and recreate this look simply by wall-mounting the every popular Svalnas shelving system. You can buy them in pre-made combinations and mix and match to create your own look. We reckon you could have yourself a very cool looking bookshelf wall in just an afternoon. 

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Hebe Hatton

Hebe joined the Real Homes team in early 2018 as Staff Writer before moving to the Livingetc team in 2021 where she took on a role as Digital Editor. She loves boho and 70's style and is a big fan of Instagram as a source of interiors inspiration. When she isn't writing about interiors, she is renovating her own spaces – be it wallpapering a hallway, painting kitchen cupboards or converting a van.