Bookcases Made Better Are a Great Apartment Design Element

If you think your home library feels overstuffed with your collection of dozens of titles, imagine living in a small space packed floor-to-ceiling with more than 6,000 books!

Such a space does exist, but luckily for the claustrophobic among us it's only an exhibit in London's Victoria and Albert Museum. Part of a show featuring architect-designed small spaces, "Ark" is the creation of Norway's Rintala Eggertsson Architects.

The freestanding wooden tower features a spiral staircase winding up through shelves upon shelves of books, and visitors are encouraged to explore and take a quiet moment with one of the varied titles.

For a more reality-based interpretation, check out this eye-catching staircase that takes the wall-to-wall book theme down a notch, confining it to a single space. The effect is still a major statement, and with practical storage, to boot.

Not ready to commit to such elaborate architectural feats in your own home? Take a look back through the RentedSpaces archives to find some practical ways to incorporate statement shelving into your own home: