Stack ’Em Up: The first thing visitors see as they enter architect Per Bornstein’s house in Sweden is the collection of architecture and design books. Overflow is easily solved by stacking them on the floor, eliminating the need for a stepstool for the smaller occupants.
Bump it out: Brooklyn design firm Workstead helped maximize shelving space for a young professional’s Brooklyn apartment by kicking out one side of the custom wall storage unit to gain just that much more space for a few books.
The desktop method: You’d need to choose wisely the books to sit atop a built-in Marcel Breuer desk—such as the one in the Baltimore gem that is Breuer’s 1959 Hooper House II—but it’s still a viable option for overflow.
The whole-wall approach: When all else fails, give in and make the entire wall a bookshelf, as in this beachside house in Sydney by architect Steve Kennedy. You’ll never need to make the painful decision over which to keep and which to toss.
Get Low: In Andrew Blauvelt and Scott Winter’s home in South Minneapolis, a portion of their 3,000-book library is archived in low shelves lining the long entry hall, leaving much of the concrete wall exposed.
Mix it up with old-school wall-mounted shelves: In designer Susanna Vento’s Helsinki apartment, she relies on standard, wall-hung shelving, with books (and DVDs and essentials) organized by color, placed upright and stacked.