8 Totally Ingenious Book Storage Ideas for a Super Small Home

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Finding storage solutions for small spaces is rarely fun—unless you’re trying to store books. Unlike clothing or extra linens, books can double as decor, so you can get seriously creative with the ways in which you place them throughout your home. You can cover your coffee table with your favorite art references, carve a niche into your bedroom wall for novels, or build a bookshelf-dining bench hybrid in your hallway. Here, eight inventive book storage ideas for a compact home.

Use bookshelves as room dividers

Instead of tearing down and putting up walls, Carlos Tomás of Estudio Reciente used custom bookcases to reimagine the layout of this 753-square-foot Madrid apartment. The floor-to-ceiling shelves work double duty as room dividers and storage for the owner’s large collection of art and history books, which he wanted to have on display.

Store your books up high

Multidisciplinary creative Jesse Hammer only has 183 square feet in their Los Angeles A-frame, so floor space is precious. That’s why they decided to store their books up high, on an original wall-to-wall ledge and a floating shelf they built above their desk, both of which are reachable using strategically-placed climbing holds and little stools. “If you’re a reader, there’s this feeling like you’re hanging out with your friends when you see your books,” Jesse describes.

Carve a book niche into the wall

In a 646-square-foot Paris apartment, interior designer Lauranne Élise Schmitt created a luxurious primary suite where the old kitchen once was. She painted it terra-cotta, added cornices to match the originals throughout the home, and carved a recessed niche into the wall to host books, a clever way to incorporate storage when space is limited.

Cover your coffee table with books

Lily Sullivan, the brand consultant behind the newsletter “Love and Other Rugs,” is constantly rearranging the vintage furniture and beloved knickknacks in her 550-square-foot Brooklyn apartment. She has so many books that some always end up stacked neatly on her cork and chrome coffee table, where they look intentional and collected.

Build a bookshelf-dining bench hybrid

Banquettes are known for their ability to make the most of small dining spaces, but the bookshelf-dining bench hybrid in this 650-square-foot West Village studio takes maximization to a whole new level. The brilliant built-in, which features a cozy seat for two, six cabinets, and open shelves styled with novels, magazines, and photography books, is the brainchild of interior designer Christine Ward of Ward & Gray.

Stack your books on a pedestal

As a decorator and set designer, Marie-Anne Derville spends her days crafting beautiful spaces, so it’s no surprise that her own 592-square-foot Paris apartment is a work of art. The chic home is filled with picture-perfect vignettes, including a faux-marble pedestal with quirky feet that is topped with a stack of books. There’s no more whimsical way to store them.

Buy a corner bookshelf

Furnishing a long, narrow living room is never easy, but interior designer Juan Moreno López-Calull and graphic designer Pieter de Groot make it look like a breeze in their 600-square-foot Barcelona apartment. With a Sant Gervasoni sofa and a Jean Prouvé coffee table, the sitting area is relaxed yet sophisticated. The best part, though, is the smart, low-slung corner bookshelf, which turned dead space into storage.

Fill your movable island with books

Interior designer Melanie Burstin knows that even with 1,000 square feet, every inch counts, so she squeezed as much storage as possible into her client’s Echo Park house. She equipped the blueberry-colored kitchen with a movable island whose base is stocked with cookbooks, so the homeowner’s go-to recipes are always on hand.

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