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Styling a Bookshelf: Tips For Creating a Beautiful and Functional Display


Beautiful and Functional Display. Image Source: Matter Brothers Furniture
Beautiful Bookshelf Display. Image Source: Matter Brothers Furniture

Bookshelves are an essential piece of furniture in any home. Not only do they provide a functional way to organize and store books, but they also serve as a great place to display personal mementos, photographs, and other decorative items. However, without proper styling, bookshelves can quickly become cluttered and overwhelming. In this blog post, we will provide you with some tips for creating a beautiful and functional bookshelf display.


10 Tips For Creating A Beautiful and Functional Bookshelf


1. Make It Substantial

Substantial Display. Image Source: Aspire Design
Substantial Display. Image Source: Aspire Design

When styling a bookshelf, it's important to make it substantial. This means that you should aim to create a display that feels full and complete, rather than sparse or empty. One way to achieve this is to use a variety of items, including books, decorative objects, and personal mementos. Varying the heights and sizes of these items will also help to create a sense of depth and interest.


Another way to make your bookshelf feel substantial is to use color and texture to add visual interest. By combining these elements, you can create a display that is not only aesthetically pleasing but also functional and organized. A substantial bookshelf will not only be a beautiful addition to your home, but it will also serve as a practical storage solution for your books and other items.


2. Don’t Stuff It Full

Bookshelf Display. Image Source: Oprah Daily
Bookshelf Display. Image Source: Oprah Daily

While it's important to make your bookshelf feel substantial, it's equally important not to stuff it full. Overcrowding your bookshelf can make it look cluttered and disorganized, and it can also make it difficult to find and access the items you need. To avoid this, use a mix of items with varying sizes and heights, and make sure to leave some space between them. This will create a sense of openness and allow your eye to move around the shelf more easily.


3. Display Books Stacked In Piles

Books Display In Piles. Image Source: Custom Homes
Books Display In Piles. Image Source: Custom Homes

When styling a bookshelf, displaying books stacked in piles can be an effective way to add interest and depth to your display. To get started, choose a group of books that are similar in size, shape, or color. You may want to organize them by theme or genre, or simply mix and match to create a visually appealing display.


When organizing your books, avoid stacking them horizontally on top of each other. Instead, try stacking them vertically or placing them at an angle to create more visual interest. This will also make it easier to see the titles and authors of each book. Varying the height and size of each stack can also help create a more interesting display.


4. Decorate Bookshelves With Mementos

Bookshelf With Mementos. Image Source: Cosmopolitan
Bookshelf With Mementos. Image Source: Cosmopolitan

One of the best ways to personalize your bookshelf display is by decorating it with mementos. These could be items that hold sentimental value, such as family photos, souvenirs from travel, or small trinkets that hold personal significance.


To start, consider grouping your mementos together in a cohesive manner. You can create a visual theme by grouping similar items together, or arrange them by color to create a harmonious look. Try placing a photo frame or small trinket on top of a stack of books, or add a small sculpture or decorative item to create depth.


5. Display Book By Weight

Books Display By Weight. Image Source: Custom Made
Books Display By Weight. Image Source: Custom Made

When it comes to styling a bookshelf, there are a lot of different methods to consider. One fun and unique way to display your books are by arranging them by weight. Begin by placing the heaviest books at the bottom of the bookshelf, either horizontally or vertically.


This provides a sturdy foundation for the rest of the books to rest on. Then, work your way up the shelf, arranging the books by weight as you go. As you add lighter books, you can create stacks or arrange them in a more traditional manner. By arranging your books by weight, you can create a unique and functional display that is sure to impress.


6. Group Similar Items Together

Display Similar Books Display. Image Source: Better Homes & Gardens
Display Similar Books Display. Image Source: Better Homes & Gardens

Styling a bookshelf can be a fun and creative way to showcase your personal style and interests. One approach that can help elevate your display is to group similar items together. Think about the types of items you have on your bookshelf. Do you have a collection of books by your favorite author? Or perhaps you have a collection of decorative objects in a specific color scheme. Grouping similar items together can help create a cohesive display that highlights your interests.


You can place books of the same genre or color on one shelf, or group decorative objects of similar shapes or sizes together. By doing this, you can create a display that flows seamlessly and draws the eye.


7. Display Your Vinyl On Bookshelves

Vinyl On Bookshelf. Image Source: The Spruce
Vinyl On Bookshelf. Image Source: The Spruce

If you're a music lover, displaying your vinyl collection on your bookshelves can be a great way to incorporate your passion into your home décor. To get started, make sure you have enough space on your bookshelves to display your vinyl. Next, organize your records in a way that makes sense to you. You may choose to organize them alphabetically by artist, by genre, or by release date. If you have particularly special or rare records, consider displaying them prominently in the center of your bookshelf.


8. Spread Out Colors

Colorful Bookshelf. Image Source: House Beautiful
Colorful Bookshelf. Image Source: House Beautiful

By incorporating color into your bookshelf display, you can create a space that is not only beautiful, but also functional. Choose a color palette that you love and want to incorporate into your bookshelf display. This could be a monochromatic scheme with varying shades of one color, or a complementary color scheme with two or more contrasting colors.


Then, start organizing your books and decorative items by color. You can mix in decorative items such as vases, picture frames, or small sculptures that match the color palette.


When placing the books and decorative items on the shelves, make sure to spread out the colors evenly. Avoid clustering items of the same color together in one area, as this can create an unbalanced and cluttered look.


9. Incorporate Art

Art Over Bookshelf. Image Source: House Beautiful
Art Over Bookshelf. Image Source: House Beautiful

Designing a bookshelf is an art form in and of itself, and incorporating actual art into the display can take it to the next level. One way to incorporate art is by adding a painting or other artwork to the back of the bookshelf. This creates a focal point that can tie the entire display together.


Another option is to incorporate sculptures or other 3-dimensional pieces into the display. These can be placed on a shelf or hung from the wall behind the shelf for added depth and visual interest.


When it comes to choosing the actual artwork to incorporate into your bookshelf design, the options are endless. Consider selecting pieces that complement the color scheme and overall aesthetic of your space, or choose works that have a personal meaning to you.


10. Showcase Accessories Alongside Books

Bookshelf Décor. Image Source: Oprah Daily
Bookshelf Décor. Image Source: Oprah Daily

When it comes to styling a bookshelf, one effective approach is to incorporate accessories alongside your books. First of all, consider the overall color scheme and aesthetic of your space. This will help you select accessories that complement your existing décor. Some popular accessories to incorporate into a bookshelf display include decorative vases, sculptures, picture frames, and candles.


When placing accessories on your bookshelf, consider varying the height and size of the items. This helps to create visual interest and breaks up the monotony of the books. For example, you can place a tall vase on one shelf and a small picture frame on the next to create a more dynamic display.


The Wrap Up

In conclusion, a bookshelf can be more than just a place to store your books. With the right approach, it can be a stunning display of your personal style and interests. From using books as a foundation to incorporating art and mementos, there are many ways to showcase your personal style and interests through your bookshelf display. With a little creativity and attention to detail, you can transform your bookshelf into a stunning and inspiring focal point for your living space.


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