How to Style Your Bookshelf Like a Designer

By Seth Kaiser, Design Expert, Design Distillery

As the holiday decorations come down, we get a chance to look at our home decor with fresh eyes. Maybe you’re wishing you had the budget to do some redecorating but your wallet is still recovering from the holiday season. One of the easiest ways to refresh a room on a budget is to thoughtfully redecorate your bookshelf. Creative bookshelf decor may seem like an art reserved for interior designers, but it’s easier than you think! These tips will help you redecorate your bookshelf like a pro, without breaking the bank.

Remove everything and clean your bookshelf.

Start with a clean slate bookshelf

You’d be surprised what creating a clean slate can do for your creative juices. Take down all of the items on your bookshelf, dust them, and then dust your bookshelf. If the bookshelf is made of real wood, take this opportunity to polish it.

Incorporate items of various sizes and textures.

wood desk with plant

If you don’t have the budget to purchase new items for your shelf design, just revisit how you’re organizing the items you already have. Put your decor pieces in groups of one, three, or five, making sure to incorporate items of various sizes and textures in each group. Examples of different textures might include metal, wood, ceramic, fabric, basket weave, etc.

Create vignettes, encouraging eyes to zig zag through your shelf design.

camera and books on shelf

Once you have your decor pieces grouped, start to add the groups to the bookshelves. Your goal is to encourage someone’s eyes to zig zag through your shelf design. You can accomplish this by spacing out particularly large or eye-catching items throughout the shelves to draw the eye at various points.

Add storage pieces.

room with bookshelf and hammock

Your bookshelf should be both functional and beautiful, especially if it’s in a bedroom or living room. Make the most of your bookshelf by incorporating obvious storage solutions like baskets, or subtle storage solutions like ornate boxes, bowls and jars.

Don’t be afraid of open space.

Wood minimalist bookshelf

Finally, the easiest way to make your bookshelves look like they were designed by a professional is to strategically incorporate open space throughout. It communicates that the pieces were carefully selected and some thought was put into the arrangement of them. If you can’t bring yourself to part with any of your decor but your shelves are looking too busy, consider using your storage solutions to store the excess items until you want to swap things around on the shelves again.

Let the home style tips come to you.