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Leaning Ladder Bookcases or Bookshelves

Updated on August 3, 2017

Not Your Traditional Bookcase

Book case designs are mostly traditional and the have the same basic shape. Most have shelves, can be on cinder blocks, or may be ornate barrister bookcases. One type that is becoming more popular is the leaning ladder bookcases.

Ladder Bookcases

These bookshelves have a unique shape that gives the illusion of a ladder leaning against the wall. This illusion is accomplished by using shelves of different sizes. The largest shelf is on the bottom and they decrease in size as you go up in height. Most people like the unique statement that a ladder bookcase will give. It has become so popular that some manufacturers now offer complimentary units that function as desks, so, for example, you could do a complete bedroom in matching leaning units.

Flexible Dimensions and Shapes

These are flexible shelves, in that they are offered in a wide range of styles and sizes. You can find bookcases that have three, four, or five shelves. They vary in width from units as narrow as 18 inches that are perfect for a small niche, to units as wide as 48 inches. And there are a few that work as corner bookcases, with the resulting looking something like a pyramid.You can put multiple units next to one another to cover a whole wall with leaning shelves, creating a very contemporary feel to the room. Using one for a desk or adding a matching unit would make a great study or bedroom design.

Leaning Ladder Bookcases

Ladder Shelves as Plant Holders or To Display Photos

Another unique way to use ladder book shelves is in a sunroom or patio for placing a variety of house plants. The staggered design of the shelves allows better lighting of the plants, and allows your visitors to see the plants better as well. One note about these designs is that because the sloping effect is created by the placing of the shelves of differing sizes, they usually are a fixed spacing apart, and you can't adjust the relative heights of the shelves.

As shown in the photo above, we have a ladder shelf full of framed photos - another use of this versatile product.

Leaning ladder shelves are available in a variety of finishes and colors. As expected, white and black are options, but there are also a variety of wood finishes and veneers as well. For the most contemporary look try the metal shelves.


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    • shanel profile image


      8 years ago from Seattle

      Leaning ladder bookcases are a really easy way to add bookcases to a room. Great hub.

    • dutch84 profile image


      10 years ago

      saves a couple of trees to design bookshelves like that!


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