Tips for Bookshelf Styling

I get asked a lot how to style a bookcase.  People get so overwhelmed…what should go in them, what’s too much, what’s too little.  So I hope this will help…

First thing…Start with a clean slate.  Take everything out of your bookshelves so that you can start fresh.

Use things that you love.  You don’t have to just use books.  Use treasures from trips, family heirlooms, pictures of your family, artwork, pottery, baskets.  The skies the limit.

Decide on monochromatic, neutral, or color.  Bookcases can look great with any of these color palettes.  Before starting decide how you want to mix and match colors, brown/blacks/whites for neutrals, or create a monochromatic palette using one shade of color.

Mix textures.  Mixing textures is a great way to add interest to your bookshelves.  Use baskets, art/photography, pottery, books…the combination of all the different elements is what will make your bookshelves have a really finished off, designer look.

Layer.  Layer your objects.  Place artwork in back of shelves, and pottery in front.  Layer pottery or books.

Think about your backdrop.  Paint, stain, wallpaper, mirrors?

Use books vertically or horizontally. When using horizontally make sure to stack books for height.  2 or 3 stacked on top of each other can be a great place to showcase a great photograph, artifact, or piece of pottery.

Don’t have a lot of books or hard back books?  Wrap books in brown paper, scrapbook paper, or flip them backwards to just see the actual pages.  What about stacking design magazines?  Have you seen the Restoration Hardware catalogs?  They look like hardback books!  Great for any bookshelf or coffee table!

Just remember that these are all just tips.  There are no hard, fast rules for styling bookshelves.  Just remember, have fun and enjoy getting to show off all your pretties!

Need some more ideas for bookshelves?

Check out Denise Cosgrove with Willow House’s Pinterest Board on Bookshelves.

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