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Decorist Designer Tips For A Stylish Bookcase

FEBRUARY 10, 2018
Photo credit: Alyssa Rosenheck via Domino Magazine

We LOVE a perfectly styled and curated bookcase. Of course, It's our belief that bookshelves don't only need to be for books. It's striking that perfect balance of books, artful accessories and little objets you’ve accumulated over the years that makes a good bookshelf stand out from the others.

For a more stylish display that’s both personal and chic our Decorist Design Director Jessica McCarthy is here to share 6 of her easy-to-do design tips and tricks that help to create the best "shelfie" ever.    

1. Make it Personal

Decorist SF Showhouse photo by Aubrie Pick

Keep in mind a well organized bookshelf reflects both your style and personality. Before you begin to fill up the shelves, remember to edit out what you don’t need or like. Start off by getting rid of the clutter. If it no longer serves a purpose or lacks sentimental value, you can toss or donate it. That way you’ll make room for items you love — like family photos or treasured travel souvenirs — for a truly personal display.


2. Style Within a Theme

Image via Pinterest

The difference between a cluttered bookshelf and a well-curated one is that the latter is designed with a theme in mind. Whether that’s clean and modern or worldly and traditional, styling a bookcase around a specific theme or a mix of complementary ones keeps the design tight, cohesive and sophisticated. 


3. Creatively Organize Your Books 

Designed by Katie Hodges via Architectural Digest

We love to see a bookcase with a color scheme. You can group similar hues together for a colorblocking effect that gives it that pulled together look.  A fun DIY project is to cover your books in pretty paper to give it a uniformed color palette. Either way, your color-coordinated bookshelf is sure to look polished and refined.


4. Avoid Clutter With Baskets and Trays

Image via Braun and Adams

Your bookcase naturally becomes a catchall spot for all those not-sure-where-to-put-them items, easily making your display look messy and cluttered. Avoid this by using pretty trays and baskets to hold all your smaller items in a practical yet stylish way.


5. Mix It Up With Your Favorite Decor

Image via Ally Gwozdz

To create a well-balanced bookshelf that reflects your personal style, fill the shelves with your favorite decor items. A combination of interesting textures, beautiful artwork, typographic prints and eye-catching decor accents inject visual intrigue into your bookshelf. Just remember to stick with your color palette and theme so it doesn’t feel like a thrift store display.


6. Add Artwork

Designed by Decorist Celebrity Designer Christina Murphy

One of our all-time favorite bookcase styling tricks is to hang artwork on the outside of the bookcase. It's both dramatic and unexpected. We also love to see small framed artwork leaned against the wall of the bookcase or in front of a stack of books. Of course, those small framed photographs of family and friends are always a welcome addition.

Need help with your own bookshelf? ASK one of our designers at our free Design Bar. If you need more help then start a Decorist design project today. Happy Decorating!


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