Styling The Perfect Bookcase

A living room with bookshelves.

Whether your home has a built-in bookcase or a move-able bookshelf, you’ll want to make sure it’s styled beautifully. To avoid awkward spaces, overcrowding, or general organizational eye sores, there are certain things you should consider in order to have a bookcase that will compete with your other accents.

A living room with white bookcase and a white chair.

First and foremost, you have to consider the items this piece of furniture is named after– the books. Placing them all in the same, typical vertical fashion won’t make for an eye-catching bookcase. Instead have some positioned vertically and others horizontally. When doing so, you can have some horizontal and others vertical within the same shelf, and while other areas are solely vertical or horizontal. This will help play with lines and provide spaces for other items to go.  You can also choose to add magazines and other reading material, such as journals and cookbooks in the same fashion as well. Just be sure that these are organized in some fashion, like size, color, or subject. Leaving space is also necessary  so you can have other things on the shelf.

Now you’ll want to add in other items to fill spaces, but don’t go overboard and have it become a cluttered mess. You want just enough to crate separate focal points within the bookcase. Small knick-knacks should be placed on horizontal books, in tiny spaces or in the background to add depth. Larger items, such as vases, baskets, or collectibles, can fill in bigger gaps.

A living room with bookshelves.

As mentioned a little before, make sure to use foreground and background to bring visual variety and depth. This will help play with the spectator’s eyes and create a pleasing visual feature in your room. One creative display idea that is gaining popularity is to put items or books on display but having them in the center with the cover or front of the object facing forward. Another way to add more variety, is to make some shelves solely books or items, as that provides a visual break from the shelves amounted with numerous accents and books.

Beat The Winter Blues...With Denim Blue

Lastly, you should consider the bookcase itself. Adding paint or patterned paper on the back of the book shelf is a nice way to add personality and color to this piece of furniture and make it into a focal piece. Painting or refurbishing the bookcase itself can also give dimension to the entire style of your creation and room as well. 

These are just some ideas to help you imagine and create the perfect bookcase for your home. Feel free to come up with stylish ways to make your bookcase stand out and show who you are.


A dog is standing in front of a bookcase.
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