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  • Writer's pictureEmily Fisher

Style Your Bookshelves Like An Interior Design Pro

Minimalistic Artists Bookshelf featuring raw wood, wire, and sculptural pieces

Bookshelves are an essential part of almost every home. They provide storage space for books, collectibles, and other decorative items. However, they can quickly become cluttered and unorganized, making them an eyesore instead of a beautiful focal point in the room. 

But! With the right interior design, you can turn your bookshelves into a stylish, fun, funky, and/or sophisticated display. 

Here are some of our top tips on how to use interior design to style your bookshelves so they will look amazing.

Start with a Clean Slate

First things first: before you start styling your bookshelves, it's essential to start with a clean slate. Empty out all of the shelves and clean them thoroughly. This will give you a better idea of how much space you have to work with and what items you want to display (or donate).

Minimalist Living Room with White, neutral, and wood colors

Group Items in Odd Numbers

When it comes to styling bookshelves, grouping items in odd numbers is a tried and true method. It creates a visually pleasing balance that draws the eye in. So instead of grouping items in pairs, try grouping them in threes or fives. For example, you could group a stack of books with a decorative vase and a framed photo. Notice how the picture above has this schematic? It looks modern, stylish, and well done. 

Children's Boho Bookshelf design with stuffed animals, rainbows, baskets, and books

Vary the Height of Items

Varying the height of items is an excellent way to add dimension and visual interest to your bookshelves. It keeps the eye moving up and down, creating a dynamic display. Use taller items such as figurines or candlesticks to break up the space and add height to the shelves. 

Use a Mix of Textures

Using a mix of textures is another way to add visual interest to your bookshelves. Incorporate different materials like wood, glass, fabric, metal, and ceramics. This will add depth and will also keep the shelves from looking too flat. Mix those textures by including interesting personal favorites, too. It might not "belong" on a bookshelf, but it belongs there to you!

Funky maximalist living room with lots of art, plants in pots, and a very interesting wooden credenza

Add Greenery

Plants are a fantastic way to add life and color to your bookshelves. They also add a touch of nature to your space, which can make it feel more inviting. Use plants with interesting foliage or blooms to add texture and variety. Succulents are a great option if you're looking for low-maintenance plants.

Use Bookends

Bookends are not only functional but also a great way to add style to your bookshelves. Use bookends that match the overall style of your space, whether that's modern, traditional, or eclectic. This can often tie the look of the bookshelves into the rest of the room. Bookends can also be a great way to add a pop of color, a pattern, or more of your personality into your space.

Organize by Color

Organizing your books by color is a fun and visually pleasing way to style your bookshelves. It creates a rainbow effect that's both playful and sophisticated. This method works best if you have a large collection of books and want to make them a focal point in the room. If you have a lot of books, it feels like art and showcases you're smart. (Or trying to be!)Overall, bookshelves can be an integral part of interior design, adding both functionality and style to a space.

Use Artwork

Artwork is an excellent way to add personality and style to your bookshelves. Use small framed pieces that can be propped up against the books or larger pieces that can be hung on the back of the shelves. Artwork can also be used to create a focal point on a particular shelf.

Wood and wire bookshelf featuring books, pictures, bike art, and greenery

Layer Items

Layering items on your bookshelves adds depth and dimension to the display. Use books as a base and layer smaller items like picture frames, vases, or decorative objects on top. This creates a more layered look that keeps the eye moving.

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Overall, bookshelves can be an integral part of interior design, adding both functionality and style to a space. Aesthetic appeal, showcasing personal interests, creating a focal point, and maximizing storage are some of our top reasons to redo those bookshelves. Love what you've accomplished? Send us an email and let us know where we can check it out! We would love to see it.


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