Since bookcases and shelves serve as a focal point in a room, it is important to get the styling of them right.  They create an opportunity to show all those who enter your home about you, your hobbies, family life and travels.  These displays help to put the finishing touches on your home, just as jewelry does for your outfit.

I won’t bore you about the horizontal and vertical planes of one’s home, and the importance that bookcases play in this balance.  So, I will jump right into my tips:

  1. decide on a color scheme (which should coincide or complement the rest of the space).
  2. keep color scheme limited to 3-5 colors.
  3. Provide an eye catching backdrop to add some drama to your displays.  In the pictures from Houzz and Pinterest below, this is illustrated beautifully.  Paint adds a pop of color (robin’s egg blue is my favorite), and wallpaper adds instant texture and dimension to your display.

Tidbits and Twine

Houzz- Erinn V Design Group

4.  If your shelves are adjustable, adjust the shelves to create different size openings to add accessories that you would like to showcase. The shelves can be set to different sizes like the first picture below, or can be set to different sizes in a more symmetrical pattern as shown in the second picture.


Houzz-Jamie Keskin Design


Houzz-Brooke Wagner Design

5.  Vary the height of the items you put in your display. Keep balance by keeping roughly the same number of tall items and shorter items used throughout.

6.  Add some texture to your display.  Add something shiny, bumpy, rough, spiky etc… The eye is drawn to texture as much, if not more, than color.

7.  Lastly, and most importantly, DO NOT CROWD your display.  Negative space is a beautiful concept in design!! It is the presence of negative space that allows your objects to shine!

I hope this helps when styling your bookcases! Let me know if you have any questions.  There are infinite possibilities in how you can style your shelves.  As with my post on patterns, I will post again to elaborate more on this topic!

xo Laurie


Please follow and like us: