Most homes either have built-in cases or a bookshelf of some kind or another in one or more rooms of the home. Whether it is used as a decorative piece of furniture in your living space, or serves as a more practical piece filled with actual books, there are some great tips and tricks out there to help you bring style and design to your bookcases.
Before decorating and placing items, you first have to decide if it is more of a functional bookcase, filled with your collection of books, or if it is more of a stylized piece, filled with trinkets and other decorative items. Either way, your bookcase doesn’t have to be boring! Bring some life and character to your piece using some of these helpful tips:
De-clutter and clear out. Before styling your bookcase, first make sure you have a clean slate. Clear the shelves and make sure the bookcase is clean and dust-free to give you a fresh start.
Start with the books. Try incorporating books, regardless if it is used more for style or function. Try grouping books together that are of the same genre, sizes, etc. Stand some books up vertically, and lay others horizontally to serve as bookends and to create decorative levels. Some books are like works of art themselves, with their unique book spines and coverings. If you have a “special” book, try showcasing it by having it stand alone or use it more as a decorative item with the front cover facing outward. If you are using your bookcase more for design then function and don’t have “pretty” books to use, try visiting your local thrift store to find antique books with distinctive coverings and colors for a more stylized design.
Layer in the Accessories using things that you love. As mentioned before, bookcases serve many purposes. They don’t just have to be used for books. Why not use them to showcase some of your favorite items! 2 or 3 stacked books can serve as a great place to display your favorite photograph, relic, small plant or other decorative item. Use family heirlooms, artwork, baskets, plants, lamps, souvenirs from trips or other important events in your life, or most importantly, use them to showcase the people who are most important to you with framed photographs. Use a combination of frames, from vintage pictures frames to gold or silver picture frames to capture your favorite faces. Mixing up the textures and using different elements will give your bookshelf a unique and designer look.
Step back and observe your design. When styling your bookcase, step back often to see if your eye is drawn to any particular item or if you have been able to create a nice, even flow around your bookcase. You want to make you have enough heights, mix of textures and contrasting items to make your shelf look its very best, but be sure not to use too much. Allow enough space between clusters of books and/or decorative items to let your design breath. If you are unsure about something, leave it for a few days and then tweak it again.