How to Style a Bookshelf in 5 Easy Steps

March 17, 2023


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Styling a bookshelf is one of the easiest and most effective ways to refresh a room. A well-styled bookshelf not only serves as a functional storage solution but also adds character and personality to your space. However, if you’re not sure where to start, the task can be daunting. That’s why I’ve put together a step-by-step guide to help you style your bookshelf like a pro.

How to style a bookshelf cheat sheet

Step 1: Clear off your shelves and wipe them down

Before you start styling your bookshelf, it’s essential to clear off all the items already on it. This will give you a blank slate to work with. Take a damp cloth and wipe down each shelf to remove any dust or debris. It’s also an excellent opportunity to declutter and get rid of any books or decorative objects that you no longer need.

Step 2: Organize your books

Once you’ve cleared off your bookshelf, it’s time to organize your books. Take the book jackets off of any hardcover books and organize them by color. This creates a visual impact and makes it easier to find specific books. You can also cover books with wrapping paper or craft paper to create a cohesive color palette. To learn more see this post.

Step 3: Group like books together and start stacking

Now that your books are organized by color, it’s time to start grouping like books together. Stack books both horizontally and vertically to add interest and create a sense of balance. For instance, you can place a stack of books vertically on one end of the shelf and a horizontal stack on the other. This arrangement creates a dynamic visual effect.

Step 4: Add decorative objects

Once you’ve arranged your books, it’s time to add decorative objects to your bookshelf. Decorative objects can include anything from candles, small artwork, or photographs, glassware, or plants. Choose items that complement the color and style of your room. Try to sprinkle decorative objects throughout the bookcase for added interest. For instance, you can place a vase of flowers on top of a stack of books or a small sculpture on a shelf.

Step 5: Keep playing around until you like what you see

The final step is to keep playing around with the arrangement until you’re happy with what you see. Styling a bookshelf is a creative process, and it can take some time to get it right. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different arrangements, add or remove items, or switch up the color scheme. Remember, the goal is to create a bookshelf that’s not only functional but also beautiful and reflects your personality and style.

Bookshelf Inspiration from my own home

I love these ladder bookcases from Amazon! They line either side of the green sofa inside my office.

Tessie Fay office

They are arranged by color and filled with my favorite business and art books.

white and gold ladder bookshelf

I like sprinkling decorative objects throughout to keep it interesting to look at.

ladder bookshelf with white and gold

Below is a shot of the built-in bookcases inside our previous home. I covered these books with wrapping paper to create a more cohesive color palette.

Built-in bookcases

And here is my most recent styled bookcase on the landing of our stairs. This one has more books and less decorative objects.

Bookshelf with books arranged by color

In conclusion, styling a bookshelf is a fun and straightforward way to add personality and character to your home. By following these simple steps, you can create a beautiful and functional bookshelf that enhances your space’s overall design.

FREE Download – Styling Cheat Sheets

If you enjoyed this post, you’ll love my styling cheat sheets! Quick and easy reference sheets to help you style a bookshelf, mantle, nightstand, or hanging art. Click below to get your FREE copy today.

Happy styling!

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I'm Tessie -Welcome home!

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