The Art of Styling bookshelves

A well-styled bookshelf can have a huge impact in any room and styling them can sometimes be as daunting as it is exciting. Bookshelves play a huge role in personalizing one’s space. A bookcase needs numerous design element such as: color, art, patterns, texture, cherished heirlooms, or possibly tokens from travels. We’ve broken the styling down into our three favorite design avenues below.

For the traditionalist:

There are many ways to style bookshelves, but you can never go wrong with going the traditional route. One way to cater to a more traditional style is by filling the bookshelves with none other than books. If you are aiming to design your bookshelves as a true library it doesn’t have to be limiting.  By mixing in a curated collection of accessories you give the bookcase dimension while maintaining a streamlined, traditional look.


For the minimalist:

Another wonderful direction to go when aiming for a minimalist look is sticking to a specific color palette.  Sticking with a color story such as neutrals instantly provides an elevated look. If you are wanting a minimalist look but do not want to be tied to a specific color family a great way to create dimension while maintaining a clean look is by applying a solid, textured wallpaper such as grass cloth to the back of the bookshelf. By doing this you are creating dimension without cluttering up the shelves. Lastly, if you are either lacking in accessories or want to create a focal point to takeaway from the minimalist bookcase, hang a piece of art on the outside frame of the shelf, this is yet another way to add dimension and it’s on of our favorite tricks of the trade.


 For the adventurist:

The adventurist is definitely not afraid of color. While some like to group accessories according to color, you can also mix different colorful pieces in throughout for a more lived in and less staged look. With that being said, it is always best when you stick to somewhat of a consistent theme when applying color, i.e., go crazy with color if that is your preference or keep a simpler more monochromatic color scheme. Another great way to create a fun look is to install wallpaper to the back of a bookshelf or even paint it a different color to create even more dimension.


No matter what look you are going for the most important thing to remember is to have fun with it. While there are certainly tricks of the trade there most definitively are no rules. There is definitely an art to this and it might take several tries and some time commitment to play around with it. The good news is it is such a simple way to refresh a room so when you feel like you want to swap out some accessories – go for it!


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Photos courtesy of: @palomacontrerasdesign, @the_fox_group, @ashleygoforth, @theglampad, @hudsonhome_

McKenzie Lane