Are you looking to add stylish and functional storage to your home? Oak finish bookcases and shelves are a popular choice for many homes due to their attractive appearance and durability. The variety of styles and configurations make them extremely versatile. This article will discuss top considerations for choosing oak bookcases and shelves, review top-rated products, and provide answers to frequently asked questions.
When selecting oak bookshelves or bookcases, there are a few key factors to consider:
Intended use – Will you use the shelves for displaying decorative items, storing books/knickknacks, or both? This affects the size and design you’ll want. Closed storage is good for hiding clutter while open shelves allow you to beautifully arrange items.
Size/dimensions – Make sure to measure the space you want to place the shelving unit in. This will determine what size and configuration – like tall and narrow or short and wide – will fit best. Also consider the ceiling height.
Style – Oak bookcases come in traditional, contemporary, transitional and other styles. Choose one that matches your existing room decor. Contemporary styles have clean lines while traditional options have more ornate details.
Open or closed storage – Open shelving provides easy access while closed cabinet storage conceals items. Many bookcases offer a mix of both open shelves and cabinet doors/drawers. Glass cabinet doors allow you to display items while hiding clutter.
Number of shelves – More shelves provide additional storage possibilities. Make sure to account for the heights of items you want to store when choosing the shelf quantity and positioning.
Additional features – Consider options like adjustable shelves, lighting, built-in desk space, media storage, file drawers and more. This expands the bookcase functionality.
Assembly – Ready-to-assemble bookcases cost less but require time and effort to construct. Pre-assembled versions allow you to instantly use the bookcase.
Price range – Oak bookcases vary greatly in price depending on size, materials, features and more. Establish a comfortable budget but know you generally get what you pay for with quality.
Now let’s look at the top 5 highest rated oak finish bookcases and shelves:
Farmhouse Lowrise Bookcase by Coastal Farmhouse Home
This 54” wide low bookcase has a casual farmhouse vibe with an off-white oak finish, metal accents, and a slatted design. With 3 spacious shelves and a concealed cabinet, it provides ample storage possibilities. The low profile design can fit well in various rooms like a living area or bedroom. Pros are the coastal inspired style and cons are assembly is required. Ideal for coastal, farmhouse or cottage rooms. $380-$415. Rated 4.5/5 stars.
Dovetailed Library Bookcase by Bell’O
Constructed with quality dovetail joinery, this classically styled bookcase comes in 3 neutral oak finishes. Available sizes range from 30-72” widths in medium (72”) or extra tall (96”) heights. Pros are excellent craftsmanship and versatility. Cons are the premium price tag. Best for traditional home libraries or offices. $1,100-$2,500. Rated 4.8/5 stars.
Modular Cube Bookcase by Nathan James
With its clean lines and modular cube design, this bookcase offers contemporary appeal and customization options. Stack, arrange and combine the 15” cube units as desired or purchase expansive storage units up to 90″ wide. Available in espresso, walnut or oak finishes. Pros are versatility and easy assembly. Cons are prone to clutter without careful styling. Great for modern, minimalist rooms. $140-$500. Rated 4.6/5 stars.
Rittenhouse Ladder Bookcase by Alcott Hill
Featuring an open ladder-style design, this chic bookcase adds visual interest with its X-frame sides and angled back shelves. Made from oak veneers in a warm brown or grey finish. Size options range from 58-72” heights and 26-36” widths. Pros are the unique shape and lots of display space. Cons are ladder design may not suit kids’ rooms. Perfect for living rooms, offices and transitional spaces. $530-$700. Rated 4.4/5 stars.
Leighton Bookcase by Andover Mills
This highly versatile bookcase comes in 12 finish options ranging from bold hues to natural wood tones. The clean lines and understated style work in various aesthetic styles. Available in short and tall heights, sizes range from 30-75” widths. Pros are the myriad finish and size choices. Cons are average quality construction. A budget-friendly option for an array of rooms. $125-$320. Rated 4.3/5 stars.
When styling your new oak bookcase, consider the following tips:
Mix baskets, framed photos and decorative objects – This creates visual interest and warmth. Use baskets to store clutter out of sight.
Group items by use or design – For example, stack books by color or subject. Arrange objects in complementary colors or materials.
Keep surfaces tidy and dusted – Wipe down shelves regularly and use bookends to keep books upright and organized. Style decoratively but minimize clutter.
Incorporate lighting – Install built-in cabinet lighting or use table lamps atop or next to the bookcase to highlight displayed items.
Add doors or curtains to cover shelves – For a blended look, conceal some areas for hidden storage behind cabinet doors or curtains.
Experiment with shelf heights and layouts – Adjustable shelves allow you to customize the storage and display space. Group taller decorative items on higher shelves.
Incorporate greenery – Place potted plants atop the bookcase to soften the look and tie it to nature. Waterfall over the edges for added drama.
Oak is a wonderful material for bookshelves and storage furniture. Let’s look at some frequently asked questions:
Is oak furniture durable?
Yes, oak is very durable and resistant to scratches, stains, warping and other damage. It’s why oak has been used for centuries to create long-lasting furniture. The dense grain withstands regular wear and tear.
Does oak furniture require special care?
Oak bookcases don’t need specialized care. Simply dust them regularly with a clean, dry cloth and use a polishing product formulated for wood furniture a few times per year. Avoid excess moisture and harsh cleaners.
What are the different oak stain colors?
Oak bookcases come in a variety of stain colors like natural golden oak, light brown, medium brown, dark walnut, weathered grey and even black. The stain allows you to customize the look to your style.
Is oak better than pine furniture?
Oak wood is generally regarded as higher quality than pine. It has a denser grain so it resists scratches better. Oak is also more water-resistant than pine. But pine costs less and accepts stain well.
Is assembled or ready-to-assemble oak furniture better?
Each offers pros and cons. Assembled bookcases are easier to install instantly but cost more. Ready-to-assemble versions require time and labor to construct but are more budget friendly. Choose what suits your needs and abilities best.
How much weight can oak shelves hold?
It depends on the size but a common rule of thumb is 50-100 lbs of weight per linear foot of shelf. So a 3 foot long shelf could hold 150-300 lbs without bowing or sagging over time. Always check manufacturer limits.
Can oak bookcases be customized?
Many furniture companies and retailers offer custom sizing options for oak bookcases. This allows you to tailor the height, width, depth and shelf configuration to your exact space.
Oak finish bookcases and shelves offer style, strength and versatility for your storage needs. Their natural beauty warms up any space while providing durable function. With the wide variety of sizes, finishes and designs, you can find the perfect bookcase to suit your home’s aesthetic. Use the tips above to stylishly display treasured items while keeping clutter concealed. Let oak organizational furniture enhance your rooms for years to come!