Category: Home Improvement

House Doctor: Shelve It

The House Doctor is back. You wanted bookshelves and she’s here to give the people what they want.

Dr Manu had a lot of correspondence to deal with last week – and after looking through your comments and emails, she decided that shelving – bookshelves specifically was an area in which you wanted some home advice. So without further ado, take it away Dr Manu.

Books are always going to be cool. Sorry Kindle, but the shape, colour, texture and pattern of books make them elegant objects, as well as interesting reading material. The Kindle is somewhat…lacking. The more books the better – but how do you organize them? I’ve got a few ideas that will keep your books looking smart (and make you look smart by extension – even if you haven’t read them all).

THE MORE BOOKS THE BETTER – BUT HOW DO YOU ORGANIZE THEM?

1. IT’S A KIND OF MAGIC: CONCEAL SHELF BY UMBRA

Umbra’s conceal shelf is simple but dramatic: a thin metal shelf fixed to the wall which becomes invisible behind a stack of books. Pile them all up and there’s your trick.

And these Umbra conceal shelves are available on LLUSTRE.com now for an exclusive price. Snap ‘em up and suspend those books. Books are magic – I told you so.

2. FOR THE LAZY ONES – BOOKINIST BY NILS HOLGER MOORMANN

If you’re lazy and enjoy reading, this is paradise distilled into a single piece of design. Additionally, you can hide snacks in the arms for when you can’t even bear to leave you sedentary, bookish lifestyle to reach the kitchen.  I can’t be held responsible if you never stand up again.

IF YOU’RE LAZY AND ENJOY READING, THE BOOKINIST IS PARADISE DISTILLED INTO A SINGLE PIECE OF DESIGN

3. FOR THE FIT ONES – CIRCULAR WALKING BOOKSHELF BY DAVID GARCIA

Combining reading with exercising is radical. Who would have thought of that? Could get a little dangerous. You might need a big space, long corridors or an entire loft, but this is such an unusual and exciting piece that you might go for it anyway. Keep fit with the classics.

COMBINING READING WITH EXERCISING IS RADICAL – UNLESS YOU’RE DAVID GARCIA

4. FOR EMERGENCIES – PLUS ONE SMART BOOKSHELF  BY MATTHIAS RIES

So you’ve just invested in the perfect bookcase and then spot a pile of extra books that you can’t file away. This is a quick and easy solution: a little insert for the books that never fit.

THE PLUS ONE SMART IS GREAT FOR BOOK OVERFLOW – THE SIGN OF A HEALTHY READER’S BOOKSHELF

5. FOR SMALL SPACES – TRICK BOOKCASE DESIGNED BY SAKURA ADACHI

You live in a cubicle. It can happen to anyone. I lived in a 3.5×2.5 sqm room for 6 months when I moved to London and I survived. If I only had this wonder I would have had the chance to store my books properly instead of under my bed and use the table as a desk or for my breakfast. Genius!

IF YOU LIVE IN A CUBICLE (NO JUDGEMENT) THEN THE TRICK BOOKCASE IS THE PERFECT STORAGE SOLUTION

6. FOR FLEXIBLE ONES – INGENIOUS BOOKSHELF BY LUKE HART

When I saw this for the first time, I had a flash from the past: me trying to fix the shelves of my bookcase according to the different heights and sizes: never enough to cover the length designated to the very high ones and way too many small ones. Put simply: this is a revolution. Anything can be accommodated thanks to the flexible properties of the shelves.

UNFORTUNATELY – THE INGENIOUS BOOKSHELF IS SO INGENIOUS THAT IT’S A LIMITED EDITION. LET’S HOPE FOR A RE-ISSUE

7. SERIOUSLY? COULD IT BE SIMPLER? I DOUBT IT – MINIMALISTIC BOOKSHELF BY ANA LINARES 

Powder coated steel, maximum functionality with minimal amount of material and quite a remarkable effect: I can think of small corners in kitchens where storing all the cook books and recipes or little sad walls which at last have the chance to showcase some design credentials.

THE MINIMALISTIC BOOKSHELF: POWDER COATED STEEL, MAXIMUM FUNCTIONALITY WITH MINIMAL AMOUNT OF MATERIAL AND QUITE A REMARKABLE EFFECT

8. ONE OF THE FAVOURITE PIECES IN MY HOUSE – DVD RACK BY UNTO THIS LAST

In this cool shop in Brick Lane, everything is made to order. They remind me of the A-Team: ask them help and they will be there for you, smiling. Their motto is, ‘the pleasure of making things differently’. They use a special birch ply composite and all parts are cut from a sheet of material by digital tools and machines to reduce waste.
They also promote local craftsman workshops. What’s not to love?

UNTO THIS LAST REMIND ME OF THE A-TEAM: ASK THEM TO HELP AND THEY WILL BE THERE FOR YOU, SMILING