How to Choose the Best Barrister Bookcase?
Table of Contents
Top Best Barrister Bookcase Based on Reviews and Price
Why You Need a Good Barrister Bookcase?
Barrister bookcases are stacked wooden shelves with a front glass door that protects books and other stored items from dust. This front cover also serves to restrict access to the stored items. Originating from Great Britain and mostly used by barristers, this type of furniture is now useful to anyone who wishes to keep their books and special documents from humidity, dust, house rats and unwanted access. But we’re starting to see a lot of types and models on the market, which is why a buying guide is essential if you want to get the best model.
Top 8 Factors to Consider Before Buying a Barrister Bookcase
1. Types of Barrister Bookcases in the Marketplace
Barrister bookcases under $100 are usually of the “do-it-yourself” (DIY) variety. They come in a box and require assembly. All the screws (and sometimes even the small tools) you need are included in the package. If you are adept at carpentry work, then a DIY barrister bookcase may be perfect for you.
These high-priced barrister bookcases are already designed and pre-assembled. Aesthetically, these bookcases have more intricate designs, as well as beautiful finishes. However, they can be very expensive. Some models can even cost as much as $1,000, depending on the buildup materials. If you want an antique bookcase, the price could be as much as the latter… or even more!
2. An Option Between Solid Wood and Metal
Barrister bookcases are not any type of bookshelf that can be made of plastic or entirely of glass. Among the models on the market, you’ll find most of them made of steel and wood. The front is however mostly made of glass.
These types are very durable, heavy to move and maybe expensive than other wooden bookcases. However, the disadvantage with them is that some are susceptible to corrosion and rusts. And this will start deteriorating The furniture after several years of use. Therefore, if you want to take advantage of metal barrister bookcases, choose one that is made of galvanized or stainless steel. Alternatively, you can choose aluminum products too. These are renowned for their durability and sturdiness. Best of all, they won’t flake or rust when exposed to corrosion-causing elements.
Remember, these are types of furniture reminiscent of uses in the 1800s by British barristers. So, if you love the idea of these pieces of classical furniture, you have to keep the choice of the natural material used – wood. The wooden bookcase is clearly a bestseller because this material blends with all interiors and can take many finishes.
If you love the natural look of wood, then choose a bookcase made of oak, mahogany, cherry or white oak. They can be waxed or varnished for a classic and traditional appearance. They can also be raw or cerused for a country house style interior or painted for more contemporary pieces. The solid wood bookcase is unquestionably the most desirable for readers who keep buying new books every year. Solid, it will, however, require, in the case of a high bookcase, a wall fixing for more security.
3. Modern vs. Antique
Your budget and room decor will determine whether you’ll get a modern or antique type of barrister bookcase:
As earlier mentioned, barrister bookcases rose out from history – specifically from the Dickensian era in the 19th century. So, traditional barrister furniture are antiques. They are made of very solid wood. This solidity made the entire furniture holding law books to be easily carted from homes to courthouses during the pre-internet era. This is why today’s antique woods are made of the same hardwood materials. Hence, they are very expensive.
If you can’t afford the antique models, you can now have this type of furniture, but in modern styles. You can find modern bookcases made of quality hardwoods similar to the antique models. You may, however, opt for types with distressed finishes.
4. Define What Your Needs Are
Before choosing this type of bookcase, it is necessary to ask yourself the question: “a bookcase, yes, but to store what?” Pocket novels, comics, or art books do not have the same dimensions, and they will all have to fit in this piece of furniture.
Besides the size of the books, it is necessary to ask yourself if you want to store something else in this bookcase: DVDs, CDs, phonograph records, etc. And even, why not a table clock, vases, flowers, picture frames or some of your award collections? Do you want to highlight certain objects? Do you want it to have special lighting or not? What’s the budget you have for this furniture? In addition, do you need a very large bookcase or not?
All these questions will allow you to make a sketch of your ideal bookcase. These questions will lead us to the next steps.
5. Choose the Location of Your Bookcase
Before investing in a new bookcase, you will not only have to examine your storage needs. You will also have to think about the location of this generally imposing piece of furniture. They are suitable for use in an office, living room, study room, dining room or bedroom.
In a Living Room
Most often, the bookcase has its place found in the living room where it can enhance the style and personality. A large bookcase can be placed behind a sofa while a low bookcase can stay behind and under a window. Barrister bookcases usually have a front door. However, barrister bookcases with a wooden door can be a bad idea. Except you are ready to start entertaining questions from your guests on why you’ve chosen to have a kitchen cupboard in your living room. So, those intended for the living room must have a see-through glass door to showcase the content.
In the Bedroom
A bookcase meant for the living room will certainly not have the same size or the same look as a bookcase placed in the bedroom. For the latter, these are generally smaller. Hence, there’s the need to take good measurements of the location of placement so as not to have unpleasant surprises.
In the Study Room
Furniture in the study rooms is usually tall. Some can even rise to the ceiling with a step ladder usually needed to have access to items on the top shelves. However, as you may have seen, barrister bookcases aren’t traditionally high. You can have a compromise by adding more stacks of shelves. That is, instead of just 4 shelving units, you may choose to have 6, or even 8. You may choose to have two or more barrister bookcases in your dedicated room, depending on the number of books and/or items you’re looking to house.
6. Think About the Style You Want for Your Bookcase
There are a wide variety of bookcases. The bookcase furniture may consist of several compartments and shelves. In some types, you can have a lower part closed by cupboard doors. This allows you to combine storage space for what you want to keep out of sight while exposing the rest.
Most of the time, the bookcase furniture has to stay in harmony in the same style as the other furniture present in the room. If you want to give it a special place, giving it a status of the star furniture in your room, you can try a colorful or very designer bookcase to bring it out of the decor. This will thus affirm your passion for reading.
7. How Many Numbers of Stacks?
There are no fast rules on what the number of stacks should be for barrister bookcases. To avoid unpleasant surprises over the months, know that there are adjustable or upgradable bookcases. If you want a very compact and low one, you may choose to have just two shelving units stacked on each other.
However, the most common types of barrister bookcases are those with 4 stacked units. While there can be more, this is the standard size or shelving number. When you begin to see that you are running out of space in your furniture, you can just easily add more shelving units.
8. Add Life to the Furniture
Needless to remind you that the bookcase is an important part of the decor. In addition to its materials and its shape, its look can be perfected thanks to very simple decorative additions. You may be able to work a lighting system or simply choose a model with LED to illuminate and enhance your readings.
Also, many barrister bookcases are relatively lower than other types of bookcases. However, you can take advantage of this to enliven the environment by placing pieces of arts, award plaques (if any) or other decorative items. Finally, never forget that the bookcase does not only welcome books. Decorative items, decorative boxes, travel souvenirs and more are welcome to enliven the shelves.
Barrister bookcases are distinguished for the protection they give books against rust, sun rays, humidity, water, etc. The antique types are the best to get due to their unique and hard materials. However, they can be very expensive. If you have a low budget, the modern barrister bookcase is for you. We hope you found the buying guide useful for your purchase.