Styling Bookcases

I love built-in bookshelves and just bookshelves in general. They are a great way to add storage but also add character to the overall room.
Despite the fact that I love them, my problem has always been how to display objects and books on them well. Currently in my apartment, I have two built-in bookshelves. I love that the apartment came with these, but I’m not fully utilizing them for their potential.
I know for me when we moved in, I just wanted to get everyting out of boxes and up on shelves/walls as quickly as possible so that it felt like home. As a result, these two shelves in particular have an assortment of books and accessories thrown on them.

{via Little Green Notebook}

I’ve seen lots of styled bookshelves and tips on how to style them around blog land so I thought I would compile them for you and for me.

Cristin from Simplified Bee says the first step is to begin with a clean start. Take everything off your shelves and essentially start over. House Beautiful also suggests backing the shelves with colored paper or painting the back a contrasting color which will help your books and objects stand out.

{via Vogue}

Sherry from Young House Love suggests to begin by adding your biggest items first. If you have books,  group them together and stack them in varying patterns. You can also group them by color or size and stack them both horizontally and vertically. If you don’t already have a ton of books, you can find lots of old vintage books at thrift stores.

Another cute idea for big items is to add empty frames like the below. I love how they have layered items in front of the frames and also layered the frames themselves.

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{via Real Simple}

Continue adding the rest of your objects like vases, candles, picture frames, mementos, etc and add your smallest objects last. Always keep in mind, it is more visually appealing to group things together in odd numbers.

I think I have a tendency to focus too much on things matching. Everything doesn’t have to match. The key is for everything to feel cohesive in some way and have the same essence. Take for example these letters on this bookcase.

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{via Real Simple}

They are all different, but fit together very beautifully.

If you’re daring, instead of just styling the inside of the shelves, hang things on the outside as well.

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{via House Beautiful}

Once you’ve put everything together, take a step back and see if you like how everything looks.

I love the recent interview with Emily Henderson that was featured on Censational Girl. Emily won HGTV’s Design Star recently and now has her own show called Secret’s of a Stylist. When Emily is trying to edit the styling she’s done, she takes a picture with her phone and then stares at the picture. She looks at the image as if it’s a magazine page and trys to determine what might need editing. Such a good idea! Be sure to check out the full interview for other design tips.

This bookshelf is definitely magazine worthy.

Hopefully some of this was helpful to you. These images inspire me to tackle my own bookshelves.

Do you have any tips for styling bookshelves or any experience of your own? Would love to hear from you!

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Also, don’t forget to enter to win these 4th of July pinwheels. Contest ends tomorrow at 6pm CST. I’ll announce the winner on Friday.

With Love,
Post Signature

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