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20 Ways to Turn Stairs into an Amazing Bookshelf Library

There’s something about a book shelf and a case of stairs that makes us feel cozy and nostalgic. From quaint to modern, we present to you 20 awesome multipurpose bookshelf staircases that double as libraries and amazing decor centre pieces. A bookshelf staircase can really transform an entire space with just a simple restructuring installation of your stairs. Here’s some of our favourites:

1. This floating staircase aligns each step with each shelf creating a cool structured and graphic visual. A white wall contrasted with bright coloured book spines and copper accents makes this set up pop.

Wooden Floating Staircase Bookshelf

2. Multipurpose staircases are a great way to save room and decorate with efficiency. Large open cubbies like these ones would be perfect to showcase more decor pieces or store old knickknacks and papers behind the books.

Multipurpose Wood Staircase

3. Stone stairs and wood shelving makes for a precious antique look. Old weathered books and metal decor pieces make this stairwell look like a mystical scene straight out from Harry Potter.

Stone and Antique Staircase Bookshelf

4. Digging all these book staircases but don’t know where to start? Here’s some DIY inspiration on how to actually make the installation yourself!

DIY Stairwell Bookshelf

5. We love this unique modern alternative to merging a book shelf with your staircase reminiscent of an art gallery. Playing with shapes and incorporating shelving in an unconventional way creates an interesting centre piece and entrance to your second floor. The wood against a crisp white makes this staircase impossible not to look over also.

Art Gallery Stairwell

6. Here’s another take on the “cubby” style book stair case. Notice how mixing picture frames, decor accents, and books also adds playful shape and texture here.

White Home Staircase Bookshelf

7. Here’s a peak inside Catbird’s Founder, Rony Vardi’s home in Brooklyn. The jewellery business owner keeps it simple and modern with a light metal staircase inspired by a staircase in the Henri Cartier-Bresson gallery of Paris. With a colourful book collection and pale blue treads, the possibility of an overwhelming white sterile feeling is safely avoided.

Modern Metal Stairwell

8. Instead of building a boring straight up staircase, cutting it in half and having each case lead in opposite directions creates super fun and geometric structure. We love how this technique accentuates the zig-zag shape of the stair case too.

Zig Zag Book Staircase

9. Shelving that extends straight up the ceiling has this staircase appear like it isn’t even there. From afar it looks as though it’s just a wall with a ton of dimension and texture. Having different size compartments throughout this installation adds even more visual interest making this the bold focal statement of an otherwise plain room.

Book shelf staircase wall

10. Go modern with a suspended staircase that rides up alongside a ceiling high book collection. Open suspended stairs maximizes space and allows for the below area to be used for a well-lit seating nook as well. Imagine curling up on that cozy couch with a good read on a rainy day!

Modern Suspended Staircase

11. Neatly stacking books from the very bottom to the very top of a shelf space makes this staircase appear as though it’s practically built upon books themselves. Home designers could fill the entire case with more books but we like how an empty front keeps this stairwell from looking too busy and cluttered.

Book stacked staircase

12. For a bright and clean “straight-from-pinterest” aesthetic, strong black frames and a cute little book shelf creates an appealing balanced visual. From the matching carpet to the black ceiling bar, everything in this space is well thought out and strategically placed. The hanging wooden star cutouts on the bottom of the stair railing adds a touch of cute playfulness to avoid a “too perfect” look.

Pinterest Staircase

13. If you’re working with a tight space—no worries—you can still install a book shelf like what’s been done in this tiny farmhouse here. A clean white and black staircase prevents this corner from feeling too cluttered or claustrophobic.

Tiny bookshelf staircase

14. We love how this home pulls off multiple styles without making us feel dizzy. To our pleasant surprise, industrial railings crossed with horizontal white panelling, light wood flooring, modern seating, and old library encyclopaedias actually works well together.

Combining Interior Decor Styles

15. You may not have noticed, but this is the exact same staircase as our first picture from a different angle! We love how that just a different viewing point can make a staircase like this look like a totally different room! Here we notice the suspended stairs more and the open space for a comfy reading nook below. Before installing a book stair case, think about how your space will look from all different angles.

Staircase Angles

16. Another take on the suspended staircase alongside a floor-to-ceiling book shelf! We love how the semicircle window adds a pop of unexpected fun and extra natural lighting.

Bright Modern Bookshelf Staircase
17. Instead of using a bookshelf and staircase together, you can use a book case to actually conceal your stairwell for a hidden entrance surprise.

Concealed Staircase Bookshelf Entrance

18. For a modern business look, we love how this open staircase looks as though it leads up to a place where innovation and smart business ideas are born. With floor-to-ceiling windows, allowing for maximum natural light to illuminate this stairwell, we imagine this spot is a great lookout for browsing business books and drinking coffee on a work break.

Bright Office Stairwell

19. The sky here is really the limit! If you’ve got really high ceilings, why not install shelving all the way up? Keeping all the cubbies perfectly aligned squares keeps this wall from looking too chaotic and can accompany a really large book collection! Keeping some of them empty also works in the favour.

Floor to ceiling shelving

20. If you’ve got a swirling staircase, don’t worry you can still get the bookcase look by having one in the background. Again a floor to ceiling shelf installation ties everything together and keeps the books from looking too disconnected from the actual stairs.

Swirling bookcase stairwell


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