Before and After: How To Style a Bookshelf in Minutes

Before and After: How To Style a Bookshelf in Minutes

I have an inexpensive IKEA bookshelf that has been completely neglected since the day we moved into our new place, back in October. So, I thought it was about time I tackle this area and put together another style tips post. If your bookshelf looks anything like this one, read on for five simple steps to a perfectly styled bookcase in minutes.    

Here are five tips for styling your bookcase / bookshelf.

1. Fill it up. After a quick scan of the house, I realized I had books in lots of different places, making it more difficult to find what I was looking for when I needed it. So, I brought books from other random parts of the house to fill out the shelf. Now, I know where the majority of my books are at all times. 

2. Remember, it's not just about the books.  To make your bookcase feel more interesting, bring in some decorative items and artwork that tie in with the space. This trick will make plain, utilitarian shelving seem like a more intentional, decorative part of any space.

3. Group things in odd numbers. I'm sure you've heard this one a million times, but decorative items really do look best in odd numbers. And in case you're wondering, three is pretty much the magic number nine times out of ten, as far as groupings go.

4. Group like items. Along the lines of tip #3, you also want to group like items, especially when it comes to decorative pieces. For example, I nestled two DIY copper planters next to each other and added a small ceramic container in the same color family to maintain an odd number grouping.

5. Have at least one container for storing miscellaneous items. No matter how hard you try, your bookcase is a magnet for random items that don't belong (sunglasses, keys, etc). If you have a storage container or two somewhere on your shelf, you can at the very least contain those random items until you're ready to put them in their proper place.

Now that you have these tips, you should be able to restyle your bookshelf in no time. Here are some photos of the finished bookshelf.

For even more tips on how to style a bookshelf, visit this past Curbly post.

And for those that might be wondering, the bookshelf shown is this KALLAX Shelving Unit from IKEA. I just turned it on it's side and added legs to get it up off the ground.

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Brittni Mehlhoff on May 12, 2014:

The legs are from Ikea as well. You can buy them seperately. The name is escaping me right now though.

Anonymous on May 10, 2014:

Hi, just wondering what legs you used on the unit.  They are so lovely and slimline, and work really well with the unit.

bruno on Apr 30, 2014:

@brittni, for those who might be wondering, can you share what the art pieces are? I think they're great and we're always on the lookout for cool artists.

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