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How To Style A Beautiful Bookshelf

How To Style A Beautiful Bookshelf
Photo: Zeke Ruelas

Bookshelves often end up being used more as a catch-all than a place to display beautiful objects and collections. But today we're going to share some simple tips and tricks that will help you turn a boring old bookcase into a stunning focal point.    

How To Style A Beautiful Bookshelf
Photo: The Decor Fix

1. Vary the scale. By placing items of different sizes next to each other, your eye will bounce around from piece to piece, making for a more visually pleasing layout. Also be sure to pay attention to the height of each piece, and try to vary the heights on each shelf. This has been done well in the photo above. Head over to The Decor Fix for some other great tips. You'll notice that the title image at the top of the page also has items of varying shapes and sizes (it was styled by the always fabulous Emily Henderson)... check out more tips from Jane Can here.

How To Style A Beautiful Bookshelf
Photo: Tidbits & Twine

2. Balance is key. The first (and easiest) way to create balance is by making sure that the colors are evenly spaced throughout the shelf. In the photo above, there is a red book on almost every shelf. There is also a blue book on almost every shelf. The same goes for shapes and sizes. Also try laying some books on their sides and keeping some standing up. Make your way over to Tidbits & Twine to check out her interesting observations about the photo above.  

How To Style A Beautiful Bookshelf
Photo: Centsational Girl

3. Try organizing books by color. This gives the shelves a cohesive, intentional feel. It may sound contradictory to my last tip, but really, tip #2 still applies here. If you look closely at the photo above, you'll see that the piles of white books are spread out fairly evenly. As are the piles of blue books. And the piles of red books. I have my mine organized by color and visitors often notice. Centsational Girl has lots of other great tips... see them here.

How To Style A Beautiful Bookshelf
Photo: Interior Collective

4. Incorporate artwork. Add strategically placed pieces of art throughout the shelves, playing off of the books that should now be skillfully arranged. Again, you can see above that the art is spread fairly evenly throughout the bookcase, maintaining that sense of balance. The same goes for more sculptural pieces, vases and objets d'art. Interior Collective has some other great styling tricks here.

How To Style A Beautiful Bookshelf
Photo: Real Simple

5. Use bright color. Paint or wallpaper the back of the shelf using a bright color. This will allow the contents of the shelf to pop. Be sure to pick a color that relates to the decor in the rest of the room so it doesn't feel random. This strategy is especially effective if you have lots of white objects as shown above. Read more about bookshelf styling over on Real Simple.

Do you have any other helpful tips and tricks for styling a bookshelf? Be sure to share them in the comments section below!

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