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The Cookbook Conundrum

It’s kind of a struggle in some homes to decide what to do with the cookbook collection. Most of us want them nearby where we can seek inspiration or our favorite cookie recipe whenever we need it. But still, some people don’t want to devote too much to cookbook storage, since the kitchen is a room that has to fill so many needs. 

Meanwhile, the devoted cooks, Food Network fans, and cookbook collectors among us might disagree. They’re the people who believe that dedicating a nice amount of space, or even a wall, to cookbook storage is a fine use of precious kitchen space. 

So, in this article, you’ll find something for every cookbook owner. Whether you’ve got just a few cookbooks you need to store, or a whole library worth, you’ll find some cookbook storage inspiration in this post.  

On the Down Low

Toe cookbook shelf
Photo credit: @designvintageuk via @nicolegraystylist

For her home kitchen, Design Vintage UK founder Lisa Brass created a whitewashed and textured Scandinavian-feeling kitchen. She added a subtle row of cookbooks to the central cabinetry just on the bottom row. It’s a great way to use a shelf that is too low for placing ceramics, or glassware which might get broken. The home is also featured in the book Scandi Rustic by Ryland, Peters, and Small. 

Up High

Cookbook shelf up high in Mid country blues kitchen
Photo credit: Studio Dearborn

Since space is at a premium in the kitchen, every sliver of it gets used, or at least that’s what most kitchen designers strive for. After creating this wine dispenser and storage wall for this client’s kitchen nicknamed Mid-country Blues, there was room left over for a high shelf. It’s too high for placing kitchenware you use every day, but it was perfect for a row of colorful cookbooks that pick up the blue island and the red rug.

Open Book Shelf

Cookbook display shelf
Photo credit: @house_on_church_tce

This Australian design lover used to store her cookbooks in the pantry, but she realized that wasn’t the best use of that space. So she created a single open shelf just for display. I love how the brackets mimic the curves in her faucet. 

Cookbook Island Part I

Cookbooks in the island shelves studio Dearborn kitchen
Photo credit: Studio Dearborn

A well-designed island is a treasure. It’s a central space that can conceal so much-needed storage, hold a sink for drinks, and have room to sit down and relax. Here in Larchmont, we added a shelf for the display of treasured objects and favorite books right where the owner could sit down and decide what to make for dinner. 

Skinny Shelves

Skinny kitchen book shelves
Photo credit: @claremackwrites

Author Clare Mackintosh (she’s a New York Times bestselling author of thrillers like The Hostage ) included a skinny shelf just for cookbooks in her kitchen remodel. She says that the time at home during the pandemic gave her a chance to color coordinate it. 

Cookbook Island Part II

Island with cookbook storage on the side
Photo credit: @our_vickypark_home

As this family in Victoria Park, London did their home renovation, they wanted a way to display cookbooks without taking over too much space. The custom rack on the end of the island, which evokes a library display, was a tidy solution. 

Cookbook Wall

Sometimes you’ve got a spare expanse of wall that’s not deep enough to install a cabinet or full-on shelving. More and more people are turning them into cookbook display walls. Just grab a few picture ledges that fit your decor and install them. If you’re DIYing this project, using a level helps make sure they’re even. 

Kitchen Bookcase

Laura Martin Bovard kitchen with book shelving
Photo credit: @lmbinteriors

If you’ve got the room, a kitchen bookshelf can be a wonderful feature. It helps the kitchen feel more personal, as you fill it with favorite books, framed photos, and precious tchotchkes. Oakland interior designer Laura Martin Bovard shows what a great kitchen display case can look like in this kitchen project that also has amazing art. Plus, Laura says that cookbooks, just like artwork, are a lovely way to show a bit of personality in a very functional space.