In the top photo from Living Etc magazine, the shelf on either side of the fireplace displays books arranged this way and that to give an almost geometric pattern.
In the bottom photo, the white space of this loft gets it character from the collection of Asian birdcages on top of the decorated Chinese cabinets, and if you look to the left you can see a ladder used for display of books.
I thought I'd see what I could find at auction for interesting display that might be decorative in and of it self.
This Louis XVI style giltwood easel is a very stylish display piece. It's decorative in and of itself, while it would be perfect for showing a modern or traditional painting. This would be great in a space with lots of windows that might lack in wall space. This is included in the next New Orleans Auction January 29t and 30th. It's Lot 137 and has an auction estimate of $400 - $700.
I love open etagere for displaying objects. I think they're more flexible than bookshelves, and need not stand against a wall. This one is a lovely shape with the grading of the shelves, and has a wonderful mahogany wood color. This is also included in the New Orleans auction, and has an auction estimate of $400 - $700. It's Lot 16, and is 55.5" tall.
These English mahogany circular bookshelves are very chic. They serve as display of books or other objects in the shelves and more space for things on top! They would also make great end tables. These are included in the next Christie's Interiors sale in New York February 8th and 9th. They are Lot 587 and have an auction estimate of $1,000 - $1,500.
Bedsteps make excellent display pieces. This is a Victorian mahogany example in the same Christie's Interiors sale. The wood patina is beautiful, and the leather steps add more interest. This is Lot 457 and has an auction estimate of $800 - $1,200.
I see these wonderful French brass and wrought iron baker's racks show up at auction periodically. The attention to decoration in what is a utilitarian display rack is beautiful. Look at the curves and the wheat sheaves detail. This is such a wonderful alternative to an ordinary bookshelf. This is included in the Bonham's sale January 23rd and 24th in San Francisco. It's Lot 2322, 94" tall,and has an auction estimate of $1,000 - $1,500.
The Bonham's Los Angeles sale January 16th includes this cool Art Deco style walnut side cabinet. This is Lot 7383 and has an auction estimate of $700 - $900. I love the curved shelves on each side. These make perfect display and jazzes up the cabinet.
Think about the display of your collections as an art in itself. What a wonderful opportunity to find a beautiful and interesting piece to enhance the presentation of your passions.