Clever Bookcases Made of Stacked Boxes

Every time we think of creating built-in bookshelves for the books pooling in stacks around the sofa, our brain gets fogged at the massiveness of the task and the cost. Then we spotted these NOT built-in bookshelves in Design Milk’s recent feature showcasing Sweden‘s “proficiency for realizing simple, yet highly proficient design that hits the bullseye between contemporary and timeless.”  The bookshelves are a display at Svenskt Tenn, the legendary Stockholm home design store. They are composed of a series of volumes — rectangles and squares of various sizes and orientations, some nestled within each other — into which books are stacked.

Gregory Han

They remind us of a larger version of the Finnish Muuto shelving system that you configure and clip together using specially-made clips

Although we like the idea and look, the Muuto boxes, which are made of 1/2-inch MDF, seem like they might not hold much weight. And they’re not cheap.

We could imagine using heavier gauge boxes like those use for Ikea’s kitchen wall cabinets and furniture. The Besta cabinet components come in a vast array of sizes.  And of course, you could always bolt them together, or to the wall. It’s still less of a fuss than built-ins, and reconfigurable, and portable.

This recipe from Family Handyman shows how to make your own plywood boxes . For you to customize the dimensions, or have someone whip them up…

2 Responses to Clever Bookcases Made of Stacked Boxes

  1. Jim Dillon 04.03.2019 at 7:24am #

    That would work pretty well. One refinement I would recommend: instead of connecting the boxes with simple wood screws, get cabinet connector bolts like these
    https://www.amazon.com/KITCHEN-CONNECTOR-BOLTS-SCREWS-HARDWARE/dp/B01HR2YKHM
    or these
    https://www.google.com/shopping/product/13814482691309623512?lsf=seller:1135568,store:5335595617185262782&prds=oid:2136789894003898788&q=rockler+cabinet+connector+bolts&hl=en&ei=MJakXK7JD4SOggeAzbvwBw&lsft=gclid:Cj0KCQjws5HlBRDIARIsAOomqA2i78uja0gNm9NMvJc_OF9vEcpJJ36xMuRee5M1r1Hm_8wMCp8IJTwaAuGYEALw_wcB

    Sorry for the long URL’s!

    What’s nice about the connector bolts is that they can be disassembled and reassembled as often as you want without the connection becoming less secure. For even more refinement, establish a standard grouping/spacing/grid of 4 bolt holes everywhere your boxes touch. That way, you have a modular system that can be rearranged to suit your convenience, your whim, or your need to reassemble the boxes and a new wall in a new apartment.

    I think the second version linked to, the black oxide, is more attractive, but the chrome ones are designed to fit in 5mm holes, which are standard for Euro-style cabinet hardware. I have used both and have been impressed, through the years, that the chrome ones seem just as secure (for our purposes) even though their heads are smaller than those on the black ones.

  2. Sally Schneider 04.10.2019 at 8:34pm #

    This is such great info, Jim, thank you. I’ve looked back over the years and appreciate the many practical addendums to me not-always-complete imaginings.

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