I enjoy designing custom bookshelves. They can be built to suit a client's wants and needs, fit into just about any space and give a plain room some nice character. Even if the built-ins are going to span the entire wall, I don't want them to overwhelm the space. The way I do that is to really watch the depth. The above cabinet shows a completed project that the homeowner loves. The entire piece is only 12 inches deep, which is lovely for books, but kind of narrow for other uses. BUT I just had doors put on the lower half, installed shelving inside and laid down that non-stick shelf liner (in black) on those shelves.
Two of these cabinets give the client a ton of storage space for china and glassware in the room, while leaving plenty of space on the rest of the wall for books and collections. You can see that the homeowner could easily add another shelf inside, but it's important not to pack things too tightly--makes it a little dicey when pulling out those antique goblets and cake servers. We put baby locks on the doors since the room is also used by children. They don't even know all that breakable stuff is nearby (hope they don't read this blog)! It works really well.