Do you have a bookcase but you’re having trouble styling it like you see in all those beautiful home decor magazines and catalogs? Today I’m sharing some tips to show just how easy it is to get a professional looking styled bookcase. If you stick to a few simple rules, you’ll be a pro styler in no time!
I’m starting with this industrial style bookcase from hayneedle. It’s tall and narrow and fits perfectly against this wall in my living room. I particularly light the height as it draws the eye upward creating the illusion of height in the space.
What You’ll Need to Style a Beautiful Bookcase
- A bookcase (!)
- A variety of objects in different shapes, heights and textures. Think tall, small, round (orbs) or spikey (urchins or plants)
- Books (to add height where needed)
Some Basic Rules I like to Follow
The Rule of 3
Grouping things in groups of three (or any odd number, even one) will always produce a look that is pleasing to the eye (with 3 being the most pleasing). This is a great rule to follow if you’re not comfortable styling. In this bookcase instance, I did not necessarily stick with this rule and mostly chose groupings of 2 because the bookcase is so narrow.
Variation of Height, Shape and Texture
In your groupings, be sure to always include one taller object and also try to vary the textures and shapes of the objects. Height can also be achieved by stacking books and placing objects directly on top.
In the instance of a bookcase like this where there’s multiple shelves (this does not apply to one surface), you will want to alternate the side with the taller object in order to maintain balance and create some symmetry.
How I Styled This Bookcase
Take a look at this animated version that depicts the different stages I went through to achieve this look:
You can see that the first thing I did was to place my taller items. I created balance by alternating the side they are on. I immediately knew that my plant and clock would not have enough vertical height so I placed some stacked books beneath them. One of my favorite tips for decorating with books is to face the pages out, instead of the spines. That way you don’t need to worry about crazy colorful spines or spines that don’t match. Or, if you generally decorate with Harry Potter books like I do, you may not want people to know that :-)
The next step is to add in objects in a variety of shapes and textures that will complement the other items. You will probably need to play around with this until you get a look that you like. My thoughts are usually to create as much variety as possible. If I already have a round or cylindrical object, the object next to it is more likely to be angular in nature or spikey (like an urchin or plant)
The final step is to tweak! Sometimes this means I will slightly angle items inwards, turn books and boxes at an angle or layer in smaller objects this “xoxo” sign.
Once you’ve got the hang of those few basic principles there’s endless possibilities to how you can style your bookcases. Here’s a few examples of other ways I decorated the same piece of furniture:
I hope you found these tips helpful. I’d love for you to share your before and after styled bookcases with me on Instagram – just tag @wifeinprogress and use the hashtag #wifeinprogress and I’ll share my favorites!
Looking for more great tips of how to style your bookcase? I’ve partnered with the following amazing bloggers for lots more great decorating advice so be sure to check them out!
Haley of Mountain View Cottage