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Style A Bookshelf & Improve Your Decor

Interior Design & Decorating
By on Aug 6, 2018
Style A Bookshelf & Improve Your Decor

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Looking for a new way to dress up your room? Bookshelves aren’t just there for function, but style as well. You can easily get a new look in your living room, bedroom and more with just a few simple styling tricks.

Think about accessories, texture and color when you’re styling your bookshelf. You may have to invest in a few new items, but for the most part, this is a budget-friendly way to make a small change in your decor. Here are a few tips to help you style your bookshelf and improve your home décor.

Are you looking for more than just a small style upgrade? Contact an interior designer today for quotes from professionals in your area for free.

Bookshelf Styling Trends

Bookshelf Styling Trends

If you’re looking for a way to make your accessories stand out, a bookshelf is a great way to do so. Not only do you use a bookshelf for function, but it’s a great way to showcase keepsakes, small frames and other items you love.

“Styling bookshelves and shelving, in general, is one of my favorite areas of design,” Ashley Dudich, home blogger and shop owner at All The Design, said. “I love the challenge of taking functional to beautiful.”

Here are a few tips for a beautiful bookshelf:

  • Find Your Balance
  • Use Different Textures
  • Organize Books By Color
  • Think In Odd Numbers
  • Incorporate Picture Frames
  • Add Some Glam

Find Your Balance

1. Find Your Balance

When finding your bookshelf style, you may have the urge to put all of your favorite accessories on display. However, before you begin, take a step back and think about what you really want to include. It’s important to not make your bookshelf look cluttered or full of just one texture.

“I take a very balanced approach to styling shelves,” Dudich said. “I strike that balance by selecting just a few colors to incorporate, including a variety of textures, and repeating staging patterns. To soften the look, I typically add a small potted plant or mason jar of greens next to a stack of books.”

Use Different Textures

2. Use Different Textures

Textures in fabric and prints is currently a trendy décor item to have in every room. When it comes to your bookshelves, you want to include more than just flat books on the shelf to make it look great.

“When styling bookshelves, I mix in quite a few extras with books,” Dudich said. “It's a great opportunity to showcase some of the items you've collected from travel, received as gifts or simply find inspiring or beautiful. Small picture frames with personal photos or artwork, wood blocks with sweet or encouraging words, faux flowers and greens, baskets, metal buckets, ceramic objects, monogram letters, clocks, globes and really any other smaller decor item can be included!”

One trick to add more depth to your bookshelf is to arrange the books in different ways. Instead of standing them up vertically, try stacking a few on their side and putting a fall photo frame or plant on top. This will help add more variety to your shelf.

3. Organize Books By Color

One of the top bookshelf trends I’ve seen in the last few years is organizing your books by color. Using the rainbow as a template, group all your red books together, then your orange books and so on. It’s beautiful to see so many different shades of a color arranged together and is pleasing to the eye from afar.

If you go this route, you’ll want to make sure you’re including accessories of similar colors as well, to complete the look.

“To avoid shelves feeling too busy or cluttered, give your items some space and try to keep things in the same color family,” Dudich said. “Create little vignettes throughout the shelves with space between each section. For example, you can stack a few books and place a treasured object on top or lean a few books against the side of the shelf and then add a pretty vase or plant next to the standing books. For a more natural and grounded look, try mixing in a few white frames with meaningful photos between stacks of books and placing woven baskets in the same texture and color along the bottom shelf or two.”

Think In Odd Numbers

4. Think In Odd Numbers

A rule that is used in many aspects of home décor is sticking with odd numbers. A set of three is more pleasing to the eye than just two. Think of this in terms of your bookshelf as well and the accessories you intend on adding. You can also add variation in size and height, making your shelf more visually pleasing to the eye.

5. Incorporate Picture Frames

I love adding a personal touch to my bookshelf by including meaningful photos next to bookends or on top of stacked books. While these frames are small, it’s a great way to make my bookshelf unique to my family and our style. You can even include a theme of photos within your bookshelf. Consider a family vacation or wedding photos for your bookshelf to showcase.

6. Add Some Glam

There’s no doubt about it, gold and bronze are hot accessories to have this year. If you’ve been wondering where to incorporate it, try your bookshelf! These are great pieces that can make a fashionable statement on a bookshelf. Look specifically for geometric pieces or gold figurines if you want to be on-trend.


Styling your bookshelf is a great way to dress up a room and you can likely do so with items you already have. Try rearranging based on the tips above to give your space a whole new look.

Ready to redecorate? Read How To Decorate A Coffee Table for more ideas.

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