crate shelves

By Gabrielle. Image from Serena & Lily.

I’m on the hunt for book shelves for the Reading Loft. It feels momentous to finally be furnishing it and making it comfortable and inviting! In my head, the loft was going to be a weekend project that we managed to fit in a few weeks after we moved here. And now it’s months later and I’m remembering all the people who told me renovations would take much longer than I expected. Hah!

There are two key pieces of furniture that we need for the loft: a comfy reading chair, and book shelves. I’m all sorted on the chair (more on that later), but the shelves have been perplexing me. I feel like every evening for weeks, I’ve had a date with my laptop while I surf for bookshelves. But then I saw the image above, and a lightbulb went off in my head! Turns out I’ve had a thing for crate shelves for years — in fact, I’ve posted about them twice, here and here. And this sort of shelving would be perfect for the loft — just picture them with less baskets and more books! : )

I’ve thought about it, and there seem to be three reasons why I like crate shelving so much…

design labryinth crate shelvescrates shelving

1) I really love that they’re flexible, and that I can add and subtract as needed.

2) I love that they have a bit of messy look. With shelves like these, everything wouldn’t need an exact spot — books or trinkets could move around as needed, and that ‘perfectly disheveled’ look would stay intact. I think it’s great that shelving like this accommodates a little chaos.

3) Lastly, I love that in theory, you could put one together these types of shelves on a shoestring. You could use wooden wine crates from your local liquor store, or inexpensive crates from the craft store, or a combination or whatever wooden boxes you’ve picked up from the flea market.

crate shelves for gardening suppliesikea_prant_storage_inspiration_001

So now I’m on the hunt. But I am looking for something specific — the shelf example at top is unusual in that the ‘crates’ don’t have bottoms, they just have the four sides, and you can see right through to the wall color — which I love!

I’ve been trying to track down something similar — bottomless crates, or square wood shelves in various sizes — and haven’t had any luck. I’m wondering if the smartest thing would be to have plywood cut to size and build my own.

Do you happen to have a good source for something similar? If yes, please share! Before I get to DIY-ing, I’d love to see if there is an affordable ready-made option out there. And I’d also love to hear if you’ve ever tried shelving like this.

P.S. — I’m working with Serena & Lily on decorating the loft and I’m so excited about it! I can’t wait to share more details.


Additional crate shelving images from Ikea, Blueprint Magazine, The Design Labyrinth, Dishfunctional Designs, and Chelsea Lyn. I’ve collected lots more examples here.