The Art of Styling Bookshelves

Colorful bookshelves with comfortable seating for reading

While there are many directions you can go when styling your bookshelves, finding the right balance of style and functionality can prove elusive. Your bookcase should provide a place to stash your books, reflect your style, and meld seamlessly with the rest of your decor. So whether you are providing a place to store your beloved novels, using the space to display your finely curated collection, or showcasing a piece of art, here are some ideas to guide you.

Think About Your Books - It’s important to arrange your books in a way that’s pleasing to the eye, or shelves can look messy. Stack some in piles and place others side by side. Alternate sizes for visual interest. Try arranging by color, or choose a predominant color.

Colorful bookshelves with comfortable seating for reading

Don't Forget Decor - Unless your library is extremely formal, adding decor to your bookshelf is essential. Photographs and flowers are easy, but sculptures, natural elements, interesting collections and treasures from your travels  add personality and whimsy.

Artfully arranged bookshelves in a tastefully elegant room

Highlight Art - Small art pieces can add depth and interest to your bookshelves, but don't limit your art display to only what can fit within the shelves. Hanging a favorite print on the outside packs a beautiful punch.

Single color bookshelves with maps and blueprints

Aesthetic Is Important - Give some thought to the color of your shelves. Create a unified background for your books by painting the bookcases the same color as the wall. Or paint the back of your bookshelf for an unexpected pop of color.

Nicely arranged bookshelves flanking a fireplace

So think creatively and take some chances with your bookshelves. They aren't just for books!

Images courtesy of Elle Decor 

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