I  truly love styling a bookcase because it can be a window into your passions, and an opportunity for you to display your favourite things. They add warmth and personality to a space, whilst being the perfect solution for adding storage and style. They are a hardworking piece of furniture. The problem is, if your home is anything like mine, the bookcase ends up collecting piles of things that don’t really belong there. So, take a couple of hours, give the bookcase a little attention and turn it into the focal point of the room.

Styling a bookcase is a balance between maximising utility and aesthetic appeal but avoiding monotony and clutter.  Here is my foolproof, 6 step guide to styling your bookcase.

1.First, clear off your shelf and pack/throw away any broken trinkets or torn items.

2.To give the bookcase depth and interest, I sometimes like to paint the back of the bookcase with a pretty accent colour. Go for a fun colour to pop, a nice patterned wallpaper or stencil, or a nice contrasting colour.

Styling a Bookcase

Image thanks to yoursinteriorly.com

3.Collect a few decorative items to be displayed BUT first, pick a colour scheme.  I find that a handful of great pieces, in 3 or 4 different colours, fills the space enough that it doesn’t look too busy. If you are staging your home for sale, try to choose non-personal trinkets. This means no family photos, trophies or sports teams. Try to replace them with art or framed quotes.

Styling a Bookcase

4. Choose the books that you would like to display. I tend to display the ones that have a pretty coloured spine.  For visual interest, I like to change the way I stack the books on each shelf. It looks great to have them laying them on top of each other on one shelf, then on another shelf, stacking them side by side. I also try to avoid stacking two of the same coloured spines together.  Mix them up to give interest.

5.I like to use attractive patterned or coloured boxes to hide away the less pretty or difficult to display items. Boxes look great displayed on bookshelves, either alone or stacked together.

6.Once you have chosen the items to display, arrange them on the shelves. I like to place items in twos on one shelf, then threes on the next shelf, then back to twos. To give the bookcase balance, I try to stagger items, shapes and colours from one side to the other. The key is to not have the items clumped together but instead, have them create a natural flow for your eye to look. If you have lots of books, try layering the decorative items behind or in front of the books.

Styling a Bookcase

Image thanks to Pearl Street Interiors

Styling a Bookcase

Image thanks to amber interior design

Styling bookcases is an art but it can be a lot of fun.

Thanks for reading!


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