Who doesn’t want extra storage in their home—especially when that storage adds an eye-catching design element to an otherwise bare space? Built-in bookcases might be just the thing you or a future home buyer wants and needs.

The array of bookshelf designs in homes today is quite striking, showing how parts of the house that never had shelving before now look as though the shelves belong there naturally.

But what does it take to add built-in bookshelves that will add to your home’s value, not decrease it? That’s what we’ll discuss in this article.

Finding the Ideal Location for Bookshelves

Built-in bookshelves can occupy—and enhance—home spaces that have seldom been used, much less noticed. Now, they fit over door frames, on stair landings, and behind beds. There are even library-style ladders to reach the books.

Living rooms and home offices are typical places to find built-in bookshelves. But why limit them to these rooms? Consider all the spaces in your home that could accommodate built-in bookshelves.


Here’s an unusual idea. If your home has a wide enough stairway, you might consider lining at least one side with built-in bookshelves. As long as you leave room for a railing, you’re benefiting from otherwise unused space.

Just be sure to keep the shelves at arm’s reach, since you obviously can’t use a ladder on stairs.

Guest Rooms

We happen to think that built-in bookshelves are ideal for guest bedrooms. These rooms, which are often unused, are already used for extra storage. Why not store books there—and have them available and inviting to guests as well?

Built-in Bookshelves as/in Place of Artwork

For a long time, art aficionados have grumbled that people fill their walls with two-dimensional artwork. People seldom see the three-dimensional pieces. Is this because it’s hard to display them in ways that don’t make the space feel cluttered?

With the right bookshelf design, 3D works can occupy uniquely sized spaces. Use your taste and decorator’s eye to position them to pique people’s interest and curiosity.

Is it the art or the bookcase design that catches the eye? Could it be the pairing?

How to Customize Your Bookshelves

Someone might design a DIY project for a set of built-in bookshelves, believing it would be a simple enough project to execute at a reasonable cost.

Unless you’re an extraordinarily capable amateur carpenter, we advise you to hire a professional to complete your built-in bookshelves or any other “built-ins” you might want.

Why not sketch out your planned design and share it with us to see what our professional carpenters can do for you? Some of our finished projects will amaze you!

Other Home Built-Ins that People Love

Organization for books is hardly the only use people have for built-in bookshelves or shelving generally. Think about all the things “bookshelves” can hold. For example, built-in kitchen shelves provide both organization and ready access to kitchen items.


Most bathrooms are small spaces since people don’t spend much time there. Still, there are a lot of unmet bathroom storage needs that built-in features like shelving could address.

Alongside the folded, stacked towels and storage containers, there would be room on these shelves for some plants or knick knacks to brighten the space.


The new and popular closet organizers comprise little more than extensions of built-in bookshelves. In this case, you might use the shelves for shoes, hats, sweaters, or other items you can’t hang.

Closets with built-ins eliminate the need for extra furniture, making the bedroom more open, accessible, and comfortable.

Pros and Cons of Adding Built-In Bookshelves

Many people adore built-ins. When considering new homes, they’re relieved at the thought of not having to buy as much new furniture if they move in. And they can store things they never could find a place for where they currently live.

However, not everyone cares for built-ins. In fact, the issue of built-ins’ pros and cons has become somewhat polarized. Some feel that built-ins can limit a room’s use. They might need to tear them out at extra effort and expense.

The Argument Against Built-Ins

Moreover, built-in furniture might limit buyers’ reasons or ability to imagine themselves and their possessions in the home. This concern speaks to realtors’ urging sellers to declutter and store superfluous items during showings.

It’s easier to sell a house when it’s empty, and built-ins could detract from the look of possibility that open space suggests.

It’s the same dilemma that has faced homeowners for decades. Do we remodel in a way that we love, gambling that at least some prospective buyers will also love our taste?

A Good Compromise?

To win at this game without being mind-readers, you might have to back down from any extremes in your planned project. For instance, it could mean using the trompe l’oeil of books sliding sideways, as if falling.

An excellent compromise might be to have a movable bookcase with modular units that can be arranged to suit a wide variety of potential home buyers.

Deciding Whether or Not to Build In Build-Ins

Among all interior home updates that both you and future buyers will appreciate, built-in bookshelves are probably the top picks. Built-in bookshelves are versatile yet unobtrusive. There’s always a use for built-in bookshelves.

At Ulta Home Improvement, we do built-in bookshelves and expert finish carpentry — and we do them very well. Our carpenters are fine craftsmen with years of experience and we only use quality materials. We will even have our expert painting crew give them the finishing touch of the color of your choice. If you’re contemplating built-in bookshelves, why not speak with us? When we create built-ins, we highlight your space in subtle yet attractive ways.