Library Style: 6 Looks at Books in the Modern World

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November 30, 2013
In the Kindle era, it's possible to do away with ink-on-paper books in the name of decluttering. And yet there's something about those old volumes that, for many of us, helps make a house a home. Here are six modern living spaces that use books to make a simple, elegant statement.
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  The firm Gut Gut designed a modular shelving system out of plywood that gets repeated throughout this home, which occupies the ground floor of an apartment building Bratislava, Slovakia. Here, the kitchen island with induction cooktop and the bookshelves are clearly from the same family without looking like twins.

    The firm Gut Gut designed a modular shelving system out of plywood that gets repeated throughout this home, which occupies the ground floor of an apartment building Bratislava, Slovakia. Here, the kitchen island with induction cooktop and the bookshelves are clearly from the same family without looking like twins.

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  Architect Tamira Sawatzky used Ikea components--one-inch Lagan butcher block countertops and inexpensive Ekby Lerberg brackets--when designing the bookshelves along the living room wall in the home and studio  he designed for himself and his wife in Toronto. Photo by Naomi Finlay.  Photo by: Naomi Finlay

    Architect Tamira Sawatzky used Ikea components--one-inch Lagan butcher block countertops and inexpensive Ekby Lerberg brackets--when designing the bookshelves along the living room wall in the home and studio he designed for himself and his wife in Toronto. Photo by Naomi Finlay.

    Photo by: Naomi Finlay

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  Yuko Shibata, a Tokyo architect, wanted more shelf space in her home office, so she added a plywood door with built-in bookshelves that opens into her bedroom to form a reading nook. Glimpsed from the adjacent room, the space looks larger than it actually is, thanks to the bright green walls. Photo by Ryohei Hamada.

    Yuko Shibata, a Tokyo architect, wanted more shelf space in her home office, so she added a plywood door with built-in bookshelves that opens into her bedroom to form a reading nook. Glimpsed from the adjacent room, the space looks larger than it actually is, thanks to the bright green walls. Photo by Ryohei Hamada.

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  Mathieu Vinciguerra reads in front of the distinctive storyboard shelves in his Paris apartment, which H20 Architects designed to accommodate a portion of his massive comic book collection. “We wanted to feature the comics without letting them become visually overwhelming,” says Antoine Santiard of H20. “So we developed this box concept, where bits of white space separate all the shelves.” Photo by Céline Clanet.

    Mathieu Vinciguerra reads in front of the distinctive storyboard shelves in his Paris apartment, which H20 Architects designed to accommodate a portion of his massive comic book collection. “We wanted to feature the comics without letting them become visually overwhelming,” says Antoine Santiard of H20. “So we developed this box concept, where bits of white space separate all the shelves.” Photo by Céline Clanet.

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  Bookshelves hug the undulating staircase in the 921-square-foot Coil house, in a quiet residential neighborhood in Tokyo. The space was designed by architect Akihisa Hirata for Sakura and Ryo Sugiura, a young couple with two children. Photo by Koichi Torimura.  Photo by: Koichi Torimura

    Bookshelves hug the undulating staircase in the 921-square-foot Coil house, in a quiet residential neighborhood in Tokyo. The space was designed by architect Akihisa Hirata for Sakura and Ryo Sugiura, a young couple with two children. Photo by Koichi Torimura.

    Photo by: Koichi Torimura

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  Built-in bookshelves help offset the kitchen from a sitting area in an addition that Rick Black Architect (the Austin partnership of husband-and-wife architects Rick and Cindy Black) designed for a 1930s bungalow in Austin, Texas, owned by Blake Trabulsi and Allison Orr. Photo by Jack Thompson.  Photo by: Jack Thompson

    Built-in bookshelves help offset the kitchen from a sitting area in an addition that Rick Black Architect (the Austin partnership of husband-and-wife architects Rick and Cindy Black) designed for a 1930s bungalow in Austin, Texas, owned by Blake Trabulsi and Allison Orr. Photo by Jack Thompson.

    Photo by: Jack Thompson

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