Industrial style decor has become an increasingly popular interior design trend in recent years. This aesthetic emphasizes raw, unfinished textures and an “old world” factory or warehouse look. Exposed bricks, weathered wood, concrete, metal piping, and vintage influences all blend together to create a space with an urban modern edge.
Beyond just an interior design fad, industrial style makes sense for a lot of homeowners and apartment dwellers. The durable, hard-wearing materials suit high-traffic spaces. The neutral color palette allows room for bold pops of color and pattern through artwork, rugs, and accessories. Exposed shelving and storage fits in perfectly with the minimalist appeal of the industrial look while still being functional.
For many, a key piece of industrial style furniture is the bookcase. Not only does it provide ample storage and display space, but it also makes for an eye-catching focal point in your living room, home office, or other space. With such a range of options for dimensions, features, and finishes, an industrial bookcase can complement your existing decor or help transition a room towards this rugged yet refined aesthetic.
Choosing the perfect industrial style bookcase comes down to a few key factors – assessing your space, determining needed dimensions and features, evaluating materials and finishes, considering quality and durability, and exploring top recommended options. Read on for an in-depth look at finding your ideal industrial bookcase for style and function.
Assessing Your Space
Before you fall in love with a specific industrial bookcase, take time to carefully evaluate your space. You want to select a bookcase size and style that not only fits the room’s proportions and architecture but also suits your organizational needs and complements your decor.
Start by measuring the area where you want to place the bookcase. Note the height, width, and depth of the wall space or floor area. Take into account any architectural details – does the area have an alcove, window seat, or sloped ceiling? Measure the openings of surrounding doorways or hallways that the bookcase would need to fit through. Understanding the spatial limitations is key for choosing the right sizing.
Also consider what you will display on the bookcase shelves. Will it primarily house books, or more decorative items like vases, framed photos and art? Make note of the approximate dimensions of these possessions to determine what shelf depth you’ll require. Will you need space for a TV, stereo equipment or other media essentials? Shelves for these bulkier items need more robust support and hardware.
Determine what additional features would be useful for your storage and organizational needs. For example, do you prefer open and closed shelving in one unit? Enclosed cabinets or drawers are great for hiding clutter. Adjustable shelves allow flexibility to reconfigure over time. Lighting fixtures showcase favourite items while task lighting aids reading. Knowing the features you’d appreciate will help narrow options.
Take stock of the existing architectural details and furnishings in the space. Do you have wood or concrete floors? Exposed metal pipes overhead? Wood paneling on walls? Matching your bookcase to the same finishes and textures already present in the room will achieve that cohesive industrial feeling.
Finally, understand any limitations your space presents. Low ceiling heights limit bookcase size, as do narrow hallways or tight staircases. Make note of any squeezes or tight turns needed to bring a bookcase to its resting spot. All these spatial considerations will guide you in choosing the ideal dimensions and style.
Key Dimensions and Features
Industrial style bookcases come in a wide range of sizes, configurations, and features. Beyond just eyeing options that you find visually appealing, take time to understand the functional design elements that suit your space and storage needs.
The height of the bookcase will be dictated in part by your room’s proportions. Allow for some empty space above the bookcase – about 8-12 inches up to the ceiling or at least space for decorative items on the uppermost shelf. Standard bookcase heights range from about 4 feet on the shorter side to ceiling height for taller spaces.
Length or width will depend on the floor area or wall space you intend to fill. An industrial bookcase can make a bold statement as a solitary anchor in an open concept living area or can be squeezed into a compact office nook. Measure the area carefully and allow adequate space around the bookcase for walking, opening cabinets, etc.
Depth is an important factor, especially for book storage. Shelves around 12-16 inches deep can accommodate books stored facing outwards for display. For shelves that will hold books stacked sideways in rows, allow closer to 16-20 inches depth. The depth you choose should comfortably fit your largest items.
The number of shelves and their configurations also impact storage options. Bookshelves often have fixed intervals, while display cases may have more adjustable shelf positions. Sturdy shelves are key for heavy books. Completely open shelves promote decor display, while doors or enclosed cabinets conceal items below.
Additional storage and display features include:
- Doors or cabinets on lower shelves to hide clutter while upper open shelves showcase decorative items and books. Combination bookcases provide both open and closed storage options.
- Media storage features like wider middle shelves, enclosed cabinets and cord management to neatly accommodate audio/visual components. Good ventilation prevents overheating of electronics.
- Lighting like vintage Edison bulbs or built-in fixtures to illuminate favourite items on display. Opt for energy-efficient LED lighting to reduce costs.
- Drawers to hold items not meant for display. Great for tucking away office supplies, collections, or general clutter.
Consider which of these features would enhance your organizational needs and design vision for your space. The right industrial bookcase offers both storage and display capabilities.
Ideal Materials and Finishes
The materials and finishes of an industrial style bookcase significantly contribute to achieving that authentic timeworn warehouse aesthetic. When evaluating options, consider finishes that emphasize the natural imperfections that come with age and wear.
Solid wood is a classic choice, often purposefully distressed and finished to appear aged over time. Pine, oak, acacia and fir are common wood species, appreciated for their attractive natural grains. Woods are wire-brushed or otherwise texturized and finished to achieve a worn, weathered patina. Watch for quality joinery and finishes that stand up to dents and scratches.
Steel and iron have an obvious industrial vibe, mimicking piping and salvaged factory relics. Raw metal finishes like black, bronze and pewter work well. Shelving made from old metal wire grid or cage designs have an open, airy warehouse feeling. Just be aware that raw unfinished steel is prone to rusting and corrosion over time – look for protective finishes.
Reclaimed wood offers character and eco-friendly cache, salvaged from old barns, factories or other demolition projects. Since the wood is usually sourced from different structures, you get a mishmash of color variations, stains, textures, and markings, adding to the charm.
Cement, concrete, and brick offer that cool sleek concrete jungle vibe. While heavy and hard to transport, nothing screams raw industrial style quite like exposed concrete and brick. Faux treatments offer realistic looking lightweight options. Neutral cement gray tones suit the industrial palette.
Even glass can fit with the industrial look when used creatively. Think framed glass hung on the wall or repurposed glass shower doors used as bookcase doors. Clear glass maintains an light, invisible feel while frosted, tinted, or patterned glass makes more of a statement.
Quality and Durability Considerations
While you may be sacrificing some delicacy and refinement to get that rough-hewn industrial style, a quality bookcase should still be built to last. Look for signs of careful craftsmanship, sturdy construction and durable finishes when evaluating options.
Quality craftsmanship involves careful material selection combined with skilled construction and finishing. Study the joints – are they secure? Examine finishes – are surfaces smooth and consistent? Check alignment – do sides match up and shelves sit level? Hardware should be high-quality and functional.
Strength and stability are essential. Case frames should have metal bracing while shelves are firmly attached and supported on ends. Bases should be sufficiently wide to prevent tipping. Tall bookcases likely need included wall anchors and mounting hardware for safety. Ensure the bookcase can handle weight of heavy books without bowing shelves or leaning over time.
The assembly process may factor into your decision. Easier assembly means smoother installation, but don’t sacrifice complicated instructions for flimsy shortcuts. Most quality bookcases will arrive boxed with assembly required, but should include detailed steps and all necessary tools and hardware.
Safety features are critical, especially for taller bookcases or those intended for children’s rooms. Look for tip-restraint straps, anti-toppling kits, and wall mounting options. Avoid bookcases that seem imbalanced or top-heavy.
When evaluating finishes, prioritize durability. Higher quality wood finishes and metal coatings resist scratching, scuffing, and rusting. The entire unit should be designed to withstand high-wear and frequent use.
Finally, look at warranties as they speak to the manufacturer’s faith in the quality of materials and workmanship. Good coverage for at least 1 year is ideal – longer is better.
While an industrial style bookcase emphasizes a rough, imperfect look, quality construction ensures the case itself functions safely and lasts for years.
Top 5 Industrial Bookcases
If you’re still uncertain where to start your industrial bookcase search, here are five recommended options worth considering:
- Krost Metal Etagere Bookcase
This sleek steel wire shelving unit epitomizes industrial style. The customizable modular design allows you to create a whole range of versatile configurations to suit your space. Easy bolt assembly means you can accommodate future changes. Though open and airy, the metal framework is extremely strong and durable.
- Cordaro Distressed Wood Bookcase
Warm distressed wood complements the metal and concrete frequently seen in industrial interiors. This reclaimed pine bookcase has a multi-step hand-finished process to achieve a timeworn patina. Hefty in feel yet light enough for caster wheels allowing you to move as needed. Open and enclosed storage hide clutter while displaying favourites.
- Urban Pipe Bookcase
Genuine iron piping gives this display shelf raw authentic appeal. The mixed materials – pipe sides plus strong steel wire grid shelving – create an open airy feel. Custom sizing available to fit your space requirements. The iron finish is specially treated to resist rust and corrosion over time.
- Hudson Reclaimed Wood Bookcase
Fashioned from reclaimed old railyard lumber, each bookcase has a unique weathered patina. The eco-friendly salvaged wood frames feature adjustable shelving, while steel side panels lend durability and support. A statement piece with character that fits right in with industrial decor.
- Simpli Home Athena Bookshelf
While budget-friendly, this bookcase still delivers on quality construction. The handsome acacia wood grain is accented with antique brass finished metal supports. Combination of open and closed storage provides versatile options. Anti-tip safety features important for households with kids.
This list gives you a sense of the range of industrial options. Look for quality materials, sturdy construction, and functional storage whether choosing from these options or exploring others.
The right industrial bookcase showcases your personal taste while strengthening the cohesive warehouse aesthetic of your space. Allow yourself flexibility – your ideal bookcase may creatively combine wood, metal, and reclaimed elements.
Focus on finding an option suited for your needs that fits both your space and budget. Carefully measure area limitations and component sizes like shelving depth and height. durability and quality should be priorities – a bookcase is a long-term investment after all.
Keep in mind future flexibility – if your storage needs evolve, how adaptable is the bookcase? Can shelving be reconfigured or lighting added? With an adjustable, modular bookcase, you can reinvent your space down the road.
An industrial style bookcase makes a striking statement in your home while still being uniquely personal. Rugged yet refined, this artistic furniture adds character and functionality to your space in equal measure. As a focal point or standalone piece, the right industrial bookcase pulls your room together visually while keeping it organized.
We hope this overview has helped provide insight into choosing your own ideal industrial bookcase. Please visit our furniture store’s website to view our wide selection of industrial bookcases across styles, sizes, and budgets. For special order inquiries or questions, reach out to our knowledgeable staff for assistance creating your dream industrial-chic space.