Six Tips to Styling Your Bookcase Like a Pro

A bookcase can be much like a closet. The more you can fit, the more you put in it, and soon the once organized space is chaotic. The only difference… you can close the closet door! So let’s take a quick look at bookshelves and six steps to styling your bookcase like a professional decorator.

1. First of all, determine the purpose of the shelves. Do they serve as a home library to showcase books? Will it be decorative and functional, composed of both books and decorative elements? Take a moment and empty the shelves completely, sorting like with like. Keep all books together, all decorative accessories together, family photos together, and so on. Wipe down the shelves and the decorative items as you go . Decorative items can get quite dusty, so wipe them down as you remove them.

2. Anchor the arrangement by placing the largest items first to establish the flow and theme. For added interest, use decorative plates or art as a backdrop, standing up at the back of the shelves.

3. Now that your theme has been established with your anchor pieces, begin with the top left, placing a tall element to the far left. Do the same on the right hand shelf below it to crate a visual punctuation mark that marks the shelf boundaries. Go back and forth in a zig-zag pattern from top shelf to bottom shelf. This allows the eye to “travel.”

4. Fill in medium size elements, including lighting if possible. As you place elements on the shelf, face the shelves like a retail store. In other words, keep things forward instead of pushed back into the recesses of the shelves.

5. Create balance with size, color, and texture. If books are an important part, sort them by color or size. Wrapping the books with colored paper can create a uniform, cohesive look. Remove book covers, (unless old or valuable) to display beautiful colored spines.

6. Complete the shelves by filling in the smallest items. Stand back and look at the unit as a whole and not each shelf independently. The key to beautiful bookshelves is creating an overall pleasing and balanced composition.

How did you do? Tell me in the comments, or post a picture of your favorite bookshelves!