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Elle Decor Italia

The best design bookcases to keep our memories, favourite books and everyday objects

Elegant, extra slim and playing with shadows. The 2018 trend for bookcases is to embellish the room and highlight objects.


Una selezione di 7 librerie di design che saranno di tendenza nel 2018, eleganti, extra slim e articolate

Bookcases are the decoration accessories that best describe us. They keep our memories, our books, our hobbies and our passions. Think about everything you put on a bookshelf: any type of object, pictures, souvenirs, encyclopaedias, old books, keys, small design pieces. They all tell a bit about us and our lifestyle. Yes, because bookcases are not just containers, they tell our story, what we like, the countries we visited. They are true ‘cabinets of curiosities’, treasure chests that embellish our living rooms, windows on our personalities. The bookcases we saw in 2017 were all but striking. Elegant and simple, they prefer to frame our books and beloved objects, highlighting their importance. Among the ones we selected, freestanding blocks and extra-slim structures are the features that stand out the most. They play with shadows on walls and floors, becoming true architectural elements. 

Halfway between a cupboard and a bookcase. It’s Mettitutto by Stefano Boeri Architects for Annibale Colombo, leading firm in the cabinet-making sector. Evoking the Italian cupboard tradition, Mettitutto is a collection of rotating containers open on both sides, with a modular shelving unit and system of drawers and shelves, customisable in wood, glass and leather. It’s available in three sizes and with or without LED lights plugged-in within the shell. As the name literally means ‘for everything’, Mettitutto was designed to store a great variety of objects and accessories that we use on a daily basis. On Boeri Architects and on Annibale Colombo’s websites, you will find a compelling video showing all the possible uses of this peculiar bookcase. It’s also available with a wide choice of handy accessories to better store and organise small utensils. Finally, thanks to a series of springs embedded between the glass shelves, this sideboard can be used to keep all those objects we often do not know where to put. 

Hangar, instead, wants to challenge monotony. It’s a collection of modular bookcases by Gino Carollo for Calligaris, an Italian firm that makes irregularity one of its strengths. The bookcase is supported by metal pillars and irregular wooden shelves that together give a feeling of movement to the entire structure. This design bookcase is freestanding, modular, interlocking and open on both sides, ideal to be placed at the centre of a room too. It is characterised by simple and essential lines that combine the modernity of the opaque black (or white) with the warmth of the shelves made of opaque black ash wood (also available in white or grey). 

Interlocking bookcases with a profound meaning. It’s Green light by Olafur Eliasson, Icelandic-Danish artist born in 1967, whose art spans from installations to paintings, from sculpture to photography and to cinema. The concept behind these eccentric bookcases produced by Moroso is not that predictable. The collection starts with the project of a modular lamp, based on a golden triangle developed by Eliasson in 2016 in partnership with Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary for the integration of refugees and asylum-seekers. During the 57th edition of the Biennale of Venice, Green light – An artistic workshop had objects, lamps, tables and bookcases inside a working space designed to develop an exchange experience. The wooden shelves system was conceived around a diamond-shaped space defined by steel modules. It’s a unique shape based on the cube and the isosceles triangle that can be applied to different contexts offering a peculiar graphic effect. 

Accademia is a modern revisited collection of wooden bookcases designed by Italian historic couple Afra and Tobia Scarpa (work and life partners) for Meritalia in 1995. The teak wood structure has now been painted in white to match minimalistic and total-white homes. While the noble and rich personality remains, there’s a new version: varnished opaque white wood. Eye to detail and architectural proportions make these white bookcases modern design icons. 


For the design of Pontile, Philippe Nigro was inspired by Novamobili’s colour sample book. Pontile is an industrial bookcase that focuses on customisation and versatility. The structure is made of extruded steel profiles and elements that support a frontal baton (with customisable finishes and colours) and cables for light and audio devices. You can even personalise the height of the various shelves, hiding the holes on the sides. Thanks to its modularity and simplicity, the system can be adapted to diverse spaces, from living rooms to studios, kitchens and bedrooms. You can even personalise the colours of the shelves and of the pillars.

Bontempi, leading firm in the manufacture of iron tables, chairs and beds, created Lexington, a steel library with a modifiable structure. Extremely customisable, it is available in 36 colours and with different finishes and materials. The most peculiar features of this steel library are the diagonal details that create really scenic graphic shapes. The flat shelves (T-shaped or L-shaped) are available in leather, wood, crystal, marble or ceramic and are carefully hand-crafted by artisans. For those of you who do not have that many objects to store and would like an impactful bookcase (even if empty), Lexington is the perfect one for you. 

Finally, a line of wall and divider bookcases by Giuseppe Bavuso for Rimadesio. Wind bookcases are elegant, stylish and stable, thanks to a light and technologically advanced modular system. Made of aluminium and with extruded shelves joined with die-casting, they have a pure and timeless design. The bookcase accessories, shelves, glass and steel cabinets, a mini bar and drawers can make it completely different. The bookcase is also framed by a varnished and stratified top in mdf. 










by Article by Laura Arrighi. Selection by Murielle Bortolotto and Tamara Bianchini / 27 September 2017


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