I am sharing my top 5 tips on how to style a bookcase! Styling bookshelves whether they’re built in, a freestanding wall unit, or an etagere can definitely feel overwhelming – after all…where do you start? What should you even put on your bookcase? Do you have to get rid of all your little sentimental treasures in order for it to look pulled-together? You wonder what you should do about your collections, or your books!?? YOU THINK – DON’T MAKE GET RID OF MY precious BOOKS! Just the thought of the daunting task makes you want to curl up on the sofa, order in Chinese food, and turn on Marie Kondo…..why deal with your own “home-frustrations” when you can live vicariously through the life-changing magic of Marie!
I’m about to share my top 5 principles for show to style a bookcase. They’re simple ideas and the great thing about principals is that they work no matter your style or budget. They work whether the bookcase is in your living room, bedroom, or office! With these tips under your belt you will be able to have your own DIY bookcase makeover! AND if and when you do – please post them on instagram and tag me! I want to see! I LOVE a good bookcase makeover!
Don’t worry! I’m not saying every object on your shelf has to be one of three colors. It’s not that strict. A color palette is all about having a framework to create an underlying visual cohesion. In fact, I also include types of materials in my palette so it opens up more options for variation. My Color and Materials Palette might be Gold, Marble, Bleached Wood, Gray, Blue, and Yellow. That’s a lot of room to work within! Plus, you can include multiple variations of each color. So if you are playing with blue, then you might have items that are light blue and navy. If you are playing with gray you might have items that range from light grey to charcoal and black. This provides a good amount variety that’s also contained and cohesive.
The saddest and most boring bookshelves are flat. This is because they have no variation in texture! Mixing textures and materials creates depth and interest. It subliminally pulls and encourages people’s eyes to explore and move. And don’t be afraid to mix textures that might not seem to go together. Opposites attract when it comes to bookshelves. Think matte items mixed with shiny. Rough items mixed with smooth. You can even mix styles! Think “Classic & Tailored” mixed with “Natural & Earthy” which might be translated to smooth, shiny lacquered navy boxes with rough natural matte coral. “Modern” mixed with “Vintage” could translate to modern shelves holding vintage globes.
Like mixing textures, a variety of heights will help add interest. Play with books stacked on their side as well as up right, adding picture frames and objects of different sizes. This adds visual texture, separation, and helps make your bookshelves feel balanced.
Grouping collections can create such a strong visual impact! I love it. From a collection of globes to rocks and crystals, or even a collection of hands (glove forms, wood artist models, etc.). For example, 5 random hands spread throughout the house just isn’t as cool as grouping them all together. I love this design tip because it takes the guesswork out of how to display your collections. Sometimes the best tips are the simplest.
Because perfection is just not that interesting. It means you are taking yourself way too seriously. Allow space for life! Since your shelves are contained, they are the perfect place to sort of let yourself go and have fun. For example, you can have gorgeous photos of your family that have been professionally taken (that’s great!) but feel free to add in some candid silly shots too. Personally, I have polaroid snap shots of my wedding taped up alongside my professionally shot and framed wedding photos. Maybe you have some beautiful art pieces? Awesome! Mix in a piece of art your child made (See tip #4.) Remember, your home should tell your story and let your personality shine in all its imperfect glory.
If I have said it once I have said it 1000 times. You’re home is a reflection of you! It’s purpose is to bring you joy and give you the space to relax and make memories happen with the people and critters you love. Have fun! Include items you love! Want to know what items you should always have on your bookshelves? Check out this post! I hope you enjoyed this post on how to style the bookcase of your dreams!!