What is the "Bookshelf Wealth" trend all about?
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What is the "Bookshelf Wealth" trend all about?

Pia Seidel
23.2.2024
Translation: machine translated

Alongside cafécore, western gothic and hot metal, another living trend is currently conquering the web: "Bookshelf Wealth".

Recently, people have been sharing numerous videos and photos of their own home libraries on TikTok and other digital platforms. Architectural Digest (AD) describes this movement as the first major design trend of the year. According to the home magazine, "Bookshelf Wealth" already had 1.7 million TikTok views at the beginning of the year. Let's zoom in and see what the supposed interior design trend is all about and how you can implement it.

Class instead of mass

The Bookshelf Wealth movement is not about owning as many books as possible. Rather, it proposes using book collections to create an appealing home for reading. San Diego-based interior designer Kailee Blalock has gone viral with her video on the topic of Bookshelf Wealth. She explains in the AD interview that in order to implement the trend, you have to "appreciate the act of collecting things and surrounding yourself with things that fill your soul." The interior design trend is therefore aimed at bookworms who really love reading and want to give rooms a cosy character with their collection.

Reading is celebrated at Bookshelf Wealth ...
Reading is celebrated at Bookshelf Wealth ...
Source: Hübsch
... and reading is a must-have for creating a cosy home.
... and reading is a must-have for creating a cosy home.
Source: Hübsch
The home library should be curated and look cosy.
The home library should be curated and look cosy.
Source: Ferm Living

Curated chaos: how bookshelf wealth works

To get "rich" with your bookshelf and organise the space so that it looks calm instead of cluttered, consciously put together, consider the following things:

  • Books: The reading on display should have actually been read or be read and should take priority over decoration or art when furnishing.
  • Location: Book collections can be displayed in any room, for example on a living room wall or in a window seat. The main thing is that they stand out.
  • Collection system: From display cabinets and books on chairs to customised wall shelves - storage solutions can stand out with their design, take up entire walls or extend across an entire room.
Reading can look like a work of art in display cases and cabinets.
Reading can look like a work of art in display cases and cabinets.
Source: Hübsch
  • Authenticity: Although it's hard to believe with the polished pics - the focus should be less on styling and more on what inspires the reader and emphasises the character of the home.
  • Time: Rather than chasing a trend, it's crucial to acquire books for the home library slowly and deliberately.
  • Seating: Cosy armchairs, benches and chairs are a must for your book collection.
Seating is essential for the reading areas.
Seating is essential for the reading areas.
Source: Ferm Living
  • Wallpaper, wall colour or art: Characteristic pictures or patterns can round off or frame the collection.
  • Colour, texture and size: There should be a cohesive colour palette. Even if that means removing a book cover or two.
  • Decoration and art: Whether it's photos, candles or artwork, all home accessories should reflect the bookworms' hobbies or interests.
Artwork and design objects are welcome to round off the literary look.
Artwork and design objects are welcome to round off the literary look.
Source: Ferm Living
In the best case, they reflect what has been read.
In the best case, they reflect what has been read.
Source: Ferm Living

Criticism of "quiet luxury"

Although the desire behind Bookshelf Wealth is to create a cosy home, many fear that the movement encourages excessive consumption and focuses on quiet status symbols. On the one hand, the many books themselves. On the other, works of art or hyped furniture. The Kartell "Bücherwurm" bookshelf, for example, is currently being hyped. It has an artistic character and is perfect for emphasising reading corners - but costs just under 1000 euros. That's why the first DIY instructions for homemade bookworm shelves are already circulating, such as those from YouTubers called "The Sorry Girls", to make the design affordable.

Kartell Bookworm (820 x 20 x 19 cm)

Kartell Bookworm

820 x 20 x 19 cm

Kartell Bookworm (820 x 20 x 19 cm)
Shelving

Kartell Bookworm

820 x 20 x 19 cm

In a TikTok video, Breana Reads also says that Bookshelf Wealth is just a new buzzword for something that will grow naturally over the years anyway. Pinterest, for example, predicted in 2021 that the home library would become increasingly important. Only it didn't have a catchy name for it.

Furnishing trend or living style?

In addition to this criticism, there is also the question of whether Bookshelf Wealth is a trend at all or rather a maximalist style of living and a lived experience of people over the course of time. After all, books have played a major role in the home for as long as they have existed, as the Coffee Table Books "Books make a Home", "Bibliostyle" and "At Home with Books". Whether trend or style - books can be integrated into the interior in a versatile and tasteful way, even without expensive furniture. I provide the proof in this article:

  • Guide

    Books have things to say

    by Pia Seidel

You can find more tips on how to set up your home library here:

Header image: Pretty

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Like a cheerleader, I love celebrating good design and bringing you closer to everything furniture- and interior design- related. I regularly curate simple yet sophisticated interior ideas, report on trends and interview creative minds about their work.


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