I have been planning this bookshelf for years. Click here to see pictures of this wall without the bookshelf. Initially we were planning on building bookshelves on either side of our mantel. We decided against this mainly because this wall runs at an angle (our house is trapezoid in shape). After we decided where we wanted the bookshelf I dedicated my time to designing the bookshelf. I wanted something off the floor, white and mounted to the wall which seemed simple enough. We had many carpenters come by and give us estimates and a lot of unsolicited advice. Most of the carpenters had very strong feelings about my plan to paint the wood white. I had no idea that painting wood could elicit such a strong negative response! We finally decided to go with the Elfa shelves from the Container Store mainly because they could be wall mounted. The fact that they were very affordable and came in white was an added bonus.
The shelves are super sturdy and blend into the wall which is exactly what I was looking for. The entire shelving system is held together by one horizontal strip of mental attached to the wall. I was afraid that the weight of the books would pull the shelves off the wall. Scott installed the shelves and assures me that the shelves are anchored properly. It took us several hours to get the shelves up mainly because I couldn't decide if I wanted the shelves to cover the outlet. We finally decided to install the shelving over the outlets so that we could have easy access to the outlets and to avoid any fire hazards. We had the vertical strips specifically cut to our measurements.
I could go on and on abut how much I love these shelves. They are perfect for the space and are exactly what I wanted. I have always admired the String shelving systems and the Dieter Rams Vitsoe shelving. These Elfa shelves however cost considerably less and are equally appealing.
All our books fit on the shelf. The top shelves contain our Science books, Scott's Math books, Legal books, some Psychology books and Social Sciences books that we couldn't get rid of. The rest of the books are our collection of novels, organized alphabetically by author (which took a really long time to do and Kiran was a huge help in getting this done). The last two shelves contain my interior decoration collection of magazines (Living etc, Elle Decoration (UK), and Dwell) and books.
The photos are a bit grainy since I have a really hard time taking decent pictures with the light coming in from the windows. I am so glad that our books are finally off the floor and organized.