If you have an empty wall in your office, bedroom, or living room, nothing quickly and seamlessly fills up that space better than a floor-to-ceiling bookshelf. In one fell swoop, a once-lifeless void becomes a well-designed command center, complete with storage for your books (academic, coffee table, and more), plus extra trinkets you've collected over the years.
Finding one, however, is where the trouble begins. To make things infinitely easier, I spent hours trawling the websites of the best home decor brands for the chicest, most practical, and best bookshelves I could, all so you could track down the perfect floor-to-ceiling buy in an instant.
Just note, though, that everyone's walls are a different height — what might be a floor-to-ceiling bookshelf for you might look more like a floor-to-almost-ceiling bookshelf for someone else. I strove to be as universal as possible in that aspect, but definitely bear with me as you scroll through this edit.
Now ... off you go!
12 of the best floor-to-ceiling bookshelves
Livingetc knows design.
From a price standpoint, this is actually a great deal on these triple black bookshelves. They're from Arhaus, an excellent contemporary brand, and they're meant to look custom-made (but without all the hassle).
I've included the New Order shelf in multiple edits, not only because it's available in lots of configurations and colors, but because it's the perfectly traditional (and quite large) option. Depending on your ceiling height, I could see this one going all the way to the top.
To me, this type of shelving just screams 'Pottery Barn.' So I'm not at all surprised I found this quality white bookshelf, which is also meant to look like built-in cabinetry.
Have you ever wanted to whimsically swing from a ladder while tossing books from your personal library over your shoulder without a care? This wood unit available at Burke Decor will get you one step closer (the ladder isn't on wheels ... foiled again!).
The perfect minimalist bookshelf. The tall frame disappears behind each layer of decor, which is cleverly arranged in a back-and-forth pattern on either side of the main rod. Again, this piece might not reach your ceiling depending, but I was shocked at just how tall it was regardless.
They're classic, they're well-reviewed ... what's not to like about these affordable bookshelves from Wayfair. And no, you're not wrong — this is in fact the price for two.
It's not entirely a mid-century modern bookcase, but I see the MCM influence working its way into this tall and lean etagere unit.
When you look at it closely, this 26-shelf (yes, 26!) unit is very much a modern bookshelf. It's asymmetrical, modular, and so chic with its black veneer.
Likewise, this ladder bookshelf has a tension mount design, meaning you can adjust the height depending on the room. Allegedly, it only takes 20 minutes to assemble.
This white and gold unit takes the practicality, functionality, and convenience of a large, built-in unit and combines it with the design and luxury of a unique freestanding piece. Not easy to do, and expertly executed here.
Given the price tag, this isn't a purchase you should take lightly. But the piece is also beyond elegant, easily a bookshelf that makes your living room look more expensive.
And of course, if you're not yet ready to say goodbye to bookshelves, you can always check out my edit of corner bookshelves, circular bookshelves, low bookshelves, green bookshelves, and hanging wall bookshelves.
Do floor-to-ceiling bookshelves make a room look bigger?
As it turns out, whether floor-to-ceiling bookshelves make a room look bigger or smaller depends a lot on how the unit is styled. 'If you go for a seamless floor-to-ceiling look, matching the shelves with the wall color and keeping things uncluttered, [floor-to-ceiling bookshelves] can give the illusion of height and make the room feel more spacious,' Alice Moszczynski, interior designer at Planner 5D, told me. 'But be careful – dark shelves or too many items can make things feel a bit cramped.'
But let's say it's too late — your unit is installed and your room is getting smaller right before your eyes. Thankfully, Alice has some tricks to 'open things up again,' she said. 'Light colors are your best friend here — go for bright shelves and keep your items on the airy side.' Be selective with decor, as well; you'll want to 'leave some breathing room.' And lastly, 'if you're feeling bold, throw in some mirrors or glass elements to add that extra touch of openness,' she advised.
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Brigid Kennedy is a style editor at Livingetc.com, where she is responsible for obsessively combing the internet for the best and most stylish deals on home decor and more. She was previously a story editor at TheWeek.com, where she covered both U.S. politics and culture. She describes her design style as colorful and clean, and in her free time enjoys reading, watching movies, and curating impossibly niche playlists on Spotify. She lives in New York.
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