When you have the space, a large piece of decor or furniture is just so satisfying. A large sectional sofa that takes up the entire room, a pair of gigantic coffee tables, a sprawling credenza that handily covers the full base of your wall ... all of it feels luxurious and simple and so ... nice.
Now picture that but with a large bookshelf. One that's not only wide but also tall, with deep shelves and robust siding and a commanding profile that elevates your living room. Indeed, when you have the space, a big, functional piece like this is one of the best bookshelves you can buy, and I'm here to wisen you up to the fabulous selection on the market now.
Of course, your taste is ultimately what matters, but I feel pretty confident you'll succeed in finding something here that you like. Trust me, I shop for a living. And once you're done be sure to check out my other bookshelf-focused edits, including best bookshelves for small spaces (you won't find those here), best circular bookshelves, and best ladder bookshelves.
The Livingetc edit of large bookshelves
Livingetc knows design.
Clean lines comprise this white oak option from CB2, which also features four adjustable shelves and a removable wood glide drawer. At 70" tall, it should also do a good job taking up empty space.
A quintessential mid-century modern bookcase, the Henrich is actually far larger than this image might suggest. In fact, its height is much closer to that of the Ventura bookcase than a traditional low bookshelf.
A corner bookshelf is a great way to utilize an awkward empty corner. Some of them can be quite small, given their intended placement, but this Wayfair piece factors size into the payoff.
With its burl wood veneer, chic frame, and gold hardware (all of which were informed by classic art deco design), this luxe piece is certainly a bookshelf that makes your living room look more expensive.
The Kinsley adds some interest and modularity to the traditional four-shelf bookshelf, and is honestly not a terrible price given the surely study quality and brand name. I think this would make a great statement piece.
Another day, another reason for me to highlight the Fern Bookshelf from Anthropologie, whose curved frame and mix-material shelving (if you look closely, you'll see some marble atop the drawers) continue to make me swoon.
Contemporary and sophisticated, this modern bookshelf keeps the eye guessing with askew shelving. I've never seen another option like this.
If you have a whole wall to cover, I honestly can't think of a better shelving choice that this affordable bookshelf from Home Depot, which features five shelves and a nice white frame.
These Pottery Barn shelves might be more expensive than, say, that Home Depot mount, but they're far more customizable and sturdy. For instance, for a $400 upgrade, the bottom two shelves will turn into cabinets. If you're looking for more a built-ins vibe, these would be great.
I'm rather impressed with this faux marble and brass 5-tier display given its under-$250 price tag and excellent customer feedback (4.6/5-star rating across 22 reviews).
If you've read any of my other bookshelf pieces, you'll know I have an unexplainable affinity for cabinet displays, especially those with a glass cutout. So it's no shock that I'm drawn to this elegant black bookshelf, which really jazzes up the room it's in.
In comparison to the rest of this list, this is likely the most minimalist bookshelf of them all. It's on the larger side, of course, but its open-concept frame visually declutters and leaves all of the focus on the decor.
How should I style a bookshelf?
When you go to style your bookshelf, try adding a bit of fun to the equation with some eye-catching decor, said Artem Kropovinsky, interior designer and founder of Arsight. 'A nice vase or a cool statue can really improve the whole appearance.'
You should also consider 'the art of arrangement,' he went on. Lay some books flat and others straight up. And don't fill every shelf! A bit of empty space makes things 'look better and more planned.'
And finally, make it personal. 'Put in your own stuff like framed photos, small artworks or souvenirs from travels,' Artem said. 'These things make someone's style different and special.'
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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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