Decorating Bookshelves

A home office with beautifully decorated bookshelves.

Bookshelves are a great platform for creating a captivating display of books, collectibles, photos and other favorite items.  Decorating bookshelves gives a room character and adds interest, especially when you include special items that tell a story.

A living room with bookshelves for decorating.
Photo, BHG
A bookcase with books and decorative ladder.
Photo, HGTV

Bookshelves are one of the most versatile and practical elements in a home.  Not just for books, they make a great display area for a group of family photos, a valued collection and much more.  Decorating bookshelves becomes a form of personal expression when interweaving personal treasures with books.

A cat is lounging on a rug in front of a bookcase, adding warmth and charm to the decorating bookshelves.
A collection of globes along the top of the bookshelves creates a unique display
A living room with a leather couch and bookshelves adorned with beautifully decorated items.
Bookshelves frame the window and create a symmetrical display area for artwork
A white shelf with a lot of dishes for decorating bookshelves.
Bookshelves are the perfect place for a seasonal display

A bookshelf is the ideal location for a display of collectibles.  Clear a few shelves and use them for creating interesting arrangements of collections.

A blue and yellow kitchen with a table and chairs for decorating.
A collection of ceramic ware shines against the blue painted shelf walls
Chevron wallpaper for decorating bookshelves.
Photo, House Beautiful
A shelf decorated with books and vases in blue color.
Photo, Vogue

Paint or wallpaper the back shelves for a pop of color and visual interest.  Decorating bookshelves in this manner makes a great focal point for a room.

A living room with bookshelves for decorating.
Artwork hung on the face of the bookshelf adds depth and interest
A room with bookshelves creatively decorated with a bed.
Photo, BHG
A living room with bookshelves decorated with green couch.
Bookshelf design by Paula Prass

Some rooms have large bookshelves that run across a wall, creating a great background for the room.  To create interest and add a touch of personal style, hang pictures, mirrors or other pieces of artwork directly onto the bookshelf edges.

Decorating bookshelves with numerous books.
Colorful book covers enhance a space
A living room with colorful bookshelves and a couch, decorated with books.
Colorful book covers makes this room pop
A living room with gray couches and decorated bookshelves.
Photo, Quakerrose.com

Bookshelves wouldn’t be complete without books, of course.  Store books horizontally and vertically to create visual interest and place decorative objects on top or beside stacks.  Use colorful book covers to accent and brighten a room.

A collection of bookends with owls, perfect for decorating bookshelves.
Top two bookends via Joss & Main

Incorporate interesting bookends that add character to your book collections.  Not only functional but decorative, bookends come in a wide range of unique design styles to fit any décor.

A living room with beige and white furniture featuring decorated bookshelves.
Photo, Interior Design 777

To finish off decorating bookshelves, illuminate them with decorative sconces or accent lights.  Lighting can be used to highlight collections and bring attention to the space, while adding a nice ambiance to the room.

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A desk and chair with decorating bookshelves in a home office.
Photo, BHG
A living room with bookshelves for decorating.
An expanse of bookshelves enhance this living area

Bookshelves are a valuable addition to any home, whether they are custom-built into the architecture of the home or freestanding units.  When decorating bookshelves, display what you love.

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