How to Style a Bookshelf

April 11, 2023

If you want to display some of your favorite books on a bookshelf, it can be somewhat intimidating knowing how to style it. You could just put all your books on the bookshelf and call it a day, but adding a few decorative flairs here and there helps add some contrast to the bookshelf as well as your room. Here’s how to style a bookshelf:

1. Start With a Blank Slate

It’s much easier to start decorating with a blank slate. Figure out where to place your bookshelf. Set out all of the things you want to display on your bookshelf, such as your books, photo frames, or any other knick knacks you might have.

Think about the design and color of your books. The covers of your books don’t matter unless it’s at the end of a row or on top of the stack. Before you start organizing, think about the visual weight distribution of your books. Remember to balance your large books throughout your shelves.

2. Tackle the Large Books

Finding the best places for your large books is a great place to start because you can work around them more easily. Your shelves will determine how big your stacks or rows can be. If you have a small shelf, stick to one row. Break up your row with a decor item or two if you have a large shelf.

3. Bookend with Smaller Books

There are plenty of ways to store books, and ways to organize them for an interesting look. For some added texture, try smaller books as bookends. If you have a row of larger books, create a vertical stack of smaller books to use as bookends. Not only does this add some dimension to your bookshelf, but it’s also a great way to store more books.

4. Add Storage

To get the most out of your bookshelf, add some baskets or other tassels to the bookshelf. Not only will this add some visual contrast, but it will also give you extra places for storage.

Don’t forget to balance these storage baskets or vessels with other larger elements on your bookshelf. You don’t want to overwhelm your bookshelf with so many big elements that smaller elements get swallowed up.

5. Layer Art

Another element of styling your bookshelves is to add in art. Adding art is a great way to add color and style and it’s also a great place to display your art. There are ways to incorporate bold patterns into your home decor. Remember, it’s all about balancing bold pieces so that nothing overwhelms the space.

6. Bring in Plants

A good bookshelf can always benefit from some greenery. It’s a great way to bring life into your bookshelves and plants are another great way to add texture to your space. It’s also one of the most popular ways to decorate with houseplants.

Plants can also help clean the air and are also excellent mood boosters! This is also a way to include a little biophilic design influence. If real plants aren’t an option, there are many good faux plant options available. 

7. Let it Breathe

Once you have your shelves decorated, it’s important to let the decorations and books breathe for a bit. Take a few days and see how you feel about the setup. You might love it as is! But if something doesn’t feel right, rearrange it.

These are just a few design tips on how to style a bookshelf. Bookshelves are an easy way to store books and also are a popular design choice in many homes. Adding built-in bookshelves is a great way to incorporate more storage into your custom home design. If you’re ready to make your dream home a reality, contact Custom Home Group at 717-284-4090!