Cherry Home Library

(Click any photo for a close-up view)




(Click any photo for a close-up view)


This set of cherry cabinets converted a modest-sized room in the client's house into a beautifully appointed home library.  As seen in the photos above, the bookcases wrap around three of the four walls in the room, and the arched top rails of the front-wall bookcases echo the shape of the arched doorway leading into the library.  The centermost arched bookcase extends out farther than the two flanking sections, thus providing some added visual interest along with storage space for larger books.  In addition to the arched bookcase tops, the library cabinets attain a formal appearance through the use of fluted stiles that separate the bookcases and beaded edges along all the bookshelf face frame components.  Finally, a complete rolling ladder system fabricated from solid cherry has been incorporated into the room, adding both an aesthetic and functional element to the library.  The top of the ladder utilizes "hook-style" hardware that allows the ladder to be easily moved from the guide rails on one wall to the opposite wall.

The bookcases are built from a combination of solid cherry lumber and A1-grade sequenced and matched veneered plywood.  If you look at some of the close-up photos shown above, you'll also note that the bookcase back panels were made from specially selected plywood with curly cherry veneer.  Though somewhat obscured by the presence of the books, these details can still be appreciated in the final photos.  The cabinets are finished in a dark, formal cherry stain followed by a very durable conversion varnish with a satin sheen.

Finally, what makes this formal home library truly unique are the design and construction elements that can't be seen.  Well-built library bookcases can be a sizeable investment, and thus something that would be nice to take along to the client's next home.  Though these cabinets appear to be permanently installed in the room, they are designed to be easily removed from the room with only a few simple hand tools in a matter of minutes.  To achieve this result, knock-down bolts (KD bolts) connect the individual bookshelf sections and are hidden behind the front rails of the fixed shelves.  The fluted stiles between adjacent bookcases are part of specially-designed "connector modules" that incorporate all the hardware brackets for the rolling ladder rail system.  This modular configuration not only allows the library shelves to be easily moved, but also permits the units to be reassembled into different configurations (for example, along one long wall instead of three walls).  Preserving the client's investment in these custom bookcases, along with the valuable storage space they provide, was a key aspect in securing this project commission.

Related Items

A matching set of Arched Raised-Panel Cherry Doors was built at the entrance to this home library and serve as the perfect companion to these bookshelf cabinets.   For other bookshelf installations, please visit the Bookshelves & Built-Ins page.  To see other traditionally styled projects, please visit the Traditional page.

Due to it's unique/distinctive nature, this project is included in my Signature Pieces collection of work.  Feel free to visit that page to learn more.


Cabinet pricing is dependent on a wide variety of factors that can drastically alter the final cost.  Cabinet quantities/sizes, material selection, construction methods, accessories, and finishes all impact the pricing.  The cherry bookcases shown on this page cost approximately $17,900, including materials, labor, and installation, along with the installed rolling ladder system.

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