How to style a bookshelf

How to style a bookshelf

How to style a bookshelf.jpg

How To Style A Bookshelf

Styling a bookshelf is one of most fun and intimidating aspects of a room’s design. Bookshelves aren’t as simple to style as they appear, and if you have ever styled one yourself, you know that firsthand. It’s not easy to strike the right balance of usability, décor, and openness – the trilogy of styling a bookshelf. That challenge has many of us scratching our heads when we can’t seem to perfectly emulate the bookshelf styling we saw in our favorite Instagram influencer’s home. If you want to be able to style bookshelves in your home like a profession interior designer, follow these easy-to-use tips: 

Identify a color palette:

First and foremost, you need to reel in exactly what you’re looking for. Bookshelves are a great opportunity to add personality and fun trinkets, making it really easy to get carried away from the overall intention for your design. Pick a color pallet for your bookshelf that aligns with the space you’re designing it within (pops of color absolutely welcome).

Variation in size makes a massive difference:

Our eyes love seeing clean lines, which should be part of your bookshelf design, but without a variety of sizes with the pieces of décor you choose, you’ll be left feeling like something is missing from your design. Changes in the sizes of your décor pieces helps you control where eyes are drawn, creating focal points.

Decorate in threes:

Just as differing sizes on the bookshelf helps complete a design, something about decorating in threes has the same effect. The third piece just seems to put a bow on that area of the bookshelf in a really nice way. When you are creating the clusters for your bookshelf, keeping in mind how you will create focal points, ensure you create clusters of threes.

Incorporate greenery, real or fake:

incorporate greenery into your bookshelf - how to decorate a bookshelf from Harpr.jpg

Plants are always a nice addition to a design, helping to contrast the many objects we place in a space with something natural. Find ways to highlight greenery of different sizes in your bookshelf design for a beautiful contrast.

Add touches of different materials:

Along the lines of contrast, using different materials in your bookshelf design is a gorgeous way to add contrast without using drastic colors. Simply adding a cement or metallic bookend, or a wooden piece of art, completely shifts the vibe of your bookshelf (in the best of ways).

Highlight your personality:

As shared earlier, a bookshelf is a perfect opportunity to highlight your personality. You can incorporate souvenirs from trips, fun trinkets you found at an antique shop, personal pictures, whatever you would like! Those same trinkets are also a great opportunity to contrast the materials you are using in your design.

Allow room for storage:

The trilogy of a perfectly designed bookshelf is the type of décor used, the right amount of openness, and usability. Creating storage space within your bookshelf is how you accomplish the storage, or usability, requirement. There are chic baskets and bins you can add to your design, which aid in your mission to incorporate different materials into your design while giving you a chance to stow away items in your home.

We’ve discussed the right type of décor to use in your bookshelf styling, as well as how to create storage opportunities. The final step is to start styling the bookshelf without cluttering the space, completing our trilogy of bookshelf design. Here is how to style your bookshelf with the amazing items you’ve selected, while maintaining the right balance of openness: 

  1. Identify your vibe: Some individuals prefer to have a fuller space if they have, as an example, an antique farmhouse style. Other people enjoy a modern, minimalist, style. Your preferred style has a large influence on the openness you’ll want to create in your bookshelf design.

  2. Decorate in groups or clusters: You want to create visual breaks among the décor on your bookshelf, which can be accomplished by decorating in clusters. Take one level of your bookshelf as an example. Instead of that being one full space to decorate, think about it as two or three separate spaces you will decorate with clusters of pieces, using height varieties to help balance vertical space, as well.

There are a lot of variables to be mindful of when you’re decorating a bookshelf. Without an awareness of those variables and how they impact the overall styling, it’s almost impossible to create a bookshelf design we like. Though this list may feel intimidating in and of itself, keep in mind the trilogy when you’re styling your bookshelf: usability, décor, and openness. If you can stay aligned with the trilogy, the rest of your bookshelf styling will fall into place seamlessly. 

Back to blog