The Best Bookcases for a Well-Read Home

Time Several Hours

Budget $ $$$

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WORDS BY Erica Buehler

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Published on October 16, 2021

What’s one must for a well-read home? A bookcase, of course. But let’s be clear, while a bookcase serves a pragmatic purpose to house your curation of literary faves, we believe it provides so much more to a space. The best bookcases are a lovely combination of form and function, adding texture, dimension, and visual interest to your room. You can even weave in sculptural objects and decor to create a well styled vignette that checks off all the furniture goodness boxes.

Because there are an infinite amount of styles and shapes, our designers weigh in on their favorite bookcases for every space and style. Read on (pun absolutely intended) to discover the 9 best bookcases of 2021 that your home is craving. 

PS: While these bookcases can certainly flex to encompass a number of stylistic uses, we’re partial to pairing with a comfy reading chair to create a Reading Room dedicated to your *shelf* care. Sounds lovely, right? Check out all the details on our exciting new partnership with Reese’s Book Club to help book lovers everywhere design a bright spot in their home for reading.

Bookcases with That Farmhouse Feel

Weathered woods, timeless silhouettes, and plenty of storage space: these three farmhouse-inspired bookcases bring a sense of warmth and homespun character to your Reading Rooms, or any other space for that matter.


farmhouse bookcase

Similarly, the Ainsworth Cream Bookcase, which boasts height as well as deep shelves for maximum storage space and a light, creamy finish that brightens a room. While it conveys a vintage vibe, it’s flexible enough to play well alongside other aesthetics. Arrange books with colorful spines or vining plants for a touch of vibrancy, or consult our guide for even more styling tips for the perfect shelfie. Bonus: it comes in other finishes if you’re looking for something darker and richer.

white wood bookcase

In the same neutral realm and boasting solid wooden construction is the Dillon Tall Bookcase in Montauk White. It’s got all that rustic flair, with a bit more modern design—making it the best of both worlds. Not to mention, this beauty is sturdy. You can generously stack books… upon books… upon books… and add in some family heirlooms and decorative artifacts for a truly layered look. Also worth noting the adjustable shelves for more versatile styling options.

arched bookcase

Want something a little outside the box? The Arched Metal & Wood Bookshelf features a graceful curve and cathedral-window inspired silhouette to make an elegant addition to any room. With a combination of white metal and warm wood, it balances modern and rustic sensibilities beautifully. Style your books alongside a collection of vases, plates, glassware, and other mementos for a more personalized space.

Bookcases with a Luxe Look

Ready for something new and exciting? Yes, we absolutely believe a bookcase can act as a pivotal design element in a room that’s both eye-catching and statement-making. And we’ve got a few handpicked for you that bring the brass, class, and a touch of sass.

acrylic bookcase

When it comes to subtle and slightly geometric style statements, the Hayley Acrylic & Bronze Bookshelf is top of the list. It’s sleek but has a luxe touch with a cool combination of acrylic, glass and brass. Plus, the silhouette is well-balanced with it’s clean, structured lines.

brass bookcase

The Kimmy Gold Etagere packs both style and storage in one easy punch. Ccrafted of simple, white wood shelves, the outer brass finish makes this a standout bookcase —one that can blend seamlessly into a design while elevating its aesthetic. Pro tip: feature solo, or double up by placing one on either side of the sofa for an elegant focal point.

glam bookcase

One of our favorite design-forward picks is this Beakman Bookcase. The one-of-a-kind, asymmetrical design is brought to life with a little glam finish. It’s a fresh take on a classic combination of brass and tempered glass.

Bookcases with a Modern Twist

For those that are drawn to the mid-mod decade and all of it’s iconic style, look no further. These mid-century bookcases pay homage to the new interpretation of Mad Men classics making a comeback. (Oh, and our designers have some strong opinions on the MCM trend.)

wood bookcase

The Otis Oak Etagere has it all: rich oak finish, black iron details, and a tall and slender frame with ample storage space (including a bonus closed cabinet to hide the messier sides of life). It’s the kind of bookcase that not only fits in well with other styles, but quickly becomes BFFs with every space.

midcentury bookcase

We’d be remiss not to include a longer and lower bookcase in the mix. The Acacia Natural & Black Console Bookcase ranks among our designer faves for it’s retro and funky form. This particular bookshelf lends itself to an infinite number of styling possibilities, whether layered with books in your living room or treasured finds in an entryway. Pro tip: hang a mirror or artwork above, and stack a table lamp on top for a soft glow.

modern bookcase

A little glam, a lot modern, the Rigby 5 Tier Black/Gold Etagere is a heavy hitter on all design marks. Five tiers—and wide ones at that—offer tons of space for books, decor, and other items, while the sleek design feels both fresh and interesting.

Our designers are always in the know of the latest and greatest in furniture and accessories. Take our style quiz and discover the perfect match to help you design a space to suit your style, including a personally curated shopping list.

Words by Erica Buehler