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As our evenings are officially getting colder and darker earlier, it’s only fair to say Winter is trudging along quite quickly. Much to others disapproval, I actually really don’t mind Winter, it’s my favourite season and it’s THE perfect time to get cosy and wrap up warm!

I mean, don’t you just love winding down in the evening, with a nice cup of your favourite hot beverage (mine has got to be a good old cuppa), curled up on the sofa with a brilliant, nail-biting book?

I’ve always been an avid reader whether it ranges form non-fiction novels, to interior design and architecture books and even comic books. Oh don’t ever get me started on the comic books! I’ve always been passionate about how books are a great way to relax and expand the mind. Over time, I’ve accumulated a range of books that come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, colours and textures, that it really creates a unique and personal silhouette on my wall, which in a way, developed it’s own story.

What are books without bookshelves? It isn’t exactly essential to have a bookshelf in your house, and it’s not exactly difficult to make your own DIY one either. You could always stack and arrange your books against each other and call that a bookshelf, but it’s almost certainly clear that every household owns one. I totally get why though! Bookshelves are great, especially free standing ones. Let’s call them shelving units. They can be well designed and sturdy, in which they are also a brilliant tool for spatial organisation you can weave into your room design ideas.

What I mean is, shelving units doesn’t necessarily have to be conformed to being placed against the wall. It doesn’t have to shy away and hide in the corner. You can have fun with it, manipulate it and purposely make it in the way so you can show off that wonderful vase you bought last week. Make it the centre piece to showcase your favourite books, photos and artwork and make whatever you want to speak for itself!

Shelves that are artistically shaped, like the Content by Terence Conran Balance range, does this as a sculpture piece. It provides a modular stacking system, a sharp S-shape design that you can stack and make your own shape and so it gives you an option for flexibility and for you to control your own storage space and your own exhibit.

If the shelving unit is placed free standing in the room, like the Content by Terence Conran Balance Alcove Shelving, Limed (far right in the main photo), it acts as an intervention and interacts with the way you walk around the piece to get to certain points of the room. This is a great tool if you really want your guests to stop and observe, to stand still and appreciate your space and display.

If the shelving units are placed consecutively, it can act as a display partition in the room. In the Barbican Food Hall, we see this repetition of glass jars in a metal framework which barricades the other section of the canteen, creating almost like another room in the open plan. The reoccurrence is rigorous and not overwhelming to look at, which makes it a thoroughly, thought out interior design and architectural response to dealing with open plans whilst maintaining and creating sections in the space without permanent decisions.


To act as interventions and partitions in a room, it’s best to apply shelves that are in a framework, where you can visibly see through the structure. This is so it breaks it down and is more pleasing for the eye, which in effect makes the space look bigger.

Here are a few shelving units and bookshelves that I think will make a great addition to your space in terms of creating visually pleasing answers to dealing with organising your space. Use them in your room design ideas to conjure additional spaces you didn’t know you had. You can type ‘bookshelves’, ‘shelving’ or ‘shelves into the search box for more.

terence conran balance

Terence Conran Alcove Shelving, £499

terence conran shelves

Terence Conran Fusion Shelf, Medium, £795

oliver bonas

Oliver Bonas Luxe Shelving, £895

ludo shelving

Habitat Ludo Shelving, £395

Main Image: John Lewis

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