The Perfectly Styled Bookcase

Styling bookshelves can be hard, and we’re here with a few tips, to help you style any bookcase. Many of our clients have asked for help creating a well-curated bookcase.  They find it daunting and stressful; not knowing where to start, and not sure it will ever end. Maximizing your shelving for whatever purpose bests suits your home, whether that be storage, housing your collections, or a place to actually hold all your books, is something that everyone can achieve in a few easy steps. Obviously, everyone has different books, different decor, different sized shelves, etc., but these tips should be applicable no matter what you’re working with.

Let’s break down the process to get your bookcases into tip top shape


Step 1: If you truly don’t know where to begin then start by clearing out everything. I know these sounds like an awful task but clearing out everything is the only way to truly begin the process. As you clear everything out you will quickly find that A LOT of the stuff that you have thrown in there is no longer needed or useful, so, in the spirit of spring cleaning (is it that time of year already?!) separate everything out into keep, toss, or donate piles.

Group some similar objects
This can apply to more than just bookcases.  See the three spheres? Notice how boxes, pottery and picture frames are grouped. For bookcases specifically, though, it can help to group some books by size (don't overdo it, though).

Think oddly
Objects tend to look better when gathered in odd numbers, and the basic design principle of grouping in threes or fives is always visually appealing.

Mix textures
This is one of those tips that works in just about any space. But a bookshelf definitely needs the variation. Notice in this bookcase, the woven baskets provide ample texture, but also recognize the shiny metallics, the reflective glass, the smooth pottery, the finely sanded wood…

Stack vertically and horizontally
Obviously, this is a tip for a bookcase that is actually holding books, not just decorative items.  Breaking up the vertical lines of the books with horizontally stacked books, creates visual interest. 

Bring in some green
Another one of those tips that applies to every space: add a little touch of life! And if you're worried about plant maintenance, yes, faux is allowed.

Maximum Storage: For those of you that need to use your bookcase for actual storage purposes there are some very pretty solutions out there. These not only maximize your storage but allow you to still display some of your cherished objects.

Start from the bottom and work your way up. To ground your bookcase, you will want to place your largest storage boxes and bins at the bottom, so that it doesn’t feel too top heavy, and you can keep the top half filled with smaller and lighter accessories.

Leave space for some personal items. To make your bookcase feel less like a storage unit, and more like a bookcase, be sure to dedicate some shelf space to art, a few accessories, a bud vase with some fresh flowers, or a small memento. Adding these little touches will help personalize the shelf.


With a little concentration, it’s possible to style a bookshelf well with books, storage and the things you love.  The secret to doing it successfully is truly all in the placement and editing of your favorite objects. 

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