How To Style A Bookcase
Bookshelves were once the sturdy storage spot where we kept our reading collection – not only great entertainment, but those hard cover investments became beautiful accessories in any home. Flash forward to today where we download books and read them on a kindle, a great convenience and just one more advantage technology has given us. But does that mean that our bookcase is obsolete? Absolutely not! Today, I’m going to give you some tips for your own bookcase while we walk through an example with photos.
What can you put in a bookcase?
I know – obvious right? You’re thinking, “But we just agreed most of us don’t have a collection of books anymore.” Books still look great in a bookcase – just think of books as decorative accessories – not the books we’d download to our Kindle. Decorative books are available online.
Click here for some examples of decorative books
These types of books can be gorgeous statement pieces that can really give a custom look. You can select colors, sizes, etc. For our savvy DIY’er, I’ll let you in on my budget friendly secret, Check out Craigslist and Facebook marketplace for local sources for used books. I got lucky once and caught an attorney closing his office. That haul was about 250 books in total which we incorporated into many a bookcase through the years. Below is our latest find - all black books with gold lettering.
Trend Tip: Turn the books so the pages face out instead of the spines to give the “white books” look.
Large easy to “read” pieces should anchor the lower shelves so as your eye travels down it gets easier to see. Not every shelf should have a lot of detail – otherwise it will feel too busy. Let the books be the constant that leads us to the detail and intersperse large items to let the eye rest.
Here the books alternate but are present in various numbered groupings on every shelf except the lowest one. Below we’ve added pieces to fill in the space – note that grouping items allows for negative or empty space preventing the shelves from feeling too busy. The calm feeling of this composition is furthered even more by sticking to a natural color palette in the accessories that relates to the page side of the books we have chosen.
Continue layering in pieces making sure not to overload the shelves and allowing some of the shelves to be simple (note shelf 3 from the top on the left). Below we stuck with the neutral palette but added some contrast with darker pieces like the windmill and the bird.
Stand back and squint your eyes. Does the bookcase look balanced, is anything jumping out at you? Adjust as needed until you feel like it works for your space.
Always check in and revisit accessories in your home, tweaking and adding and subtracting until you feel it is just perfect. Do you wonder what this bookcase might look like with some of the new looks in greenery pulled through?
Would you like to learn more about accessorizing bookcases and see some other examples?
Would you like to see this exact bookcase with the greenery additions?
We now offer a purchasable style guide to answer just those exact questions. The Bookcase Style Guide brings you five different bookcase layouts that you can use as inspiration or even copy, to achieve your ideal look. This guide will arm you with creative bookcase layouts, swipe-able shopping lists, and available products that you can replicate for your room.
Click here to see our new online service offerings, or here to see all of our style guides, or here to go directly to our style guide for "Styling A Bookcase".
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