How to style a bookcase (6 top tips)

How to style a bookcase

I admit it, I have a book problem.  My books seem to multiply when I’m not looking.  Not that I mind, I don’t consider a house as a home if it’s not filled with books.  Books and collectibles on display add warmth and personality to any space, whether it’s a living or dining area, bedroom or home office.  To a visitor, a bookcase will communicate what you read, what you collect and what you love.  Bookcases are a window into your passions and interests and an opportunity for you to put your most favourite things on display.  If you are looking for ideas on how to style a bookcase then here are The Wooden Furniture Store’s tips and some inspiring pictures to make sure your bookcase look as stylish as it is useful.

Mix up the book placement

Bookcase stylingImage from thebudgetdecorator.com

Books are like a building blocks of shelving and they are an incredibly useful as a styling tool.  Books add color and pattern, you can place them vertically as a group, or use them to vary heights on the shelf.  For a simple-but-chic look, try a mix of vertical and horizontal book arrangements.  Space the stacks on your shelves, leaving air around them for photographs and collectables.

bookcase stylingImage from HGTV.com

Some book covers are just too pretty to live their lives sandwiched between other texts.  Take an especially gorgeous book and face it out on a plate stand amongst rows of other titles.  The cover will not only break up the monotony of a row of book spines, it’ll also bring an artistic touch to your shelves.

styling booksImage from handmadecharlotte.com

We love this idea for the child’s room – a simple, streamlined display.  It might make finding your favourite books bit harder, but it makes showing them off unexpectedly chic and easy!

Stylish bookcasesImage from sheerlux.com

Some books deserved to be displayed.  Create a feature wall in your living area with simple shelving to showcase fashion titles, arty finds and photo books with pride.

How to style a bookcase – Add some decorative objects

How to style a bookcaseImage from prettyandfun.com

There are the books, of course, but what about the accessories?  Give your books added dimension with some show-and-tell. Think sculptural, a beautiful bowl, plate or even a stack of boxes.

Styling bookcasesImage from sunlitspaces.com

Gather up one of your collections and display it among related books.  We love this teapot display but you could showcase butterflies with field guides, souvenirs with travel guides, or Russian lacquer boxes with the fairy tales they depict.  Displays like these help make your books come to life!

styling bookcasesImage from bloglovin.com

We also like the idea of incorporate organic material into the arrangement – a beautiful seashell, a piece of wood or a natural basket.

Styling bookcasesImage from apartmenttherapy.com

Feature an objet d’art within rows of books by creating a special niche for it.  Stack a few books that are the same size to build a platform. Flank each side with vertical books to make a frame, and then nestle a vase or a small sculpture inside.  Add some cascading plants that spill out of their containers add an especially nice dynamic element to the bookcase.

Shiro Walnut bookcase

As we’ve said before in a recent blog post, varied groupings of three or five are always visually appealing.  This low Shiro Walnut bookcase showcases a mix of objects, books and natural elements making it visually interesting element to the room.

Add some artwork

styling bookcasesImage from pinterest.com

Definitely incorporate artwork into your bookshelf scheme.  You can prop small pieces on the shelves as it draws your eye to the back of the shelf, making it look deeper and bigger and creating a sense of layering.

Styling bookcasesImage from pinkwallpaper.blogspot.com

If your bookcases are packed with no space to spare, there’s still room to hanging art from the front of the shelves.  A gilded frame hung on your wall of books turns random book spines into a wallpaper of literature.

It starts at the back

styling bookcasesImage from onegoodthingbyjillee.com

Simple, inexpensive bookcases become stunners when their backs are dressed up with paint, fabric or wallpaper.  Can’t commit to a single pattern? Make it temporary with double-stick tape and change your shelves with the seasons!

Colour coded

styling bookcasesImage from washingtonian.com

Okay, we know idea may be controversial, but we love the idea of displaying books by color.  Coordinate your book collection by spine color and you’ll create a colorful masterpiece that’s sure to brighten any room—no hammer and nails necessary.

Add some air

Styling bookcases

With airy shelving, it’s best to not overwhelm and allow for plenty of breathing room around objects.  This Urban Chic large open bookcase, is deliberate styled with lots of open space to keep the eclectic collection on the bookshelf from appearing too cluttered.

The Wooden Furniture Store have a great selection of bookcases to suit every room size and style.  We’d love to know how you display your favorite things on open bookshelves?  How do you style your bookcase?  Do you have a useful tip to share – we’d love to hear them!