Styling your Bookshelves to Create a Dazzling Display

Bookshelves, whether built-in or free standing, are a great way to fill a bare wall, give height to a room, and create a wall of art using a combination of books and accessories. No matter your budget, well-styled bookshelves can be the focal point of your space and make a true statement.

Update your boring bookshelves into a dazzling display

Showcase your passions. Display pieces that interest you and that you’re passionate about.  Your hobbies should shine through in your space.

Books aren’t the only thing for bookcases. Along with your books, fill your shelves with accessories, keepsakes, vases, pictures, plates….the options are endless for display.  This beautifully arranged built-in bookcase by Cottage and Vine,  displays many items other than just books, and a creative composition is certainly achieved.

Incorporate Color. Add interest to the back of your bookcase by adding a splash of color or decorative wallpaper.

Display One Idea or Theme. Other than displaying books,bookshelves can be a great place to display a collection of pottery or a specific collection or theme that interests you.

Add Layers. When styling your bookshelves, lay books horizontally and put an accessory on top (ie: coral, a bowl, a statue, or any accessory that interests you…)

Create Depth. Along with layering your books and accessories on the shelves, add photos, artwork, or plates to the back of the bookcase to create a deeper and more visually appealing bookcase.

More Layering. Add pictures or a bust (as seen in the pic below) on the bookcase surface. (I am loving this display, which is why I’ve used this pic twice in this post)

Don’t Overclutter. Last, BUT certainly not least ~ The best advice when styling your bookcase is to NOT overclutter with books and accessories.  There is a fine line of too-little and too-much stuff.  All the pics above are great examples of the right amount of displayed items. 

If you need/want to hide bookshelf clutter, conceal it with a fabric panel and/or use boxes and storage bin(s) to keep your items organized and looking good.

Have fun with styling your bookshelves ~ add your personal touches and you’ll create a charming composition that can be achieved on a budget and that can be continually updated!

Images Courtesy of: HGTV, Pinterest, BHG, Cottage and Vine, Little Big Nest, Delightful Dwelling


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  1. says

    Could not agree more! Once I realized that I could more on bookshelves than books my room livened up. I display books that have been signed by the author, little cartoon quotes about books, my graduation photos are displayed with my academic books, and a bottle of chianti (you know the kind with the straw around the bottle) is a bookend for my culinary-related books.

  2. says

    How nice to be included in your wonderful collection of bookcases. I do love Emily Henderson and the magic she works with styling those shelves. Thanks so much for the shout out Jenna!

    -Rene

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  1. [...] do once you take the time to figure out how you should organize your bookcase. There are actually multiple ways that you can organize your bookcase, and the way that you choose will largely depend on what you have—or want—on your bookcase in [...]