Custom Bookcases

By Robert Robillard on Design

Book case

Custom Raised Panel Bookcase

Adding custom bookcases to a room can be part of the original room construction finish carpentry plan or done later as a remodel or add on.  Not only do custom bookcases look great and add a focal point to a room they can also optimize your space.

Custom Bookcase Design

Many folks come up with their bookcase ideas from pictures in magazines, websites or they see it at someone’s  home.  Once the idea is born it is best to make a drawing to picture how the new bookcase will fit and look in the room.

When designing your custom bookcases you want to be sure that your project will meet both your functional needs as well as your stylistic requirements, looking to fulfill that perfect look, feel and function for your home.

Bookcase Function

Ask yourself how you plan to use your new bookcases.

  • Is it for a home office and require file or media storage?
  • Will you be storing electronic devices or displaying a t.v?
  • Will it be for books only or a combination or books and photos or artifacts?
  • Do you need enclosed cabinet storage?

Bookcase Style

Many times people want the bookcase to look as if it was “always there.”  To do this you need to look at and incorporate the style and trim details currently in the home or make the room fit the bookcase by adding style and trim / crown molding to it.

Many times the decision to utilize raised panels in cabinet doors or bookcase raised, side panels comes from the desire to match existing door raised panels or wainscoting in the home.

Custom Bookcases

Bookcase Layout

In addition to location of your custom bookcases you will want to determine the number and width of shelves.  Here are some details to consider:

  • Number of shelves
  • Width of shelves
  • Depth of shelves
  • How many bookcases can fit
  • Height of bookcases
  • Location of cabinets, drawers, file storage
  • Window seats
  • Wiring and audio considerations
  • Will you need to recess radiators in the floor?

Bookcase Details

This is where you consider the details that create your bookcase style.  Considerations should be given to creating new or matching existing trim moldings, column styles, crown molding,  shelf nosing size/ style, door styles, carvings, lighting, and hardware.

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About the author

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor

Rob Robillard is “The Concord Carpenter” Rob is a builder, general contractor, carpenter, woodworker, and editor of Concord Carpenter and ToolBoxBuzz As a General Contractor and carpenter, Rob owns and operates Concord Carpenter LLC. A full-service remodeling and construction company. Rob is a recognized leader in home building best practices and a source for how-to information for building professionals. On this website, Rob covers all aspects of home construction, building science, home improvement, woodworking, remodeling, and some of the best product and tool reviews. Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review series - Concord Carpenter Videos where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob approaches remodeling and building construction with a pragmatic and problem-solving approach. He enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the construction and remodeling industry. He's a strong advocate for "raising the bar" in the construction trades and promoting the trades to youth. #BeAMentor #Green2Great Craftsmanship, quality, and pride guide his journey on this channel The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob

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