How to Style a Bookcase


Decorating and styling bookcases no longer has to scare you. There are some pretty slick and fool-proof ways to get that perfect "HGTV" look without pulling your hair out. Plus, books are optional. Who knew?

When you walk into a home and you see a bookcase, it will basically tell you a quick story of who that person (or family) is. Some choose to fill it with the originally intended reason of a bookcase, being books, and some fill it with decor, mix in a few books and some just use it for storage of anything and everything. Whatever you want your bookcase to look like, follow these rules!

1. Empty those shelves.

If they are already empty and you have your decor and books ready, then skip this step.

2. Group like-items together

Put vases, books, jars, plants in their own categories. This will save you time and frustration later!

3. Sort books by size/color

4. Now the fun begins. Place your core piece first.

This will be your focal point.

When establishing your focal point remember that bigger is better! Try a lamp, a mirror, an art piece, a bird cage, a clock, etc. Here is my bookcase that I finished up today. You can also remove shelves to create space for taller items.

5. When adding your other pieces be sure to:

  • Style in a way that there is depth from front to back

  • Add textures (As seen in the picture, the plate in back has visual texture and design as well as the cup on the far left)

  • Keep colors cohesive

6. Add color my friend!

This creates instant drama as well as creating cohesion among pieces.

7. Books can Change Directions, Ya Know!

Try putting them sideways, backwards, tilting. Try something new and have FUN with it.

8. Keep balance among shelves, but don't be redundant!

While this space is beautiful, the decor is too repetitive. It takes away the asymmetrical character you wish to create!


9. Make it not only fashionable, but functional!

Add cute baskets, jars, wooden crates or containers.

10. Add big and small items.

This creates balance and is very pleasing to the eye.

11. Create movement.

You want your eye to bounce from one shelf to the next. Varying heights of items helps with this.

12. Remember to add Components of:

  • Life (Plants)

  • Color

  • Textures

  • Personal Style

  • Some Whimsy, of course!

So now that you have your basics down, here are a few bonus suggestions to add a little flair to your design.

Add rope lighting, battery candles,

and lamps for sleek lighting.

Add wallpaper to the back of shelving for instant drama!

Remove jackets on books or add new jackets to books (There are, of course some superb DIY ideas for this on Pinterest!)

Cover books with lovely script paper as seen on the right.

Cover your reads with some maps.

They can be new or vintage!

Turn books backwards. Cause why?

Just because!

Happy decorating!


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