To design, manufacture and install timber bookshelves for a large amount of books across one wall in the client’s home, with a ladder to ensure easy access to all the books.


As there were such a large amount of books to accommodate, we needed to ensure the design was practical and sturdy, as well as accommodating the sloping shape of the ceiling and the location of a window close to the wall where the bookshelves were to be installed. And equally important, we wanted to ensure the bookshelves were aesthetically pleasing to the eye. The room had existing coffee bamboo flooring and black balustrades around the stairs.

Using 3D photo realistic software we designed bookshelves using 3 different materials that incorporated the shape of the ceiling and allowed access for the window as well as the plethora of books to be stored. We designed a series of small different units of differing sizes and shapes, all put together, to create the one larger unit. There were several reasons for this:

  • the access to the room was via a staircase with limited capacity, so smaller units were designed to fit within the access limitations
  • books are heavy and need storage space to hold their weight so by designing smaller separate units, the weight of the books can be held more easily
  • the ladder allows the user to easily access the books kept at the higher levels. The ladder slides along a rail so that it can be positioned for ready access to any of the books. When the ladder is not needed, it can be kept close to the bookshelves, however, when needed, the ladder is pulled out
  • The combination of the different coloured timbers and bamboo provide a striking, yet tasteful contrast to create bookshelves that are aesthetically pleasing, yet highly functional, creating a wow factor when entering the room.


  • Recycled black butt
  • Recycled red gum
  • Coffee bamboo ply.

Design, manufacture and installation: Select Custom Joinery.

Photography: John Tucker Photography.