5 Tips For Fitting A Bookcase Into Your Small Living Room

Moving into a small space like an apartment or a cramped condo can make you feel like you need to let go of a few things. However, maybe you don't need to let go of as much as you thought. While decluttering is always a great idea, don't get rid of all your old books and knick-knacks just yet.

Before you load up the donation bins into your car's trunk, take a moment to think about some unique storage solutions. Rent Own Sell New York suggests getting creative about your storage options in a small space. Adding a bookcase to your space is a great way to create clever vertical storage. It may seem like fitting a bookcase into a compact design is impossible, but that's not the case. You can fit a bookcase into any space you desire, no matter how small. Here are five tips on how to fit a bookcase into a small living room.

Floating shelves

To use your vertical space, install floating shelves. According to Companion Maids, floating shelves are functional because they add storage without using any floor space. Additionally, floating shelves can be installed in the corner, to save space in your living room. You could choose corner boards that are shaped like triangles, or you could get longer boards, to hold more books.

This is a great book storage option because it doesn't look bulky. However, be sure to choose boards that aren't too skinny, so that your books can fully fit on the shelves. This option is also space-saving because a floating shelf could be installed above other furniture. For instance, instead of placing wall art above your couch or desk, you could install floating shelves. City Furniture says that when installing anything above a couch, make sure the lowest item is at least four inches above the furniture piece — this same theory is applicable with shelves as well.

Around a doorway

A super unique and space-saving bookcase idea is installing shelves around a doorway. Young House Love created this in their space. They included a built-in cabinet on either side of their doorway and installed shelves above it. They added one long shelf above the top of the door frame so that books could completely surround the door. This is a creative way to make use of space that usually isn't used for storage. It can also look great in an eclectic space because the books will most likely add lots of colors and different designs.

Including both closed cabinets and open shelves can also make styling your bookcase easier. You can hide away books that don't match your style in the cabinets while displaying the beautiful ones on the shelves. When organizing your books, think about what order makes the most sense for you. You could organize them by author's name, color, or size.

Divide your space

A bookcase could also be used as a wall to divide a space into separate sections. There are a few ways to do this, per Motif Motif. The first way is by using a short bookcase — this will provide the least amount of privacy. This method is great for those who want to display more art on top of their bookcase, such as a sculpture. Or, you could choose a taller bookcase — this option provides more privacy on either side. For the most privacy and permanent solution, install a bookcase that extends from the floor to the ceiling.

This method can save you wall space because the bookcase will extend from the wall instead of being pressed up against it. This can also help break up an open floor plan, like in a studio apartment. Or, it could help designate a separate reading corner or office space. However, for safety, make sure you anchor the bookcase to the wall with wall ties. A loose bookcase without the support of a wall could be dangerous.

Thin spine bookcase

Curbed suggests purchasing a thin spine bookcase. This bookcase holds the books horizontally to give the appearance of a thin stack of books. However, it's much safer and more secure than just a stack of books, which could topple over at any moment. These bookcases typically have one vertical board as the support on the back and multiple vertical shelves down the front of the board. Some of these bookcases can be hung on the wall, to save floor space. If yours is a floating shelf, you could place baskets beneath it, to hold more books, or you could install the shelf above other furniture in your home.

These thin spine bookcases are great space savers because they can fit into very narrow spaces, like unused corners. If you have an awkward space in your small apartment, consider purchasing one of these bookcases. They carry the eye up and help make use of vertical space.

Around a radiator

You may be surprised to discover that a bookshelf can actually be built around a radiator. While this may seem like a fire hazard, if done correctly, it's perfectly safe. In fact, Wooden Radiator Cabinet makes custom cabinets and bookshelves that fit around radiators. This will kill two birds with one stone — it will hide your ugly radiator and give you more book storage space.

If you don't mind the look of the radiator, you could add floating shelves above it. Old House To New Home attaches a wooden shelf to the top of a radiator and covers the radiator itself, turning it into a beautiful space for displaying decorative items or, you guessed it, books. If you wanted more than one shelf of book storage, you could always continue the floating shelves up your wall to create the perfect minimalistic place for storing books that don't take up any floor space.