Everyone wants attractive, perfectly curated bookshelves these days. This used to be just a place to throw your books and, for some folks, it still is.
Reference #1 above. And that’s okay. But if you are trying to style bookshelves or vary the composition, use the colorful graphics above as a guide. How to style bookshelves should not be intimidating.
Having a backdrop is a nice relief from an all-stained or painted wood bookshelf.
What if the back wall was painted a different color? Or what if there was a graphic wallpaper peeking out? Check out the visual interest in #2. Much more interesting, non?
And while asymmetry is still a go-to for me, a bookshelf is an opportunity to show off your symmetrical side, using different objects as bookends or statement pieces on either side of a stack of books.
See #3 as one option. Or perhaps a lovely, singular object surrounded by a symmetrical stack of books on either side.
Rather than following your librarian’s lead and stacking books all upright, lay them down.
This provides visual interest but also allows the books to act as “pedestals” or “risers,” elevating photos or accessories to newfound importance as in #4 above.
Art, art, art…don’t fret if yours is not a signed piece or a named artist.
Display it amongst the books and do not be afraid to nail onto the front of the bookshelves as in #5. Art is personal and a wonderful way to break up the monotony of an otherwise all-book display.
It would be a shame to have all these pretties and not light it up.
See #6. Hardwired lighting above the bookcase would be ideal, but if you want a less costly alternative, a petite lamp mixed in with the books works well. It adds ambient light and brings focus to the surrounding area. If the bookshelves are large, you could add multiple lamps.
Finally, how much is too much?
This is subjective and is very much determined by your comfort level. Some folks love a memorabilia-packed, warm and homey bookshelf…while others want a minimalist look with few books and even fewer accessories. You will know what is right for you once you edit, and it is important to continually edit as you add books and decor to your collection. And climb down this rabbit hole if you want more ideas on how to style bookshelves.
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