Bookcase Styling 101

Dimples and Tangles

Built-in, or freestanding, bookcases are an item many people want in their homes. They add style and storage. Unfortunately, they also tend to end up as dumping grounds for whatever needs to be stored. So, rather than adding to the rooms decor, it detracts from it. 

Styling a bookcase to showcase your items and add some personality to your space just takes a little planning. The first step is to empty your existing bookcases of any items so you start with a clean slate.

Next, decide if your room needs some pop. If so, consider adding wallpaper or painting the back of the bookcases for some added interest.

Line back of bookcases or shelves with fabric or wallpaper.
Follow Pics

Pull out any collectibles, serving pieces, interesting accents, etc. that you would like to display. Do you have any that you would like to highlight? If so, place them alone on a shelf so they have real impact. If they are larger than the standard shelf height, readjust them to accomodate its size.

Accessorizing Built-Ins

Vary the height of your objects. Include items of differing heights to add interest. You can use books, bowls turned upside down, etc. to place items at different heights. In addition to adding visual interest, it also makes your items stand out from one another.

styling bookcases
Julie Blanner

For greater impact group like items together. Grouping items by color, type or style really make them pop. The same items spread around would not have the same impact.

Curious Details

Try to repeat a color throughout. Below teal objects add punch to this display and unifies the look. 

Leave plenty of breathing room. Give objects room around them. Don't fill the shelves so they are packed full of objects. Leaving space around them highlight the items and keep the shelves from looking messy or busy.

DIY bookshelves
Just a Girl

Think outside the shelves. Hang mirrors or frames from the front of the bookcase or, if space permits, add objects to the top. Use the same principles as I mentioned earlier and achieve some amazing results.

Get a Built-In Look.  Slide the bookcase right up to the staircase trim so it has a continuously, and seamless flow.  Paint same color as the wall for a more custom look

Scour your house for items you can use to style your bookcases. Vases, old books and serving pieces all work well. Don't have any books (or at least not ones that you want to display), search donation centers or yard sales for hardcover books and remove the jackets. In just a few hours you can have a well styled bookcase worthy of a magazine cover.

Happy decorating.


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