18 Effortless Ways to Style Bookshelf Decor
How to Decorate a Bookshelf
The best bookshelf decor often comes from items you already have. Shop around your house to find artwork, picture frames, vases, and other accessories in a cohesive color scheme or style. Place the largest items on the bookshelf first, staggering objects between shelves. Fill in with the rest of your objects, adding in stacks of books or magazines and potted plants for added color and texture.
Easy Bookshelf Decorating
For picture-perfect bookcase decor, resist the urge to pack in a ton of accessories on every shelf. Keep a clean look by choosing a one-color or tone-on-tone scheme for vases and figurines, and make sure to mix up shapes. Every so often, step back to assess the overall balance of your arrangement. Place items off-center, or try larger or smaller ones until you like what you see.
Decorate Bookshelves with Mementos
Objects that have special meaning to you or evoke certain memories make great bookshelf decor. Gather souvenirs from travels, flea market artwork, or treasured collectibles to decorate your shelves. For a more dynamic display, arrange stacks of horizontal books to serve as a pedestal for small objects.
Arranging Accessories on Bookshelves
To add interest to your reading materials, alternate stacking books horizontally and vertically. One of the best ideas for decorating bookcases is to use accessories as bookends. Boldly colored accents and picture frames make great bookends and stand out on neutral shelves.
How to Arrange Books on Shelves
Organize books by the color of their spines to create color-blocked bookshelf decor. Vary heights and create interest by stacking books horizontally as well as lining them up vertically. If you have volumes that don't fit with the others, turn their spines to face the wall so only the pages are visible.
Layered Bookshelf Decor
Deep bookshelves give you the luxury to play with layers. Lean artwork along the back of the shelves, and anchor them with books or heavier objects. To decorate the bookcase, place a few small pieces of art near the front of the shelves to give them depth. Bulky vases or decorative plates can hide their heft behind small frames without losing their uniqueness.
Bold Yet Simple Bookshelf Decorating
If your book spines lack visual style, paint the surrounding bookshelves a contrasting color to draw focus. In this living space, black built-ins stand out sharply against the mostly white decor on the shelves and elsewhere in the room. Turning books around so the pages face outward instead of the spine can also help bookshelf decor stick to a more cohesive color palette.
Bookshelf Storage Ideas
Try using up otherwise wasted space with a bookshelf. In this banquette area, a blank wall was transformed into handy storage space thanks to a set of built-in shelves. Organize books and baskets of frequently used items on lower shelves, saving the upper ones for decorative objects or other items that you don't frequently need to reach for.
Modern Bookshelf Decor Ideas
Modern shelves call for a sparse look, so group together a small set of books that are all of a fairly uniform size. Accessorize with streamlined vases and metallic decor, leaving lots of open space on shelves to let the accessories shine through. Give the whole shelving unit a pop with a brightly colored backdrop of wallpaper.
Symmetrical Bookshelf Decor
To give office bookshelves an organized feel, gather a wide variety of collectibles. Place your chosen items between books, creating loose symmetry. If you have a picture frame or square shape in one shelf, mirror it with a collectible of a similar shape and size on the opposite side. In a wall of bookshelves such as this, it's important to scatter books here and there to punctuate the look.
Colorful Bookshelf Ideas
Pretty Bookend Ideas
Don't forget the power of bookends when decorating bookcases! Use heavy, sturdy decor or even pieces of architectural salvage as a bookend to keep shelves neat and organized. Bookends especially come in handy for paperbacks and slimmer books, which are less likely to stay upright.
Living Room Bookshelf Ideas
For a display-worthy decorative bookcase, organize books and decor on staggered shelving. A slanted shelf, like this, is even more interesting with uneven rows and columns. For a living room bookshelf, place the most attention-grabbing titles and artwork at eye level for guests to peruse.
Functional Bookshelf Storage
Decor shelves are great tools to keep a living space organized. Slip magazine holders on open shelves to hold loose papers. Storage boxes conceal clutter and can add bold color to the arrangement. Use flea market finds, decorative containers, and potted houseplants to finish off bookshelf decor.
Clean Bookcase Display
Impactful Bookshelf Decor
Bookshelves can be used to create visual interest. Here, a bookended stack on the center shelf mirrors the decor below it, all while contrasting the top shelf of loosely arranged and off-center books. When decorating shelves, offsetting accessories provides the biggest impact.
Bookshelf Art Ideas
It can be difficult to determine how to decorate bookshelves with an eclectic style. When you have art pieces that span a variety of styles, they can all work together on a bookshelf, as long as colors coordinate. Blue and white live on each shelf of this bookcase, so the bright statue doesn't look out of place near a golden armadillo.
Bedroom Bookshelf Ideas
Utilize a built-in bookcase as a fashionable and functional headboard. In this bedroom, mounted sconces leave plenty of room for a library of nighttime reading materials and decor. Add more appeal with adjustable reading lights recessed atop the bookcase.