unique modern bookcases for a chic interior

unique modern bookcases cantilever deCastelli

Unique modern bookcases come in all shapes and sizes, but not everything is to my liking.  But for today’s post, I pulled from my files 5 chic bookcases that work in different types of modern interiors – from an all wood case that would fit into a restrained and luxurious modern room to an all metal bookcase perfect for a Rock-n’-Roll SoHO loft (and don’t worry, there’s something for everyone in between).  What all these designs have in common is the compartmentalization of the bookcase into different “cubby holes” of different sizes that helps to break the monotony of a straight, horizontal-shelved bookcase.


unique modern bookcases porada

Unique Modern Bookcases  – Wood and Wood with Metal


One of my go-to sources for modern Italian design (and one whose chairs I’ve written about before – Porada Chairs) is Porada, the Italian company based in a town close to Lake Como in the northern Italy.  Their walnut or oak, free-standing First bookcase (above) is a clever reinvention of a very common design and its truly a uniquely contemporary and usable bookcase for today’s home.

Another piece that is spectacularly cool is the Cantilever bookcase from DeCastelli (top image) based in a town north of Venice.  The bookshelf is the perfect solution for a corner and it’s modular, which means there are endless variations to its configuration.  But aesthetically, it’s beautifully lined in wood and wrapped in metal.  So chic!


unique modern bookcases DeCastelli metal

Unique Modern Bookcases  – Metal and Metal with Glass


Another sharp case piece from DeCastelli is the chic and rough Existence bookcase (above) in three versions: as a stand-alone cylinder, corner or unit for use against a wall. What is absolutely unique about this shelving unit is not only its shape but the finishes available. One is Corten – weathered steel with a stable, rust-like appearance that won’t get on your clothes.  Another finish is Maistral – a proprietary finish on metal that makes scratches look awesome!


unique modern bookcases metal

The KME bookcase (above) is a beauty crafted completely in copper and designed by Ferruccio Laviani.  This is luxury at its finest.  For this bookcase you have to picture the warm glow of the copper coupled with soft leather bound books and an assortment of silver and ceramic vases and articles which will round out the whole look.  And as this piece ages, it will take on the patina and luster that makes copper a timeless addition to any space.


unique modern bookcases metal

Reminiscent of the game pick-up sticks (do they even makes those anymore?), the Jules modern bookcase (above) is by Americans Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams.  Made of stainless steel plated in brass and tempered glass shelves, the piece is very Kelly Wearstler meets Peter Marino (and Dior).  Sassy, shiny and oh so cool.

So a few new tricks for the contemporary home:  the unique modern bookcases cleverly update an old standby and become the scene-stealer.  Great design is often about thinking outside the box, like these designers shown today have done.  It’s not rocket science, just a stunning piece of furniture.


richard rabel  |  principal  |  richard rabel: interiors + art  |  interior design and art advising  |  new york city

image credits from top to bottom: DeCastelli; Porada; DeCastelli; KME;  Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams.