The absolute best piece of woodworking advice I ever received went something like this:
"Everything we make is a box."
Once you start to look at furniture you'll notice that everything truly is some form of a box. Sometimes the box has no sides, only edges, such as a chair where the legs and seat can be seen as a box with only one side. A table is the same, entertainment centers are collections of boxes.
Following this rule closely is the bookshelf, a box missing one side. I'm currently building a shelf for my studio to hold reference books and technical manuals, as well as a few of my favorite pieces of sculpture or memorabilia. One important consideration for this project is that my studio often gets very dusty. Between sawdust, metal dust, and dust-dust things in the studio tend to be covered in a fine layer; so my shelf will need a covering, like doors, but I want to be able to see what's inside so they'll need glass panes inset.
With these criteria established I began the build of my Shop Cabinet.
See the basic construction here: