They say you get what you pay for — but what if that weren't always the case? What if — and hear me out — you had Livingetc and its handy dandy style editor to suss out all the deals for you, so that you're not only paying a fair price but getting a quality product at the same time?
After combing the internet for the 15 best bookshelves to buy right now, I'm back with another specialty bookshelf edit, this time focused on the intersection of affordability and quality. If you're hoping for a well-made, well-reviewed piece that won't break the bank, your time to shop has come.
Keep reading for my budget-friendly edit of affordable bookshelves available now.
12 of the best affordable bookshelves available now
Livingetc knows design.
Target is one of the best places to look for high-quality pieces on a budget, and this ladder bookshelf is the proof in the pudding. It's a sleek take on a popular silhouette, well-made and reviewed, and just $126.99
A mid-century modern bookshelf is not only timeless, but it evokes an air of design acumen and expensive taste. You'll easily fool your average living room guest with this $140 Amazon option.
Keep it traditional with a clean and modern bookshelf that will blend nicely into the background of your room. Two at either end of your space would serve as a great focal point — and they're budget-friendly enough that you can afford to do so.
Tapered legs plus an additional storage cabinet add some pizzazz to this basic standard bookcase from Wayfair.
It's the perfect minimalist bookshelf — open-framing, thin hardware, and a price tag that doesn't require you to rub your eyes.
This Walmart piece has all the trappings of the Target ladder bookshelf but in a narrow and tall variation. $78 for this is such a steal.
This is a bookshelf that makes your living room look more expensive than it is. I truly cannot believe this deal — rattan cabinets mixed with oak wood? I might have to get one for myself.
The gold hardware and glass shelving add a certain luxe element that wooden bookshelves just don't have. And the matte finish gives it just the right minimalist touch.
A bit more industrial, but nonetheless practical, this sturdy and durable ladder shelf would be a great one to purchase in bulk for an office, garage, or playroom.
Each of the broad five shelves here can carry 25lbs — stack books, flower vases and decorative trinkets without worry.
Chic and sleek, this narrow Amazon option is great if you need the right bookshelf for a small space — its thin frame should fit in most hard-to-reach and decorate corners.
This geometric modern bookshelf elevates just as easily as it stores. An impressive, tall, and well-reviewed option for anyone looking to avoid sacrificing style for price.
How can I make an inexpensive bookshelf look more luxurious?
To make an inexpensive bookshelf look more luxurious, Sarah Fleischer of SRF Interiors recommends that you edit yourself first and foremost. "Don't put out every book and object you own," she told me. "Stick to hardcover books when possible, and often I find removing the book jackets goes a long way to making them look nicer." She also suggested mixing in art and accessories, some of which can lean on small brass or acrylic easels, as well as thinking about "creating a visual balance — some taller items, some shorter to let your eyes travel."
How can I decorate my bookshelf on a budget?
To decorate a bookshelf on a budget, "use what you have, and think outside the box!" Sarah recommended. "A bowl of collected matchbooks sitting on top of a stack of books looks lovely (and personal!)," as do photos in inexpensive frames. But if you're really in a crunch, "head to the local thrift store and check out the vases/glassware/home section. Look for an interesting vase or bowl, bookends or even a pair of candlesticks,"
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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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