8 Ways to Organize Your Books with Storage Cubbies

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By / Published by Dwell
Everyone dreams of owning an expansive home library filled with thumbed-through classics, but a cubby and library card is often more realistic.

From repurposed concrete blocks to clever, under-counter storage, here are eight innovative ways to stack your tomes.

A Personalized Reading Nook in Stockholm

8 Ways to Organize Your Books with Storage Cubbies - Photo 1 of 8 - The reading corner can be turned into an extra bed. Schonning designed the leather poufs himself, and made the cushions from an Ikea carpet. Under the concrete slab there is room for wood, books and newspapers.

The reading corner can be turned into an extra bed. Schonning designed the leather poufs himself, and made the cushions from an Ikea carpet. Under the concrete slab there is room for wood, books and newspapers.

8 Ways to Organize Your Books with Storage Cubbies - Photo 2 of 8 - Davor (with his wife, Abbe, and son, August) designed the main living and dining pavilion as a double-height space to increase its perceived volume, and added high cubbies for extra storage.

Davor (with his wife, Abbe, and son, August) designed the main living and dining pavilion as a double-height space to increase its perceived volume, and added high cubbies for extra storage.

8 Ways to Organize Your Books with Storage Cubbies - Photo 3 of 8 - The nightstands were fashioned from concrete blocks that were rescued from the street outside the building.

The nightstands were fashioned from concrete blocks that were rescued from the street outside the building.

8 Ways to Organize Your Books with Storage Cubbies - Photo 4 of 8 - Confronted with limited space to build the staircase needed to access the living area and bedroom on the second level, General Assembly designed a custom solution. "These stairs are not an ideal design for everyone and shouldn't be used as primary stairs—we like to think of them more as millwork with a little bonus to it, than an actual staircase," Zames says. "The cube construction of the stairs actually came from a budget standpoint. We were very tight on budget and wanted to maximize the material as much as possible."

Confronted with limited space to build the staircase needed to access the living area and bedroom on the second level, General Assembly designed a custom solution. "These stairs are not an ideal design for everyone and shouldn't be used as primary stairs—we like to think of them more as millwork with a little bonus to it, than an actual staircase," Zames says. "The cube construction of the stairs actually came from a budget standpoint. We were very tight on budget and wanted to maximize the material as much as possible."

8 Ways to Organize Your Books with Storage Cubbies - Photo 5 of 8 - Cubby holes under the kitchen counter house cookbooks. The cabinets are made from salvaged wood. "The kitchen is where they like to be at home," Bischoff says. "That's why it's in the middle of the floor plan."

Cubby holes under the kitchen counter house cookbooks. The cabinets are made from salvaged wood. "The kitchen is where they like to be at home," Bischoff says. "That's why it's in the middle of the floor plan."

8 Ways to Organize Your Books with Storage Cubbies - Photo 6 of 8 - Exposed pine boards dominate the interior, giving a subtle, warm backdrop to the splashes of color that his stove and collection of books provide.

Exposed pine boards dominate the interior, giving a subtle, warm backdrop to the splashes of color that his stove and collection of books provide.

8 Ways to Organize Your Books with Storage Cubbies - Photo 7 of 8 - When it’s time to eat or do homework, the adults lower the tabletop, revealing a dozen book cubbies.

When it’s time to eat or do homework, the adults lower the tabletop, revealing a dozen book cubbies.

8 Ways to Organize Your Books with Storage Cubbies - Photo 8 of 8 - Visiting a Manahttan apartment designed by Tim Seggerman is like sitting inside one of Nakashima’s cabinets, a metaphor realized most fully in an ingenious "library"—really just a glorified cubby with a banded maple ceiling, conjured from a free space adjacent to the loft bed.

Visiting a Manahttan apartment designed by Tim Seggerman is like sitting inside one of Nakashima’s cabinets, a metaphor realized most fully in an ingenious "library"—really just a glorified cubby with a banded maple ceiling, conjured from a free space adjacent to the loft bed.