I have always loved the look of libraries in a house. Bookcases are especially beautiful if they contain old leather bound books; some art work and/or family collections mixed in the shelves. Libraries don't have to be large or fill a whole room, they can be placed in spaces that normally are over-looked.
In our house, we created a "family room" out of a space that had once been a front bedroom of our 1920s era house. It was a fairly plain room with the added problem of having 3 door openings in it. Frank built paneling around 2 walls that went up to 2 feet of the ceiling and then he put a shelf. On the other wall, he built bookcases that went to the same height and also had the top shelf. He added molding details to mirror the age of the house. At the time, there seemed so much space to fill but in a very short time, there was no room left.
A client of mine had collected Victorian Era furniture for years but had wanted a change. She was willing to make some drastic changes, but the biggest problem we had to solve was that she was a collector of cook books; landscaping and garden books; decorating and architecture books and enjoyed seeing them. With a limited budget to work with and the house being a rented house, we decided to use Ikea pre-made bookcases. We put a desk in front of the bookcases to create an office within a living space. She went from a dark and heavy looking front room to a light, bright and more interesting room with the bookcases adding interest and architecture.Bookcases can create a room divider- can become a focal point if painted.
I find them really fun if they have wallpaper in the back. The wallpaper can be a very easy and economical way to change the whole style of a room.
I recently saw this photo of bookcases that were behind twin beds.
So the next time you are considering a change, think about using bookcases, they not only hold books, but family pictures, dishes, silver, candlesticks, art work, any collection that you may have.