Built-In Versus Movable Shelving: Which Is Right For Your Home Library?

13 April 2015
 Categories: Industrial & Manufacturing, Blog


One of the most important design aspects of a home library is the shelving you choose to use. While many interior design photographs will often depict these rooms with floor to ceiling shelves built-in to every wall, the fact is, this is just one of the options that you will have available to you. Below you will learn more about the pros and cons of both built-in and movable shelving units, so that you can decide for yourself which type of library shelving is right for your home.

Option #1: Built-In Shelving

The Pros

  • Classic Appearance - Built-in shelving offers a traditional library appearance with shelves that extend all the way from the ceiling to the floor. For many homeowners, it is this classic look that inspires them to build a library in their home. Taking away from this classic appearance could ultimately take away from the appeal of having a home library.
  • Custom Fit - Since built-in shelves must be custom built for each home, you can ensure that you are always getting the most out of your available space. This means that even homes which boast odd wall measurements will be able to house a large volume of books and collectables.

The Cons

  • Cost - The cost of having these shelves custom built can prove prohibitive for homeowners who are trying to tackle this task on a rather limited budget.
  • Height - These ceiling high shelves can prove difficult to access without the benefit of a rolling ladder. Homeowners who do not wish to add this feature to their home library may find the top shelves to be out of their reach.

Option #2: Moveable Shelving

The Pros

  • Easy To Install - Unlike built-in shelves, moveable shelves do not require the assistance of a professional contractor in order to be put into place. In fact, most homeowners will be capable of installing these shelving units without any help at all.
  • Remodeling Abilities - Since movable shelving units are not permanently attached to the wall, remodeling your library will be much easier when choosing to use this type of shelving unit. This feature is especially beneficial for individual who like to change their interior design on a regular basis.

The Cons

  • Storage Space - Built-in walls are typically recessed into the wall, while moveable shelving units will sit up against the wall. Consequently, these movable units will require a far more storage space and may make your library appear much smaller.
  • Appearance - While some homeowners like the appearance of moveable shelving units, others will find that these units do not provide the luxurious and classy appearance that they desire in a home library.

The Bottom Line

There is no such thing as library shelving that is right for every homeowner. Homeowners who are looking for a permanent shelving solution that ultimately maximizes their storage space will often benefit most from the use of built-in shelving. On the other hand, homeowners who are looking for a quick and affordable solution to their need for library shelving will often benefit more from the use of movable shelving units.

If you're interested in shelving for your home library, visit Elliott Bay Metal Fabricating Inc.