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The idea of a bookend dates back to around the 1870’s, which is when the traditional L-shaped metal stand was first patented as a design idea. Fast forward to the modern market, and bookends are as popular in everyday homes as they are in libraries – where bookends provide the crucial separation of fiction from non-fiction; children’s book from adult novels. While the early models – and those found in community libraries – are often bland and simply made from a metal structure, bookends available for the home are unique and whimsical; exciting in their design mimicking popular fictional characters, and made from materials and designs which compliment a particular space.

The best bookend designs for a modern living space

The idea behind modern decoration is utilising materials and finishes which are natural and showcase their practicality and function. As such, wooden bookends and those crafted from metal are particularly popular across modern retailers, boasting simple and fuss-free designs which do the job and hold your books atop your bookshelf. If you’re looking to add colour and extra interest, consider bookends with added features and innovative accessories, for example those handcrafted by independent retailers, with built in vases, personalised edges and engraved messages. Another popular idea we’ve seen on the market is to have bookends crafted from flat-sided plant pots – giving you an excuse to add plant life to your bookcase, which not only looks good but also serves a practical purpose.

The best bookends for children’s rooms

The bookends you put on your children’s bookshelves have the power to make books and stories look exciting and enticing and encourage your children to reach for their books and read more. While wooden blocks adorned with popular fictional characters and famous quotes like “Once Upon A Time” make for a reliable and engaging bookend design, some of the more exciting designs include full fantastical creations such as dinosaur shapes, patterned A-Z bookends, and even inspiring scenes like the silhouette of a city or a forest, or the two sides of a rainbow. The idea, particularly for bookends in children’s rooms, is for the two bookends to match together to create a harmonious design – something which your children will be able to use their imagination to complete even with the stack of books slotted into the middle.

Buying your bookends

First and foremost, you need to ensure when buying your bookends that they are heavy and sturdy enough to hold your book safely – taking particularly note of how many books you have, and how much weight they will be putting onto each bookend. Those made from solid wood, metal or concrete often make the most stylish and the safest bookends – and are particularly popular on bookshelves which are isolated on a wall, with no place else for books to fall other than the floor. When it comes to selecting the best bookends for your home, look at the space you will be placing them, and decide what kind of stylistic finish will best suit the space. For example, a wooden shelf or bookshelf may not compliment wooden bookends – particularly if the style of wood is too similar or else too different to look deliberately complimentary. For the widest selection of bookends on the market, head to both bookstore retailers and homeware design stores – all of which should offer a decent range of bookends suitable for both adults and children. And if you’re feeling particularly creative, consider purchasing simple blocks of wood of concrete and decorating them yourself, providing your room with a pop of personality and your chosen finish.

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