Contrary to the name, bookshelves are more than just a place to store your books, and done right they can add a lot of character and interest to your home. But done wrong, they can just look like a cluttered, hot mess. So how do you create interesting, stylish bookshelves without the cluttered, hot mess part? By following my list of tips for styling bookshelves; aren’t you glad you asked?
1. Be sure to leave room in between books and objects. This is called visual relief and is a key component of good design. The eye needs to experience visual relief in order to appreciate the different elements that makeup the overall design, in this case the items on the bookshelf.
2. Create interesting vignettes by varying the size and shapes of the items, placing some books vertically and stacking some horizontally. Varying the heights of the objects, as well as the height of the shelves, will create interest and be visually more pleasing.
3. Baskets and decorative boxes can provide storage for items that don’t need to be on display.
4. Looking for a bold pop of color? Inexpensive shelving units, like these from Ikea, can be totally transformed with a little spray paint. And speaking of color, notice how the books are arranged in blocks of color.
5. Add interest to the back of your bookshelves by covering them with fabric, wallpaper or even wrapping paper.
6. Bring life to your shelves with items from nature, such as plants, flowers, shells and rocks.
7. Think outside the box, or in this case your shelves. Hang artwork on the front of your shelves for an unexpected twist on the norm.
Need a few stylish things to go on your shelves? Here are some of my favorite go-to, shelf styling items.
Zara Home Lantern, Ballard Designs Baskets, West Elm Agate Bookends
Pottery Barn Metal Letter, Williams-Sonoma Ginger Jar, Anthropologie Pressed Glass Frames