With today's furnishings trending towards modern, and technology enabling us to have less 'stuff' around', it's nice to have something in your home that is warm and reflects your personality. That's where bookshelves come in. They are a great place to store not only books but collectables and home decor items in a way that is uniquely yours. So here are some tips to get that professional look when styling your bookshelf.

How To Style Your Bookshelf
mage from decor fix

The first thing I tell both my staging and design clients in Fairfield and Westchester County is to remove everything from an existing shelf and start from scratch.  This helps get rid of clutter and allows you to take stock of what you have. More importantly, if you want to create a masterpiece you have to start with a blank canvas. Then choose your colors. Will you stay mostly monochromatic or do you have objects that are all over the color chart? It's your bookshelf so anything goes but if you want that designer look, try to keep to similar tones overall with coordinating splashes of color.

After you have assessed what you want to place on your shelf separate out the tallest objects and place them on the shelf first. Think vases, a sculpture, a ginger jar or even a tall plant if you want to add organic objects into the mix. This step will establish scale and make your bookshelves feel nicely full. If your shelves are tall enough to accommodate framed artwork or a small mirror go for it.  This adds nice depth to your design because it draws the eye to the back of the shelf. Adding a contrast color to the back of the shelves adds depth and interest. You can also add wallpaper in the back of the shelves for texture or color.

Next select books that are pleasing to look at and that compliment the colors of your room. Divide them into groups by color and size then scatter them around stacking both horizontally and vertically. If you have a lot of books, you can keep similar colors together. Otherwise you'll want to spread like colors throughout mixing both light and dark shades to achieve balance.

image from gohaus
image from gohaus
from wisteria
from amber interiors
from amber interiors

Now add your accessories starting with key pieces first.  Keeping your tall objects in mind, make sure you have one impactful object per shelf.  Add sculptures, potted plants, trays or anything that is substantial enough to be a focal point. Last but not least, fill out the space with smaller objects. These could be standing picture frames, nicely arranged collectibles, attractive memorabilia and anything else that makes you happy when you look at it! But remember ...less IS more!

The eye should move through the shelves flowing through it and they should never feel too crowded.

Styling bookshelves is a great form of self expression and adds personality to your room. There are no rules as to what you can and cannot put on them (except maybe an old ripped up paperback 🙂 Just be mindful of balance intermingling objects of similar colors, textures and sizes throughout. Have fun creating your masterpiece and enjoying your creation!