The Sneaky Places For A Bookshelf You've Never Thought Of

If you're a bookworm, you know the struggle that comes with finding enough space to display (and store) all your beloved hardcovers and paperbacks, per Becoming Minimalist. Bookshelves on a blank wall in the living room can feel boring, but if you're stumped about where else to put them, don't get discouraged! We've rounded up some sneaky places for a bookshelf that you've likely never thought of.

Let these ideas inspire you to think outside the box. You don't have to follow any set-in-stone design rules when it comes to displaying your books. Some people like organizing their titles by spine color, while others prefer to group them by subject, or some take a more carefree approach and don't organize them at all. Whatever camp you fall into, you can set up your collection in one of these unique spots around your house. The best part? This newfound storage means you can buy more books!

Arrange books around a door frame

Think about how many times per day you pass through the various doorways in your home or apartment. For most of us, the area around the doorway is a blank wall. Translation? It's dead space with potential that is just waiting to be tapped.

You've got a couple of options to consider. First, do you want the bookshelves to be floor to ceiling and truly wrap around the door frame? This approach will give a custom, high-end feel to your space. The blog Young House Love achieved this look by installing basic cabinets from Home Depot and adding some trim and other finishing touches (the full tutorial is on the blog) to give a built-in appearance.

If you prefer a faster, more budget-friendly option, consider installing floating shelves around the doorway. For a cohesive look, paint them to match your walls or leave the natural wood grain if you want some contrast.

Use your hallway to hold books

Another area of dead space in your home that's just dying to be better utilized? Your hallway(s)! While most of us think of them as a great space to display family photos or hang artwork, their potential doesn't end there. Use up some of the free wall space for your books.

Besides the obvious bonus of more storage space, adding a bookshelf to your hallway will give the hallway more dimension and create interest. In fact, Houzz says you can actually transform it into a design statement by using the shelves for more than just books. Mix in some memorable mementos, decorative accents, or fun knick-knacks. It'll bring you joy to have some of your favorite items on display, plus it will add some dimension to the space.

As long as your hallway isn't too narrow, you're free to choose bookshelves in nearly any height. Floor-to-ceiling ones will give a more commanding, customized appearance. Shorter styles can work in tighter spaces, and the free area on top of them can be used for leaning frames or stacking coffee table books.

Go vertical with book storage

Many of us often think that there isn't any storage space left in our homes or apartments, but with a little bit of creative thinking, you can add tons of new shelf space for your book collection. Gone are the days of feeling like your home is bursting at the seams. The oh-so-simple solution? Look upwards and go vertical. HGTV has a great tutorial for how to build a vertical bookcase and it will only cost you about $25 in materials (you may need to borrow some tools if you don't have your own). The tower barely takes up any wall space, width-wise, because it climbs up the wall instead.

Once you start looking around with this vertical approach, you'll probably be surprised how many options are available. Need somewhere to store your cookbooks? Add some floating shelves to the blank, exposed side of a kitchen cabinet. If your home has a mezzanine, you can add bookshelves from the ground level all the way to the top. You could even add an incredible library-style, rolling ladder.

Put books behind a couch

The area behind our couches is often a catch-all for pet toys and dust bunnies, but you can put this space to use and create more book storage, suggests Apartment Therapy. Depending on a few things, like the layout of your living room, the size of your couch, and just how many books you need to store, you've got some sneaky options.

If there's only a small gap between the back of your couch and the wall, you can add some decorative trim with a ledge on top, like the picture above shows. The ledge will act as a bookshelf, though you'll earn extra points in the style and design department. Additionally, the texture of the trim against the soft couch and pillows will provide a pleasing contrast of materials.

Have a little more space to work with? Try to find a sofa table (some call them console tables) that includes shelves as part of its design. Or, if you already have a simple, standard sofa table, test your DIY prowess and add some shelves yourself. Now you can stay cozy on the couch and easily reach your books.

Create a dining room book nook

Does your family spend more time eating at the kitchen island or in the living room? Do you wish you could utilize your dining room space more effectively? The solution might be as simple as adding some bookshelves, according to HGTV. Whether you have a large, blank wall or only a little alcove of free space, you can make the area work.

Depending on your personal style, the flow of your home, and your budget, you can go the built-in route or add a ready made bookshelf. Built-ins will look like they've always been a part of your home's design, but they can be costly and time-consuming to plan and build. If you're conscientious about your budget, a ready made bookshelf or two can still satisfy your storage needs while enhancing your dining room.

Have tons of cookbooks or memoirs from famous chefs? The dining room is the perfect place to store them. They can even serve as an interesting conversation starter during parties, so it's a win-win all around.