How to Style a Bookcase

When you read the title of this post, what was your first thought? Was it “A bookshelf is for books, isn’t it? What else is there to it…”? Well, if you’d like your bookshelf and therefore your home to look just this little more interesting, then there actually is a more to it. A bookshelf which has simply been crammed with every book you have ever read will inevitable end up looking messy and potentially uninspiring, no matter how many of the great novels are stacked in it. What is needed is a little organization, a little creativity and a mix of books and trinkets.

So, here are some tips you might find helpful to style your bookshelf. Because, bookshelves are not just for books. They can and should be used to display other items alongside your books to add interest. Think of things like small artworks, sculptures, vases or natural objects like shells or a pieces of beautiful driftwood… Anyway, on to the tips:


A bookshelf can be interesting simply because of the colour it is. Rather than just opting for white, why not use something like the Clermont Painted Bookcase? The darker background will add a touch of drama and offset your books and accessories in an elegant way. Then, why not mix up books and magazines. A stack of magazines amongst your books balances the look nicely.


Mix up the placing of your books. They don’t all need to be side by side. Place some upright and some on top of each other on the same shelf.  Place some decorative items on top of the books. If your shelf is quite deep, consider putting small items in front of the books. Yes, you might want to be able to read the title of the book, but most of the time we don’t once we have read the words “the end”.


Think about coordinating colours and shapes of your accessories for a calming look. You could even go as far as coordinating your books to your accessories and only using a few of them. I know it’s called a ‘bookshelf’, but that doesn’t mean it has to be used exclusively for books.


Add small pieces of artwork to your shelf. Lean them against the back of the shelf and place some small accessories in front. Use the other shelves for a mix of books and fun items in various colours for an eclectic feel.


If, however, you really insist, you can of course use your bookshelf for – well – books only. In that case, why not order them by colour? It will certainly turn all those simple books into a feature and talking point.

Carole x