Seattle-area bookcase company?
February 7, 2008 8:51 AM   Subscribe

I want to have some bookshelves made for my living room. Any recommendations for a Seattle-area carpenter or company to do the work? Also, can you identify a furniture style for me (links inside) so I can describe the shelves I want?

Here are some shelves I like:

shelf 1
shelf 2

Mine would be floor-to-ceiling and go around a corner, but I like the general look of these -- especially shelf 2. Simple, sturdy, like you'd find in a school library in the 1960s. Does this style have a name?
posted by The corpse in the library to Home & Garden (14 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
You could start with Ballard Bookcase.
posted by xil at 9:03 AM on February 7, 2008

The two bookcases you link to are really in different styles—the first one is sort of Arts & Crafts, the second one I'd probably just call Modern. But here are some styles for you to look up: Danish Modern, Mid-century Modern. Mid-century Modern is probably that "1960s school library" look you're thinking of.
posted by adamrice at 9:08 AM on February 7, 2008

I agree with adamrice. You may also wish to look at shaker and mission style furniture as well
posted by d4nj450n at 9:15 AM on February 7, 2008

Check out Paul Savino. He makes furniture and does interior design. If you are looking for something unique and high end you will not find a better man for the job in Seattle.
posted by munchingzombie at 9:36 AM on February 7, 2008 [1 favorite]

Mid-century modern is right on, but if I had to guess, I'd say it looks like you want more of an almost Frank Lloyd Wrightian, Usonian kind of built-in shelving, especially if you're looking for them to be floor-to-ceiling, around-the-corner. That's a hallmark of Wright's approach to shelving.

That first bookcase you link is very reminiscent, in its styling and natural, deep wood color, of this snapshot of a Wright Prairie-style interior: check out the backs of the chairs and the "floating," built-in shelving. If you scroll through the pages of that book, you may see some more ideas along those lines.

See also: here, here, here; also, you might be interested in Gustav Stickley's Arts & Crafts style of shelving, seen here, here...

A good carpenter may be able to reproduce any of these styles.
posted by limeonaire at 9:39 AM on February 7, 2008

Ooo, also see here for a much better set of examples of Usonian shelving—very 1960s school library.
posted by limeonaire at 9:43 AM on February 7, 2008

If you want to have them custom-made, the pictures will do a better job of communicating what you want than any style name will. Neither pic is particularly faithful to any familiar style, anyhow. Talk about particular details. Most of the shelves in both pics are adjustable, but that's about all they have in common.

Some details on the first shelves suggest they were meant to be easily disassembled -- in particular the wedged through tenons sticking out of the top. For what it's worth, this is an odd place to use such a joint. Also, the plywood back is birch, not beech as the caption says. The feet don't look, to my eye, like they belong on that piece.
posted by jon1270 at 9:46 AM on February 7, 2008

Also here.

OK, I'll stop now. I just think built-in shelving like this is awesome...
posted by limeonaire at 9:47 AM on February 7, 2008

This company actually makes these, though it isn't in your area. More pretty bookshelf porn, for your perusal...
posted by limeonaire at 9:55 AM on February 7, 2008

Would something like this interest you? I have some of these, and they're wonderful -- solid construction with excellent real wood veneers. I can't remember the company that makes them, but they're not Jesper (the other line this store sells). This store sells mostly Scandinavian design, so you might start at a higher-end store selling that kind of stuff.
posted by Madamina at 1:17 PM on February 7, 2008

Response by poster: Usonian! Yes, that's exactly it. It's less designy than Mid-century or Danish Modern. Thanks for the bookshelf porn, limeoniare -- I'll be bringing it along to whatever carpenter I end up with.
posted by The corpse in the library at 1:17 PM on February 7, 2008

Yay—glad I could help!
posted by limeonaire at 2:49 PM on February 7, 2008

Standy's is a great store for unfinished furniture such as bookcases. They're very friendly and eco-friendly.
posted by fert at 11:45 AM on February 12, 2008

Response by poster: In case anyone else stumbles on this with the same question: Ballard Bookcase is not the answer. They don't really do custom work. They just have their three styles, and will come up with combinations that fit in the space. (This might be fine for you, but their styles aren't what I'm looking for.)
posted by The corpse in the library at 5:28 PM on February 16, 2008

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