If you know any alternative style of bookshelf, chances are it's the ladder. Aside from the traditional five-shelf silhouette, which stretches up and down in a taught straight line, the ladder is very likely the next best thing, characterized by its rung-like shelves and leaning posture.
In the interest of continuing my round-up of the best bookshelves to buy right now, I've compiled yet another installment — the best ladder bookshelves — for you to shop and enjoy. So sit back, relax, and get ready to buy; these pieces are stylish, affordable, unique, and oh-so on-trend. You just can't go wrong!
12 of the best ladder bookshelves
Livingetc knows design.
It's the best of both worlds with this option from Nathan James: a chic ladder bookcase with light oak shelving and a rattan storage cabinet at the bottom for cables, trinkets, and more.
A classic take on the classic silhouette. You can't go wrong with this affordable Wayfair option if you're out for something simple and clean.
This narrow, chic oak option lacks back-leg supports, meaning you can lean it up against any wall in your home. A great way to visually declutter, and Article always delivers with its quality.
This is a bookshelf that will make your living room look more expensive, if only because of its matte black finish (though the cabinet at the base makes it even better).
Its extremely open and thin frame makes this the perfect minimalist bookshelf. Add in the white coloring, which disappears into the background, and you're set.
Yet another classic silhouette, this option from Ashley furniture is a study, stable, and solid pick.
I'm partial to the frame on this four-shelf Home Depot option, which is made of high-density bamboo. There are also anti-fall bars on both sides and the back so you can be sure your display items are safe and secure.
Inspired by mid-century modern bookcases, this solid acacia wood piece from AllModern might just be my favorite. The frame appears so well-made, and the shelving, glossed in a warm white finish, offers a luxe edge.
At just $40, this is one of the most affordable bookshelves on this list. Open-frame with the steel wiring = a great budget option.
This modern bookshelf looks to defy gravity with its leaning frame. The shelves are also decently deep, meaning they can hold lots of decor and books.
With the extra storage at the bottom, this ladder bookshelf is also a great bang for your buck, despite having just three shelves (though they are rather wide!).
The fact that this piece is pretty narrow makes it a perfect bookshelf for a small space. Any big-city apartment dwellers, this one is for you.
How should I style a bookshelf?
When styling her bookshelves, Stephanie Purzycki, creative director and founder at The Finish, likes to ensure all decor pieces — things like sculptures, frames, jars, candles, etc. — compliment one another with varying heights and depths. Then, "when I start to style, I take the larger items and lay them out in a triangular or diagonal pattern throughout the shelves, so your eye bounces throughout the whole thing," she told me. Afterward, "fill in with medium and smaller accessories, then add in books, both vertically and horizontally."
When it comes to accessories, always add those in odd numbers and always include greenery. And if you're debating whether or not to include something, try to focus on pieces that are "meaningful and tell a story," she went on. "Look for items at antique shops or thrift stores, shop online auctions, or look around your home. Then it becomes a conversation starter."
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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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