How To Style A Bookshelf Like A Pro?

How To Style A Bookshelf Like A Pro?

How To Style A Bookshelf Like A Pro?

Styling a bookshelf can be a fun and creative way to add personality and visual interest to a room. A bookshelf is an ideal way to display your favorite décor items. When styling shelves, choosing items that you love and that reflect your style is important.

Once you’ve sorted your décor items, you can start styling your bookshelves like a pro! Follow these simple steps to get the look you’re after.


When styling your bookshelf, the art of balance is key. It may seem obvious, but it is an often overlooked element that can make or break your design.

Arrange books vertically and horizontally to create different levels on your shelves. This lets you layer in art, decorative objects, and other accents without feeling like an overcrowded mess.

Next, use a variety of sizes in your decorative objects. This can be anything from a paperweight to a framed photo. Small pieces layered toward the back of the shelves add depth and pattern while hanging art on the frame in front of the books creates height.

For the heaviest objects (or books) on your shelf, consider placing them lower down. For example, a large box or basket can be placed at the bottom of the shelves so that it is not overpowering or a visual eyesore.

Then, add height by stacking books, varying their sizes, and using vases or other tall items to fill in the gaps. These pieces can also act as bookends for your collections and help to break up the shelves, preventing them from looking too staid.

If your shelves are short, place a large piece of artwork at the end of each shelf to balance the look. This will also extend the length of the shorter shelves, creating more visual interest.

Lastly, choose a few decorative boxes or baskets for each shelf to store smaller items, such as tech accessories, votive candles, and writing supplies. This will add texture, order, and a home for these functional items that can take up a lot of space on your shelves.


Color is a great way to add dimension and interest to any room, including your bookshelf. You can achieve this by using a variety of shades that complement one another. For example, if you have blue and white shelving in your home, add a red touch. This pop of color helps tie all the objects on the shelf together, making them appear more cohesive and appealing.

Styling your shelves is about displaying the items you love and that are meaningful to you. This can include photos, framed artwork, initial letters, decorative vases, and more.

Once you have a good idea of how to display your favorite items, slowly add other decor items that will help fill the space and bring more depth to the shelves. This is a fun and easy way to create a unique and stylish aesthetic.

If you have many small items like figurines, glass jars, or other decorative accents, use baskets to organize them and keep them from looking messy on your shelves. This also helps you see the whole collection at a glance and makes it easier to find things you might want to add later.

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A curated look is always a winner for your bookshelf decor, so it’s important to think carefully about what you display and how you display it. Selecting the items in your home that will match well with the rest of your decor is also a good idea.

You can even make a glitzy statement with metallic hues like gold, silver, or mirrors on your shelves. This gives your bookshelves a glamorous and eye-catching feel that will make any room swoon!

Negative SpaceNegative Space

Negative space is an important part of a bookshelf display, allowing items to stand out and letting the eye move freely. It can also help create a unified design by creating pathways for the eyes to travel through each cluster of items.

Variations in height, textures, and colors can make an eye-catching display. For example, if you have several ceramic vases, try placing a small wooden bowl in front of each one to create a dynamic visual.

Stacking objects of different heights can also add interest to the shelves and draw attention from all angles. To create an even more layered effect, consider leaning some of your photos near the back and a small decorative piece in front of them.

Groupings of books can be color blocked by shade for a cohesive look or by ascending or descending their size for a more uniform appearance. You can even flip book jackets, so the plain white pages are facing out for a more sophisticated effect.

A few boxes on the bottom of a shelf can also add contrast to the overall look, helping to tie the entire collection together. This approach creates a more polished storage solution, but the negative space can also highlight personal photos and other decor pieces.

When arranging items on your shelves, keeping them under 2/3rds full is best to create an organized gallery look. Adding too many items to the shelves can create a cluttered look and overwhelm the eye.

Negative space is the “air” around objects, like margins on a page, that give the eyes a place to rest. This is essential for styling a bookshelf because it allows the eye to breathe and helps build a rhythm and flow.


Plants are a great way to add depth and color to a shelf. They can break up a series of books, add interest to a shelf that is too empty, and create a unique aesthetic.

One of the most popular plants for bookshelves is the String of Hearts. This South African native vine produces small heart-shaped leaves in shades of green, purple, red, and cream. This plant is a great choice for a light-colored bookcase as it provides a soft splash of color that doesn’t overpower the space.

Another option for adding color to a bookshelf is the Hoya, a low-maintenance plant that thrives under indirect sunlight. Its waxy leaves can provide a beautiful, subtle accent to your bookshelf.

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Succulents are also a great choice, as they are easy to care for indoors or outdoors. These plants offer a green, lush look to any room and don’t require much water or maintenance.

Finally, artificial plants are another excellent option for a bookshelf because they don’t need water or sunlight. They are also an excellent choice for those who aren’t able to care for real plants.

Once you have your chosen plant, place it in a pot on the shelves and set it on a saucer, so excess water doesn’t damage your books. It’s important to rotate the plant every few days to ensure that all parts of the plant get light.

It’s also a good idea to take your plants outside for a few minutes to freshen up and soak them in water occasionally to prevent mold buildup. This will keep them healthy and ensure they don’t die. In addition, make sure to check the soil on your plants to ensure they aren’t dry as well.

Open Space

Start with a clean slate if you want to style your bookshelf like a pro. This means you need to remove all the items from your shelves and clean them out.

You can also use this opportunity to revisit the layout of your shelves and see what works best for them. This will help you create a cohesive look to tie your decors together.

When arranging your books, try to mix vertical rows with horizontal stacks. This will give your shelves a more polished and appealing look.

Layer in a few decorative pieces near the back of your shelves to add depth and dimension. You can also learn a few framed photos or small paintings in front of the books, making them stand out and adding color to your shelf design.

To keep your bookcase organized, consider employing a few decorative boxes or baskets to hide smaller, useful items and add texture + order. These can house tech accessories, votive candles, writing supplies, and more.

Another way to decorate your shelves is by painting or wallpapering them a contrasting color to draw attention and set the stage for your books and objects to pop. You can even cover the back of your shelves with wallpaper for a chic and modern look!

You can use these tips to style your shelves, but remember, it isn’t always the easiest. You may need to experiment with different techniques to find the perfect look for your space. Ultimately, the key to decorating your bookshelf is that it needs to feel like it is a curated display of the things you love most.

Eight Tips On How To Style A Bookshelf Like A Pro

  1. Start with a blank canvas: Clear everything off your bookshelf to start with a blank slate.
  2. Group like items together: Arrange items like books, vases, and picture frames in groups of three or five for a cohesive and balanced look.
  3. Mix and match heights: Vary the heights of items on each shelf to create visual interest and balance. Use tall items like vases and bookends to anchor the ends of each shelf.
  4. Use decorative boxes and baskets: Decorative boxes and baskets can add texture and hide clutter. They can also organize smaller items like pens, notepads, and remote controls.
  5. Layer items: Layer items in front of each other to create depth and dimension. For example, place a smaller picture frame in front of a larger one.
  6. Play with color: Use color to create a cohesive and visually pleasing look. Arrange books by color or use items in complementary colors to create a cohesive color scheme.
  7. Add greenery: Plants and flowers can add life and color to your bookshelf. Use small potted plants or vases of flowers to add a pop of color.
  8. Leave some negative space: Don’t fill every inch of your bookshelf. Leave some negative space to create breathing room and balance.
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Remember to have fun and experiment with different styles and arrangements until you find what works best for you and your space. With these tips, you can style a bookshelf like a pro and create a visually stunning display.


How should I style a peplum shirt for a particular occasion?

For a special event, choose a peplum top with a hint of sparkle or shine, such as a metallic fabric or embroidered accents. Wear it with a high-waisted skirt or fancy pants and shoes, and accessorise with striking jewellery for a glamorous look.

How can I arrange books on a bookshelf in a visually pleasing manner?

To create an ordered and visually appealing display, try grouping books by colour, size, or category. To add diversity to the display, throw in ornate bookends or stack volumes horizontally.

What are some ideas for arranging ornamental items on a bookshelf?

Use odd numbers of ornamental pieces on a bookshelf and change the heights and textures of the elements. You may also put related objects together, such as a set of vases or a collection of miniature plants.

How can I include artwork in my bookcase display?

Consider resting framed pieces against the back of the shelf or hanging smaller pieces within the shelves to include artwork into your bookshelf display. Among the books and ornamental objects, you may also include framed images or prints.

What kind of lighting should I use to highlight my bookshelf display?

To highlight your bookshelf display, use both ambient and accent lighting. Overhead or adjacent lighting can provide ambient lighting, while tiny lamps or puck lights can be used to emphasise specific things.

How can I keep my bookshelf display looking fresh over time?

Swap out decorative pieces or artwork, reorganise books, and integrate seasonal items like holiday décor or seasonal flowers to renew your bookshelf display over time. To keep your display new and exciting, you may also experiment with different colour schemes or themes.