Designing with Bookshelf Inserts: The Best Locations - Bookshelf Memories

Designing with Bookshelf Inserts: The Best Locations

Bookshelf inserts are designed to slot between the books on bookshelves, creating the illusion of a miniature world inside a book. The traditional place for them is on a bookshelf between books. Not as bookends, although you could certainly do that. You will find their placement is mesmerizing when they are displayed between books of a similar height, and that’s because the original intention is to create the illusion of a miniature world in the book. When a book nook is surrounded by books, it gives the illusion more credence.

Book nook kits, (a type of 3D puzzle), make it easier to assemble these. With more designs being released, building book nooks has become a hobby for many. The trouble for hobbyists is finding the space to display these beautiful fantasy worlds where they can be seen and admired, rather than putting them into storage or gifting them to friends and family.

5 of the Best Locations for Bookshelf Inserts (Plus what to do when you build too many)

  1. Use a Yin and Yang Bookcase

bookcase in shape in yin and yang symbol

Image generated by A.I.

There are many styles of bookcases available these days and not all are floor-standing. Some are wall mounted, and in the case of Yin and Yang bookcases, they’re typically made of wood with a curve running through the center to create the Yin Yang symbol. Within the circular design are the hubs for your books. In Japan, the way of Yin and Yang (Onmyōdō) dates back to the 6th Century as a part of the Shinto religion. For a themed bookcase display, a wall-mounted Yin and Yang bookcase could be the ideal spot for a  Tokyo Alley book nook as well as similarly themed miniature collectibles.

  1. Vintage ladder shelf display

shelf display made with the appearance of a set of vintage step ladders

© Geneva Vanderzeil, A Pair & A Spare | CC BY 2.0

Wooden ladders are a rarity and surprisingly, a handful of fire departments  still have these fabricated, but for the most part, lighter materials including aluminum and fiberglass are favored for ladders for almost every other task. You can still find wood ones being sold on marketplaces. They’re usually described as reclaimed wooden ladders, painter’s step ladders, or vintage ladders. Some aren’t ladders, but are just made to look like them with shelves instead of steps. Those are the décor ladders. These are terrific for shelf space in rented or student accommodation that has restrictions on putting holes in the wall.

  1. Make DIY cardboard furniture

person using a craft knife to cut cleanly through cardboard

When space is limited, go up. Surprisingly, cardboard can be used to construct bookshelves and even cupboards with the ability to hold as much as 80KG. For all the pricey items adorning your bookshelves, place those on the more solid surfaces. Miniatures and the little knickknacks that make great gifts for bookworms don’t need much of a structure to hold them. 6 ply cardboard is strong enough for little trinkets, bookmarks, annotation sets, and similar cute bookshelf décor pieces like folded book art.  Build a structure with cardboard, create little nooks in it, put hinged doors on some, leave some open, then for the finish, paint it, or glue decorative washi tape to it. Once completed, you’d be surprised how similar it is to a bookshelf and the weight it can hold without falling.

  1. Use a Wall Niche Kit to Put Your Displays In the Wall

a set of wall niches or wall inserts of different shapes on display behind a sofa

Wall niches are recesses in walls and there are various kits available with different designs. These little recesses were best known as the storage solution for fitted shower cubicles. Little bottles would sit inside the cubbyholes within easy reach. Today, designers are using wall niche kits to spruce up any type of room with gorgeous recessed storage space that adds to the style and finesse of a room, while emphasizing the items placed within them. For even more emphasis and elegance, a wall niche would be the ideal spot for any light-up book nook. Why bother installing sconces, or wiring lights in when you can simply illuminate a book nook to draw the eye to it?

  1. Replace a Door with a Bookshelf Door

the hidden door in the form of a bookcase at San Jose State University library

© jessamyn west | CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Who doesn’t love the appeal of a hidden room? Bookshelf doors can be swing-in, swing-out, or they can be flush to the wall sliding doors. For the doors that swing open, you can get kits with a secret book latch that acts as the handle. For craft lovers, you can use a variety of DIY bookbinding techniques to make books in a similar style to the book latch, maintaining its secrecy as a door. What better place to display a hidden world than inside a book nook displayed on a secret door? This could be the ideal solution for rooms with two doors, such as en-suites with a door to a bathroom, or a walk-in wardrobe. The more doors are in a room, the less wall space you have available for shelving. The solution in those situations is to make the door the bookcase.

Use storage cubes for rotating your bookshelf displays

sideboard with storage cubes and decor items displayed on top

Collectors of most items will eventually struggle for space to display everything. Instead, when you have a lot of items and other pieces of memorabilia for your shelf displays, including different book nook themes, you can use various collections to rotate your bookshelf displays. It could be a travel-themed design in the winter months, a nautical theme of ships on an ocean or aqua life under the sea in the spring, spooky décor items for Halloween, and of course, the merry miniature Christmas décor items for December. When you have a variety of book nook kits, each with different themes, displaying them altogether reduces their impact. Collect pieces to help display them better together, store them in storage cubes, and then when you feel like a change of scenery, grab the storage cubes, and assemble a themed curation for a quick bookshelf makeover.