BHG Style Spotters

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12 Wall-to-Wall Shelves That Store & Display Everything

There’s just something about built-in bookshelves for some major architectural appeal, not to mention all the amazing storage potential. Big empty walls can be intimidating to fill, but a little creativity and vision can create an interesting focal point and major style points for your room. Wall to wall shelving can work in practically any room in the house. You can create an entire library, home office, or ample space for display depending on your needs.

Three things you might consider for your wall to wall shelving:

  1. Display more than just books. Bring in found objects, mirrors, frames, etc. Get creative!
  2. Edit edit edit – good shelf styling means giving your stuff room to breathe so it doesn’t feel cluttered.
  3. Consider lighting for that last little extra polish.

Ok, let’s check out some gorgeous inspiration shots!

This built-in library features two desks with shelves highlighted on either side thanks to their emerald green interiors. Lighting overhead delineates the individual spaces while drawers and cabinets below hide away files and boxy printers.

Amie Corley

Amie Corley Interiors

I had custom shelves built for our lake house in a weird little nook off of the kitchen. Previously I had a desk stuck in there, but it seemed like a better use of the space to have something custom made. After measuring the nook and considering the overall height/scale of the room, I went with five floating shelves, leaving plenty of room at the bottom for baskets, shoes, etc. It feels bright and airy and adds more value to that little nook.

shelves styled carlton landing

This beautiful home tour at Apartment Therapy features wall to wall shelving complete with a rolling ladder.By varying the sizes of the different shelves, it allows for display of other objects and artwork. Keep less-used items on the upper shelves and alternate the arrangement of books and frames for visual interest.

apartment therapy mod trad

Apartment Therapy

Built-in shelves around a window bring polish and intentionality to a small space, not to mention maximum storage potential. A small cushion and pillows provide extra seating too. And that seafoam green color is so much fun!

bhg built in window

Visually this living room’s shelves feel serene and recessed thanks to the monochromatic color scheme. bhg built ins

I love that they displayed big framed artwork in the top of these built-ins. It’s a great way to fill a large space and create continuity to the overall room design.

bhg calm neutral

Check out this incredible DIY library wall by Bliss at Home blogger Kristin. Built entirely out of Ikea Billy bookcases and some extra trim, she created a gorgeous budget-friendly focal point for her home. The addition of the brass lights at the top add that last bit of polish to it. So gorgeous!

bhg diy library

This home office features wall to wall cubbies with a perpendicular desk to allow easy access to supplies. This could be another great IKEA DIY if you want to get the look on a budget.

bhg home office square

If your taste runs a little more contemporary, consider cantilevering the dividers between your shelves. Experiment with placement of your items, and use repetition of objects like the gourd shape of the pottery in these shelves below.

domaine darius rucker built ins


Emily Henderson’s white built-ins are maybe my absolute favorite thanks to their architecturally-interesting A-frame and sleek Parsons feel to the overall design. Bonus points for the enclosed storage on the bottom with lovely gold pulls.

emily henderson

Emily Henderson

Jenny Komenda’s home library is the stuff a bookworm’s dreams are made of. Complete with rolling library ladder, these dramatic shelves rise up to meet the A-framed ceiling. She arranged their books according to color which adds so much visual punch to a neutral room.

jenny komenda library straight

Little Green Notebook

Finally, experiment with wallpaper to bring more texture to a neutral expanse of shelves. This grasscloth provides a calm contrast to the bold white of the woodwork. The gold light fixtures warm up the room and draw attention to the beautiful artwork and finds on the shelves.

sita montgomery shelves greige

Sita Montgomery

Do you have built-in shelves in your home? What are your biggest design conundrums when it comes to filling them? Share in the comments!

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