Have you ever been flipping through your favorite design magazine and wonder why your bookshelves don’t look anything like the pages in front of you? Arranging a bookshelf is more difficult than it looks. Here’s how to style your bookshelves to create a stylish display.
- Pull everything off of your bookshelves. Throw away any shabby-looking books or knickknacks, and consider walking around the house and finding nicer, newer-looking accessories to add for display, including trays, vases, picture frames or wooden boxes.
- If you’re feeling ambitious, you can paint the backs of the shelves or add temporary wallpaper to add depth and color. Choose a shade that’s darker (or lighter) than the shelves to give it a real pop.
- Begin filling the bookcases. Replace the biggest items first. Use a zigzag approach – set a large accessory, such as a box, or pair of candlesticks, at the far left of the top shelf. Then place another large object on the far right of the shelf immediately below. This will create immediate symmetry and balance. Reverse the process, working your way down the shelves.
- Be sure to vary your shapes and textures. Round objects provide a nice contrast to the square edges of books. Balance a shiny frame with a textured seagrass bowl next to it. Place a brightly-colored vase on top of a stack of dark books.
- Add books and smaller objects to the empty spaces, alternating horizontal and vertical stacks of books. Consider using a specific color palette to style your bookshelves.
- Do NOT overfill the shelves. A good rule of thumb is to have your bookshelves be 1/3 books, 1/3 accessories and 1/3 empty shelf.
- Consider hanging pictures on the outside of the shelves on the vertical frames. This adds dimension to your bookcases.
Hopefully, by the end of this exercise, your newly-styled bookshelves will make you smile every time you see them!