It’s easier than you think to take a bookshelf from drab to fab. Transform your shelves with these five stylist-approved tips.

Read to get started? Start shopping our favorite bookcases and étagères, along with all the stylish books, bookends, home accents, and accessories you need to start filling them up with your own personal flair.

1. Take stock of your books and start rearranging. Mix horizontal piles and vertical piles. Stack books horizontally from largest to smallest. Remove dust jackets to reveal pretty bindings, and think about grouping books with similar hues to create a color-coded look.

Interior by Jay Jeffers. Get more design inspiration from Jay on the blog.

2. Height matters. Play with short and tall objects to add height variation on each shelf. A tall vase can be a bookend, a focal point between two piles of stacked books, or act as an anchor in a grouping of vases of all different sizes.

Interior by Studio Gild. Get more design inspiration from Studio Gild on the blog.

3. Use your shelves as a rotating gallery. Incorporate framed prints, paintings, or sculptures to add instant style. Create an entire shelf of layered frames or use platforms of stacked tomes to create display stands for sculptures and beloved objects.

Interior by Jay Jeffers. Get more design inspiration from Jay on the blog.

4. Boxes and baskets are secret weapons on any shelf because they add color and texture while doing double-duty as storage. Consider using multiples of the same basket along a bottom shelf to add visual weight, or play with boxes scattered among books on multiple shelves.

Interior by Alex P. White. Get more design inspiration from Alex on the blog.

5. Natural elements are the perfect counterpoint to the very linear framework of shelves. Play with branches, pebbles, seashells, driftwood, or a grouping of potted cacti to liven up your shelves and bring the outdoors in.

Interior by Amy Elbaum. Get more design inspiration from Amy on the blog.

Leave a comment