Bookcases are not only great for storing items, but they're perfect for displaying your favorite decor pieces or meaningful objects. They're a place where we can portray our inner selves and offer a sense of character and whim. There are tons of items you can include in your display, but how do you know what the proper mix and balance is? 

The whole vibe of a room can feel off if your bookshelf isn’t aligned with your style. Below, we’re sharing the best of bookshelves and ways to incorporate that style at home.  

1. Start with the bigger picture

When decorating a bookshelf, it’s easy to fall into obsessing over the little details. A sure way to wind up overwhelmed is to fixate on small keepsakes and little objects first. Start with the larger items you’d like to incorporate, like a woven basket or your favorite framed print. Once that’s in place, you’ll have a much better handle on the scale and overall structure of your bookshelf allowing the little things to fall into place naturally. We love how Mark Houston styled the bookshelf below, allowing the larger art pieces provide the perfect place for the books and smaller objects.

ShopStacyGarcia_LifeStyledbySG_BookshelfStyling_MarkHouston_Apr122021Columbus Circle Apartment, Designed by: Marc HoustonPhotographed by: Sean Litchfield for Homepolish

2. Take advantage of the whole space

Spread your stacks of books and decorative objects across the entire space to create some breathing room. Cramming your shelves to capacity overwhelms the eyes and is a lot to take in. Below, Natalie Papier shows us breathing room doesn't have to be boring! Artfully spreading out the objects on this shelf gives the bold blue shelving a chance to really stand out.

ShopStacyGarcia_LifeStyledBySG_BookshelfStyling_NataliePapier_Apr122021One Room Challenge Library Interior by Natalie Papier

3. Make it personal

Bookshelves can be an opportunity to share details about yourself. As a home to your favorite books and special keepsakes, it’s easy to turn this space into a reflection of yourself. Introducing decorative objects such as souvenirs from your travels, framed photographs, or things that just speak to your style can make your bookshelf a creative expression of who you are. Use these accents to break up space between books to provide some of that much needed breathing room we mentioned above.

Stacy Garcia's Home 

4. Metallic moment
Add a bit of shine by adding mixed metal accents to you bookshelf. Decorative objects in a gold, brass or silver will stand out while complementing any matte textures or neutral tones of the other items on your shelf. You can take it to the next level by incorporating the metallic element in the shelving itself, like the example below.


Stacy Garcia for Klaussner's Home Furnishings

5. Bring it backwards

To give your space a more uniformed, or cohesive look, try the simple backwards books. We love this example from Chad James. The books placed backwards allow the other details in the space to really stand out. 

ShopStacyGarcia_LifeStyledbySG_BookshelfStyling_ChadJames_Apr122021Design by Chad James, Chad James Group. Photography by Alyssa Rosenheck.

6. Take it all in

Before finalizing your design, take a look at your bookshelf from further away to get a good look at the whole thing. Does it flow? Does the color palette work with the rest of your space? If it feels balanced and flows with your room, you're good to go.

A bookshelf is something that will inevitably change as you do, so the most important thing is to keep your bookshelf an expression of you. Fill it with things that bring you joy and remind you of your favorite memories. What are your favorite tips and tricks for bookshelf styling? Try our tips and tag us @stacygarciainc 


April 15, 2021 — Stacy Garcia

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