Alternatives to the built-in bookcase

We bought this Crate & Barrel day bed (Craigslist find!!) for the new office/Lauren’s apartment and it is screaming out for a pair of bookcases on either side. One of the easiest ways to ground a piece of furniture that feels like it’s “floating” is to flank it with a pair of bookcases. It’s also a great way to add height and a little architectural interest to a room. The apartment is a rental, so built-ins are out of the question (and way too expensive anyway). We’ve been on the hunt for a pair of bookcases that are the perfect size so that they take up the space on either side of the day bed and mimic the look of built-ins. Here’s an inspiration photo of what we’re looking for in this month’s issue of House Beautiful:  We’ve also toyed with the idea of a pair of brass etageres, like the ones Celerie Kemble used in this living room: A few inspiration photos of built-in bookcases and free standing ones…During our research we came across a few different websites that will actually custom build a bookcase according to your specifications. The bookcase, below left (top row) is from a website called Highland Designs. You can choose from a variety of different styles and customize everything from the style of doors to the depth of the shelves. Has anyone ever used one of these sites before? We’re a little nervous! Here are a few of the stand alone bookcases we’re considering…Left to right: West Elm/Highland Designs/Ballard Designs/Ikea/Ballard Designs/Zinc Door. Have you purchased any of these bookcases?And if so, are you happy with it?

  • Ann

    We did Ikea bookcases in a small back room and hacked them like Centsational Girl’s website. They are on my facebook page.

  • Cottage Katie

    I recently started following your blog, and I am thrilled with all of your sound advice and fashionable inspirations. It is refreshing to find two down to earth women with sensational taste!

  • Sisi Tsoi

    Love to do a DIY ikea brass etagere for my shoes storage! And finding hard to find chic blog features how to store clothes!

  • Tokyo Jinja

    I have the Sonoma Bookcase from Ballard in my TV room/back bedroom at the beach and I love it! The quality and styling is so much higher than you would expect for the price – and I have seen very similar bookcases in the thousands. If you want to see it full take a look here:

  • Ronshala

    Thanks for your recommendations on bookcase searches. I love your eye(s)!