The best modern bookshelves are what turn a home into a space that feels truly ordered and curated. Because they're not just a place to cram books but a home for your most treasured objects, displayed in a way that feels artful and wonderful and personal to you.
So our editors have been trawling through all the best bookshelves to give you this edit of the ones that have more than a touch of contemporary flair to them.
These are the 12 best modern bookshelves on the market right now, from the best home decor stores like Anthropologie, Castlery, and more. If you're still a fan of minimalism but prefer an additional focus on clean lines, geometric shapes, and natural materials, this edit is for you.
The Livingetc edit of modern bookshelves
Livingetc knows design.
She's playful, she's modern, she's unlike most other bookshelves on the market, WITH a cord cutout in the back panel to make living room integration a breeze.
This geometric silhouette features engineered wood that wraps, bends, and twists in a way that will leave guests' heads scratching. The small shelf in the center is a particularly whimsical place for a plant or trinket, and it's a surprisingly affordable bookshelf.
Shelves of engineered wood with oak veneer shift left and right in this mid-century modern bookcase from Castlery that's both sleek and functional.
The sophisticated Beekman Bookcase would work perfectly as an elegant room divider, seeing as the back three panels are translucent. A bit of privacy done minimally and sleekly.
A geometric bookcase is always an easy and reliable way to drum up a modern vibe. From Wayfair offshoot AllModern, this baby is Scandi-inspired and can work horizontally or vertically, depending on your space.
Light, versatile, and translucent, this cabinet from Kartell could also work as an elegant solution to a room in need of division. The five shelves can be easily moved and stacked, and this gorgeous orange color adds that extra modern touch.
Eccentric and playful, this abstract bookshelf looks less like a bookcase and more like the set of a whimsical play. Hide your ceramics and tchotchke among the amorphous compartments.
The rounded lines of this solid teak bookcase soften a room's hard edges, and add a much-needed refresh to the bookcase silhouette we're used to.
The airy, open shelving design on this set of two-toned full-length shelves is both contemporary and understated. It's not necessarily one of the best bookshelves for small spaces, but it's worth the room it takes up.
The Spyglass Shelf from Nestig, perfect for a child's room or nursery, is a design play in and of itself. With its modern rounded corners and unconventional silhouette, it's a shelf both adults and kids can admire.
Iron materials will always evoke somewhat of a modern, industrial vibe. Complete with staggered double vertical lines, this minimalist bookshelf from West Elm is the pinnacle of artful modern decor.
One curling line wraps back and forth across this hardwood and metal bookcase, creating five shelves with one gorgeous rounded corner. A modern, show-stopping bookshelf that will make your living room look more expensive.
How should I style a modern bookshelf?
The best way to style a modern bookshelf is to think of them as an evolving art display of your favorite things. "Set up bookshelves to be a mix of personal items as well as pops of interest," said Erin Coren, a designer at Curated Nest. "Never underestimate what proper bookshelf styling can add to a room."
For something different, Erin went on to suggest "decor that's large instead of lots of little items." It's a "simple way to refresh a living room," she says.
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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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