When it comes to designing your bookshelf, these 10 rules are worth keeping in mind. Your bookcases can be more than just a resting place for your favorite tomes – they can also serve as a focal point in your home. So, how can you make the most of this space? Our decorating editors have curated some advice to help you style your bookshelf like a pro.
- Start with a neutral background: Before you begin arranging your books and accessories, consider painting the back of your bookshelf a neutral color. This will allow your curated items to stand out against the backdrop and create a more cohesive look.
- Showcase your favorite books: Arrange your books in a way that is both visually appealing and functional. Consider sorting them by color or size, or even stacking them horizontally for a unique look.
- Don’t forget about the accessories: Add some interest to your bookshelf by incorporating decorative accessories. Consider items like vases, sculptures, or framed artwork to add dimension and visual interest.
- Group similar items together: To create a curated look, try grouping similar items together. For example, you could group all of your green-colored books and accessories on one shelf, and all of your blue-colored items on another.
- Play with heights: Vary the heights of your books and accessories to create visual interest. Mix taller objects with shorter ones to create a balanced look.
- Consider a color scheme: If you want a more cohesive look, consider choosing a color scheme for your bookshelf. This could be as simple as sticking to a few complementary colors, or as detailed as choosing a specific Pantone shade.
- Take advantage of negative space: Don’t be afraid to leave some empty space on your bookshelf. Negative space can help highlight your curated items and prevent the bookshelf from looking too cluttered.
- Work from top to bottom: When arranging your items, start at the top of the bookshelf and work your way down. This will help you create a neat and organized look.
- Consider staging your bookshelf: If you’re looking to create a more styled look, consider staging your bookshelf. This could involve placing a few curated items on top of the books or arranging items in a way that is visually pleasing.
- Don’t be afraid to start from scratch: If you’re not happy with how your bookshelf is looking, don’t be afraid to start over. Take all the items off the shelf and begin again, experimenting with different layouts until you find one that you love.
With these rules in mind, you can transform your bookcase from a simple storage solution into a curated display that showcases your personal style. So, get creative and have fun styling your bookshelf!
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How to style a bookcase
When it comes to styling a bookcase, there are certain rules that our decorating editors always keep in mind. Whether you’re looking to showcase your collection of books or incorporate some beautiful accessories, following these guidelines will help you create a well-curated and visually appealing bookshelf.
1. Play with heights
One of the key rules when styling a bookcase is to play with heights. Mix tall and short items to create visual interest and avoid a monotonous look. This could mean placing smaller vases or decorative objects next to tall bookends or incorporating taller plants or floor lamps.
2. Consider the background
While books are the main focus of a bookshelf, don’t neglect the background. Consider painting the back of the bookcase in a neutral or colored tone to make your items pop and add depth to the space.
3. Group items in odd numbers
When styling a bookcase, it’s best to group items in odd numbers. This creates a more dynamic and visually appealing arrangement. For example, pair three small vases together or group five books with a decorative object.
4. Mix books and accessories
Don’t be afraid to mix books with accessories. Incorporate decorative objects, framed photos, or art pieces to add a personal touch to your bookshelf. This allows you to showcase your personality and interests.
5. Pay attention to book spines
If you’re styling a bookcase with books, pay attention to the book spines. You can create a cohesive look by organizing books by color or keeping them in a similar theme. This adds visual appeal to the bookshelf and makes it look more curated.
6. Stagger books
Instead of lining up all the books neatly, consider staggering them. This creates a more casual and relaxed look, making the bookshelf feel less staged. Mix vertical and horizontal arrangements for a more interesting layout.
7. Create a focal point
Every bookcase needs a focal point. This could be a striking piece of artwork, a unique decorative object, or even a pile of books. Place it in the center or somewhere eye-catching to draw attention and add visual interest.
8. Consider the overall color scheme
When styling a bookcase, consider the overall color scheme of the room. Choose items that complement the existing colors and create a cohesive look. This will make your bookshelf blend seamlessly with the rest of the living space.
9. Leave some empty space
Don’t feel like every inch of the bookcase needs to be filled. Leave some empty space to give your items room to breathe. This will also prevent the bookshelf from looking cluttered and overwhelming.
10. Don’t forget the classics
While it’s fun to style a bookcase with trendy accessories, don’t forget the classics. Incorporate timeless pieces like leather-bound books or vintage bookends to add a touch of sophistication to your bookshelf.
By following these 10 rules, you can create a beautifully styled bookcase that not only showcases your favorite books but also enhances the overall look of your home.
1 Leave space for display alongside books
When it comes to styling a bookcase, it’s worth leaving some space on the shelves for displaying decorative items alongside your beloved books. This allows you to showcase not only your favorite tomes, but also some beautiful accessories or items that hold sentimental value.
The same rules apply when it comes to bookshelf styling – they can be a focal point in your living space, so it’s important to give them some attention. By mixing books with curated accessories, you can create a visually appealing display that adds interest to your room.
One idea is to mix in some smaller decorative items, such as vases, candles, or small sculptures, between the books. This adds variety in height and creates a more dynamic look for your bookshelves.
When choosing accessories, keep in mind the overall color scheme of your room. Opt for items that complement the existing color palette, whether it’s a neutral background or a more bold and colored living space. This way, the accessories will blend in seamlessly and add to the overall aesthetic.
Don’t be afraid to play around with the layout of your bookshelves. Try grouping books of similar genres or topics together, or organize them by size. You can even mix vertical and horizontal arrangements for a more visually interesting display.
One piece of advice from our decorating editors is to make sure you have enough space to actually see the book spines. While it’s tempting to fill every inch of space with accessories, having an open section of books can make the bookshelf less cluttered and more inviting.
Remember, bookshelf styling is both an art and a science. Take the time to experiment and find a layout that works best for your space and personal style. And if you’re starting from scratch, don’t worry – there are plenty of ideas and inspiration out there to help you create a stunning and curated bookshelf for your home.
2 Work niches into your bookshelf design
When it comes to bookshelves, incorporating niches into the design can add both functionality and visual interest. By creating specific spaces within your bookshelf, you can showcase unique items or create designated spots for certain categories of books or accessories. Here are some ideas for working niches into your bookshelf design:
- Create smaller shelves or nooks within your bookcase to display special items. These can be used to highlight personal mementos, travel souvenirs, or small decorative pieces.
- Vary the heights of your shelves to accommodate different-sized items. By having shelves of different heights, you can create visually appealing displays that break up the monotony of a standard bookshelf layout.
- Use a contrasting background to make your niche stand out. Paint the back wall of the niche a different color or use patterned wallpaper to create a focal point within your bookcase.
- Consider staging your niche with a curated collection of books. Choose books with colorful spines or interesting covers to add visual interest to the niche.
- If you have a large bookshelf, you can even create multiple niches within the same unit. This allows you to showcase different themes or collections throughout the bookshelf.
When designing your bookshelf with niches in mind, it’s important to consider the overall aesthetic of your home. If you prefer a more minimalist look, opt for neutral colors and streamlined accessories. If you want to add a pop of color to your space, choose bright or contrasting colored items to place inside the niches.
Remember, the key to a well-styled bookshelf is to strike a balance between functionality and aesthetics. By incorporating niches into your bookshelf design, you can showcase your favorite items while still keeping your book collection organized and within reach.
3 Display books stacked in piles
One way to make your bookshelf look more curated and visually interesting is to display books stacked in piles. This is a popular trend in designing homes, as it not only keeps the space neat but also adds an element of style to your bookshelf.
When choosing which books to stack, keep in mind that they don’t have to be the classics or the most popular ones. Instead, opt for books that have a visually appealing cover or a color scheme that complements the rest of your home décor. You can even mix in some smaller items or accessories to add more visual interest.
Stacking books is particularly useful when you have limited space on your bookshelf. By stacking books, you can make the most out of the available space and showcase your favorite tomes in a unique way.
When it comes to styling the stacks, consider arranging them in different heights and angles. This will create a more dynamic and visually appealing display. You can place some books vertically, while others can be laid down horizontally. Even books that are slightly worn or less visually striking can be used as a base to elevate the more eye-catching books on top.
Another idea to consider is grouping books based on a specific theme or subject. For example, you can create a stack of gardening books, cookbooks, or travel guides. This will not only make finding the books easier but will also add a cohesive element to your bookshelf.
Don’t be afraid to experiment and think outside the box when it comes to arranging your book stacks. You can mix in other objects like vases, picture frames, or collectibles to add a personal touch. Just make sure that the focus remains on the books, as they are the main attraction of a bookshelf.
In conclusion, displaying books stacked in piles is a great way to add visual interest and style to your bookshelf. By following these simple rules and considering the layout and design of your bookcase, you can create a beautiful and curated space that showcases your love for books.
4 Display books by ‘weight’
When it comes to styling bookshelves, one of the most important factors to consider is the arrangement of books. Rather than simply stacking them all together, it’s better to create a visually pleasing display by organizing them based on their “weight”. By weight, we mean the visual impact and importance of each book in the overall design of the bookshelf.
Start by considering the background of your bookshelf. If it’s a neutral color or a simple pattern, those books with colorful spines or interesting covers can become the focal point. On the other hand, if the background is already busy or vibrant, then opt for books with more subdued colors and simpler designs.
To create a sense of balance and variety, mix up the arrangement of your books by alternating vertical and horizontal stacking. You can also layer smaller books or magazines on top of larger ones. This not only adds visual interest but also allows you to showcase more items on your bookshelf.
When it comes to organizing books by weight, consider the value and relevance of each book. If you have a collection of rare or valuable books, it’s worth giving them a special place on your bookshelf. Similarly, books that you frequently reference or are currently reading can be placed in a more accessible location.
Don’t forget about aesthetics when arranging your books. While it’s important to have a neat and organized look, you can also add some decorative elements to break up the rows of books. This could be anything from small plants or vases to framed artwork or sculptures. Just make sure that these items complement the overall design scheme and don’t overwhelm the books.
Lastly, keep in mind that bookshelves are not only meant for books. You can use them to display other items such as family photos, travel souvenirs, or even small pieces of artwork. Just make sure that these items are curated carefully and don’t take away from the beauty of the books.
By following these rules for arranging books by weight, you can create a visually stunning bookshelf that not only showcases your well-loved tomes but also adds character and charm to your living space.
5 Apply color scheme rules to bookshelves too
When it comes to styling bookshelves, don’t forget to consider the color scheme of your space. Just like any other area in your home, the bookshelves should match the overall theme and design aesthetic.
Our decorating editors have shared some valuable advice on how to apply color scheme rules to bookshelves:
- Curate a color palette: Start by selecting a color palette that complements the rest of your living space. You can choose a neutral color scheme for a more classic and timeless look or experiment with bold and vibrant colors for a statement piece.
- Organize by color: To achieve a visually pleasing display, arrange your books and accessories by color. Grouping similar colored items together can create a cohesive and visually appealing look.
- Add pops of color: If your bookcases are primarily neutral, consider adding pops of color to make them more interesting. You can incorporate colorful accessories, such as vases, artwork, or decorative objects, to liven up the space.
- Use books as decorative elements: Books themselves can add color to your bookshelves. Consider using books with colorful spines or covers as decorative elements.
- Consider the background: The background of your bookshelves can also contribute to the overall color scheme. A painted or wallpapered background in a complementary hue can make your books and accessories stand out.
By following these color scheme rules, you can transform your bookshelves from being just a storage space for books into a beautifully styled showcase of your curated tomes. Whether you prefer a neutral palette or a splash of vibrant colors, these ideas will help you create a stunning display while still keeping your books organized.
6 Display your vinyl on bookshelves too
If you have a collection of vinyl records, don’t hide them away – display them on your bookshelves! Not only can they add a touch of personality to your space, but they also make for interesting conversation starters.
Follow the same advice for styling your vinyl as you would for your books and accessories. Avoid having all your vinyl in one place – mix them up with your books and other decorative items. This creates a curated, visually appealing display.
Consider what works best for your home when it comes to styling your vinyl. Some like to organize them by genre or color, while others prefer a more eclectic mix. Don’t be afraid to experiment and find a system that works for you.
When styling your vinyl, it’s worth noting that some records, particularly those with colored or unique spines, can work as beautiful focal points on your bookshelves. These standout records can be displayed on their own or in a small pile to create visual interest.
Don’t forget about the background of your bookshelves. If you have a neutral or plain-colored bookshelf, consider adding a pop of color with a vibrant wallpaper or paint. This can make your vinyl collection stand out even more.
Avoid overcrowding your bookshelves with vinyl – leave some space in between each record to keep the overall look neat and organized. Depending on the size of your collection, you may need to adjust the height of the shelves to accommodate the records.
Lastly, keep in mind that while design rules are helpful, they are not set in stone. Feel free to break them and create a bookshelf display that speaks to your personal style and taste. After all, it’s your home and the most important rule is to showcase the items that bring you joy.
7 Style a bookcase with ‘less is more’ in mind
When it comes to styling a bookcase, sometimes less is more. Rather than filling every inch of space with books and accessories, consider a more minimalist approach that allows the beauty of your bookshelf to shine through. Here are some tips for styling a bookcase with ‘less is more’ in mind:
- Start with a curated selection of books: Instead of displaying every book you own, choose a few favorites or those that fit a specific theme or color scheme.
- Opt for a neutral background: Consider painting the back of your bookcase in a neutral color, like white or light gray, to create a clean and modern backdrop for your books and accessories.
- Use smaller accessories: Instead of large statement pieces, choose smaller items to add interest and texture to your bookshelf. This could include vases, small sculptures, or pieces of artwork.
- Focus on styling the spines: Instead of stacking books horizontally, stand them upright and organize them by color or size. This creates a more visually appealing and organized look.
- Don’t pile books on top of each other: While it may be tempting to stack books on top of each other, this can create a cluttered appearance. Instead, leave some empty space between books for a more airy and open feel.
- Consider similar heights: If possible, try to arrange your books so that they are all similar heights. This creates a more cohesive and uniform look.
- Showcase a few statement books: If you have any particularly beautiful or meaningful books, consider giving them a special place of prominence on your bookshelf. This could be in the center or at the ends of the shelves.
By following these ‘less is more’ styling tips, you can create a beautifully curated and visually pleasing bookcase that adds a touch of sophistication to your home. Remember, less can often be more when it comes to styling bookcases.
8 Showcase accessories alongside books
When designing your bookshelves, don’t forget to include accessories alongside your books. These items can help showcase your personal style and add visual interest to the space. Here are some rules to keep in mind:
- Use accessories of varying heights to create visual interest. This could be anything from small sculptures or vases to tall candlesticks or baskets.
- Consider the color scheme of your accessories. Opt for neutral or complementary colors that work well with the rest of your decor.
- If you have beautiful book covers, don’t be afraid to display them. Showcasing books with colorful or unique covers can add an extra element of visual appeal to your bookshelf.
- Group smaller accessories together to create a curated look. For example, you could gather a collection of similar-colored vases or a set of decorative boxes.
- Mix in some greenery. Adding plants or fresh flowers to your bookshelf can bring life to the space and make it feel more inviting.
- Consider staging your accessories. Instead of placing them haphazardly on the shelves, think about arranging them in a way that is visually pleasing. This could involve creating vignettes or using stands and risers to elevate certain items.
- Keep in mind the focal points of your bookshelf. If you have certain prized possessions or particularly beautiful accessories, make sure they are prominently displayed.
- Lastly, don’t forget about the books! While accessories are important, the primary function of a bookshelf is to hold books. Make sure you leave enough space for your tomes and consider organizing them by topic, author, or color for a more visually appealing layout.
By following these rules, you can create a well-styled bookshelf that showcases both your books and your personal style. Whether you’re looking for inspiration or advice on how to style your bookshelves, these ideas can help you make the most of your space.
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9 Display books imaginatively
When it comes to styling a bookcase, the most important element is, of course, the books themselves. But don’t just stack them up neatly and call it a day – get creative with how you display them! Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Vary the heights: Instead of keeping all your books at the same height, experiment with different heights to add visual interest. Mix tall coffee table tomes with shorter paperbacks for a dynamic look.
- Keep the color scheme in mind: If you’re designing a bookcase in a neutral space, consider adding pops of color with vibrant book covers. On the other hand, if you’re going for a more monochromatic look, stick to muted or similar-colored books.
- Curate a themed display: Instead of arranging books by author or genre, try organizing them by a specific theme or topic. For example, create a display of gardening books with a few potted plants or showcase your collection of classic novels with vintage accessories.
- Don’t forget about the background: While the books are the focal point, the background can also make a big impact. Consider painting the back of the bookshelf a contrasting color or using wallpaper to add visual interest.
- Add accessories: Bookshelves don’t have to be all about books. Intersperse your collection with decorative accessories like vases, sculptures, or small plants to break up the visual monotony.
- Create a reading nook: If you have a large bookshelf, consider placing a cozy chair or a small bench nearby. This creates a designated space for enjoying your favorite books.
- Pile books horizontally: Instead of stacking books vertically, try laying some flat to create horizontal piles. This adds visual interest and allows you to showcase book covers that may be hidden on the shelf.
- Include magazines and coffee table books: Magazines and oversized coffee table books can add a touch of luxury to your bookshelf. Mix them in with your regular books for a curated look.
- Submit to your own design: While there are guidelines and rules for styling bookcases, don’t be afraid to trust your own instincts and preferences. Make sure the bookshelf reflects your personal style and taste.
By following these tips, you can turn your bookshelf into a beautiful and curated space that showcases your love for books and adds personality to your home. Whether you prefer a minimalist approach or a more eclectic mix, there’s no wrong way to style your bookcase! For more advice and inspiration, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest tips and ideas delivered straight to your inbox.
10 Showcase your bookshelf styling with color
When it comes to styling your bookshelf, color can be a powerful tool to create a visually stunning display. Here are some tips for showcasing your bookshelf with color:
- Curate a color scheme: Choose a color scheme that complements the rest of your space. Whether it’s a bold and vibrant palette or a more neutral tone, having a curated color scheme will help create a cohesive and visually pleasing look.
- Use colored books: Include books with colorful spines in your bookshelf. Green, red, blue, or any other vibrant color can make a statement while adding visual interest.
- Create color blocks: Group books with similar colors together to create color blocks. This can make your bookshelf look both neat and visually appealing.
- Add colored accessories: Incorporate colored accessories such as vases, picture frames, or decorative objects to enhance the color scheme of your bookshelf.
- Think beyond books: Don’t limit yourself to just tomes. Mix in other decorative items like plants, sculptures, or small art pieces that match the color scheme.
- Play with heights: Vary the heights of your books and accessories to add dimension and visual interest to your bookshelf.
- Consider the background: Choose a background color or wallpaper for your bookshelf that complements the colors of the items you are showcasing. This will help make them stand out even more.
- Use color to guide the eye: Strategically place pops of color throughout your bookshelf to guide the eye and create a visually pleasing flow.
- Balance color with neutrals: While using color is important, it’s also crucial to balance it out with neutral tones. This will prevent your bookshelf from looking too overwhelming.
- Have fun with it: Lastly, don’t be afraid to experiment and have fun with your bookshelf styling. It’s your space, so make it truly reflect your personal style and taste.
By following these rules, you can create a bookshelf that not only showcases your favorite reads but also becomes a beautiful focal point in your home.
How do you make a bookshelf look nice
When it comes to designing a bookshelf, the layout is key. Having a well-organized and visually appealing bookshelf can instantly transform the look of your space. Here are some rules for styling your bookshelf to make it look nice.
- Start with a plan: Before you begin styling your bookshelf, take some time to plan out how you want it to look. Consider the size and shape of your bookshelf, as well as the overall aesthetic you want to achieve.
- Curate your collection: Go through your book collection and select the most visually appealing and meaningful books to showcase on your shelf. Consider organizing them by genre, color, or theme to create a more cohesive look.
- Mix it up: Don’t limit your bookshelf to just books. Include some decorative accessories, such as vases, framed photos, or small sculptures. This will add visual interest and break up the monotony of rows of books.
- Consider color scheme: If you’re looking for a more uniform look, try organizing your books by color. This can create a visually stunning display that will catch the eye of anyone entering the room.
- Play with heights: Vary the heights of the items on your bookshelf to create a more dynamic look. This can be done by stacking books horizontally, using bookends, or placing taller accessories next to shorter ones.
- Create focal points: Highlight certain books or items on your bookshelf by placing them in the center or at eye level. This will draw attention to them and make them stand out.
- Keep it neat: Make sure your bookshelf stays organized and tidy by regularly dusting and rearranging items. This will keep it looking neat and fresh.
- Don’t overcrowd: Avoid overcrowding your bookshelf by leaving some empty space. This will allow each item to shine and prevent the shelf from looking cluttered.
- Add greenery: Incorporate some plants or floral arrangements into your bookshelf to add a touch of life and color. This can make the space feel more vibrant and inviting.
- Get inspiration: Look for inspiration from interior design magazines, home staging ideas, or curated bookshelves on social media platforms. This can help you get ideas and spark your creativity.
By following these rules and putting some thought into the styling of your bookshelf, you can make it a beautiful focal point in your home. Whether you’re submitting tomes to a specific genre, showcasing your most cherished classics, or simply displaying your favorite reads, these tips will help you make your bookshelf look nice while also reflecting your personal taste and style.
How do you stage a bookcase like a pro
Staging a bookcase can be a fun and creative way to showcase your book collection and personal style. Here are some tips and ideas to stage a bookcase like a pro:
- Start with a clean slate: Before styling your bookcase, empty it out and clean it thoroughly. This will give you a fresh canvas to work with.
- Consider the layout: Think about how you want to arrange your books and decorative items. You can organize them by color, size, or subject matter. Experiment with different arrangements to find what looks best.
- Play with heights: Vary the heights of your books and accessories to create visual interest. Use bookends or risers to elevate some items and create a more dynamic display.
- Create focal points: Choose a few items to be the focal points of your bookcase. These can be decorative objects, framed photos, or unique book covers that you want to showcase.
- Add pops of color: Introduce some color to your bookcase by including decorative objects in vibrant hues. This will liven up the space and make it more visually appealing.
- Balance the colors: If you have a lot of colorful books, balance it out with some neutral-colored accessories. This will prevent the bookcase from looking too busy or overwhelming.
- Curate your book collection: Consider the theme or topic of your book collection and select a few books to feature prominently. This will give your bookcase a curated and cohesive look.
- Group similar items together: Arrange books on the same subject or in the same genre together. This will create a sense of organization and make it easier to find specific books.
- Add greenery: Incorporate some plants or fresh flowers into your bookshelf display. The greenery will add a touch of nature and bring life to the space.
- Keep it neat: Regularly tidy up your bookcase by straightening the books and rearranging the accessories. This will keep your bookshelf looking neat and organized.
By following these tips and guidelines, you can stage your bookcase like a pro and create a beautiful and stylish focal point in your home. Whether you’re showcasing your favorite novels, displaying decorative items, or organizing your collection, a well-styled bookcase can add character and charm to any room.