5 Tips for Styling Your Bookshelves

There is an art to styling bookcases - it isn’t just a haphazard collection of book shoved in any old way. To keep your shelves in lovely form, here are 5 of my best styling tips:

1. Don’t forget books! It’s a bookshelf, not a Pottery Barn display case. Keep your mix interesting with both books and unique objects. And think about the types of books you’re displaying - hard covers look better than paperbacks, and interesting cover designs will give the eye something fab to look at.

Michelle Adams

Michelle Adams

2. Negative space. Keep the blank space at the rear of the bookcase in mind. Bookshelves can be literally groaning with the weight of a million books when the display is all books, but a mixed shelf of books and objects should keep the negative space in mind, with repetitions of groups of bold and varying height objects. A little breathing room is essential.

Angie Hranowsky

Angie Hranowsky

3. Contrast. Painting or wallpapering the back of your bookshelves really switches up the idea of negative space. It almost becomes a sculptural element.

Williams-Sonoma

Williams-Sonoma

4. Layer. Style your bookcase with your favorite objects and books, then hang art *over* what you’ve styled. A sophisticated way to use art when you’ve run out of wall space!

Mark Cunningham

Mark Cunningham

5. Showcase a collection. I know tip number one was to not forget books on a bookcase, but if you have a collection of objects this stunning, forget the books and let your collection shine. 

Bliss Home

Bliss Home

For more bookshelf eye candy, please visit my “Bookcase Styling” Pinterest board.

Warmly, 

Beth