Styling bookshelves and bookcases is an art. For someone like me – who dreams of being a minimalist but loves collecting books, plants, and treasures – bookshelves offer a great way to display my most-loved belongings in a way that still feels purposeful and organized.
Find inspiration for styling your own bookshelves and bookcases with tips and ideas below!
Add some background color
Whether your bookshelf has a back or it’s open and against a wall – considering adding some background color to ground your shelves. Paint or wallpaper can add a pop behind the objects you use to style your bookcase.
Start with books
When styling your bookshelves, start with your largest items first. This can also include books, which can be stacked horizontally, grouped with bookends, or even used as a base for other items to sit on.
Cluster objects in groups
Make sure you’re considering how to style each shelf as its own vignette by grouping objects when styling bookshelves. Odd clusters are always pleasing, along with mixing large and small objects, or objects of different materials.
Layer in artwork
Add artwork in your bookcases as a large focal point, and mix different objects around each piece to ground it in the space.
Bring natural elements inside
Add texture by bringing in organic materials to style your bookshelves.
Plants with long vines like pothos or ivy can add an interesting shape by hanging down past multiple shelves, while smaller potted plants can add greenery to your shelves. Even airplants can be popped into small spaces!
Rocks, crystals, shells, or antlers can be placed in their own space, grouped in a bowl, or even set on top of book stacks like a paperweight.
Add decorative shapes and forms
Think about the different shapes you can create with stacks of books, artwork, and individual or groups objects when styling your bookshelves.
Use metal to add shine
Adding a disco ball or other reflective objects can create gorgeous reflections of light in the room when sunlight hits your bookshelves.
Group by color
Put objects and books with similar color schemes together when styling your shelves for an effect that adds cohesion to the any collection of objects.