When we first saw the Sapien vertical book shelf, we were smitten. What a great idea: an impermanent shelf that stacks books vertically, making use of odd spaces. We bought one, well, er, a less expensive knockoff. Once we actually stacked it with books, we realized how problematic it actually was; it was too heavy to move. We solved that by finding a set of wheels that fits it perfectly.

We still didn’t love that way it looked: a busy tower of book titles, distracting to our minimalist slightly ADD eye. Then we saw THIS solution to that problem: face the books’ spines inward to make a nice stack of neutrally-colored paper. Couple it with added wheel-set so that you can move the tower and read the title if we’ve  forgotten which book it is, the idea works for us. Although we can understand nixing it for being a bit impractical, we like it because it’s visually surprising as well.

Sally Schneider
Sally Schneider


What do you think?

via Japanese Trash via Remodelista

Related posts: a perfect set of wheels for making furniture mobile + a great sapien bookcase hack
an artist hacks ikea’s ‘billy’ bookcase
stylish, graphic furniture from stacked vintage boxes
stacked-book display cases and other great ideas via scott newkirk
clipped-together shelving pt. 1: wood (help needed)

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4 replies on “a solution to the busy visuals of vertical book towers?

  1. I saw this recently as well, and it’s one of those design decisions that just makes me crazy. Wheels on the tower or not, your books are your books – they are objects you live with, work with, spend your life with, and the colors are a part of that. I have all of my cookbooks in two Sapien towers. I would very much like to put wheels on both towers, to move them around easily, but it would be very annoying to have to swivel them around to see which book is which.

  2. I hear you. It’s definitely on the borderline of questionable design decisions. Having a bit of ADD, I find book titles really distracting in large doses. So IF I still had one of those bookcases (I sold it when I moved), I’d probaly use it for books I knew and used all the time. That being said, I have smalle stacks of books around with titles showing.

  3. I love this idea! What’s the name of paint on your walls? Thanks!

  4. If you mean what did I paint the walls with, it is Benjamin Moor Super Spec Eurothane Alkyd high gloss enamel Chantilly Lace.

    Chantilly Lace is the white used everywhere.

    The kitchen is flat matte Benjamin Moore Aura, which cleans up like a dream, much to my surprise.

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