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The Ultimate Guide: How to Style a Bookcase

Date Posted:17 February 2022 

The Ultimate Guide: How to Style a Bookcase main image The Ultimate Guide: How to Style a Bookcase image

Once you decide to have a bookcase in your house, you ought to consider the proper styling, or else it will become a distraction. By their nature, bookcases will demand attention whether you set yours as a focal point or have it as a backdrop for the rest of the scheme.

Whatever your choice, the bookcases will only serve the purpose and match the rest of the house decoration and color schemes through proper styling. Styling bookcases may not be a walk in the park for everyone, but it still makes up an exciting DIY project if you do not overcomplicate the whole process. Here are some effective and easy to execute tips to guide you along.  


Choose the correct location of the bookcase


Where you locate the bookcase is part of the styling and will determine whether you want the bookcase to be the focal point or be a backdrop. If you want it as the center of attention, you can have a grandeur setup and at the prime spaces in the room. You could also have two identical bookshelves on either side of the room.

On the other hand, if it is to be a backdrop, consider spaces where it is not the first thing someone sees when they get to the room or in a layered setup, like behind chairs, under stairs, etc. Any other styling will depend on the overall aim of the bookcase. 


Start with heavier books at the bottom


You should ground your bookcase with the bigger and heavier books at the bottom. In addition to that, any décor or items like bowls and vases that are larger should get to the bottom.

Also, succeeding spaces and layers have the seemingly larger or heavier stuff at the bottom and the smaller ones at the top. It creates a balanced look and allows you to get the scale right. Doing so also gives you the basic layout which guides how you will fit the rest of the items.


Leave space among the books for displaying other items


Regardless of how many books you have, some shelves should be left free for display purposes. You can use these spaces to showcase items that match with the rest of the home’s décor or your personality.

It could also help create a color contrast, especially if the wall has an interesting color or the bookshelf itself. Having other items helps break the monotony of books maintaining interest in the bookshelf.  


Make use of decorative items


You can place some decorative items on top of the books and in some of the spaces you have left. These include artwork, trinkets, family heirlooms, certificates, statement bookends, and so much more. Anything that holds your interest can find a place on the bookcase. The vital consideration here is that they have harmony and are not harsh on the eyes, suiting the calming presence of the books.

Vary the kind of decorations used, from framed pictures to artwork and even metallic accents. Do not forget greenery either, and you can use varying materials for the vases of pots. They freshen up your bookcase, and the different options available give you flexibility.


Less is more when designing your bookshelf


It may be tempting to have all the books and trinkets inside the bookshelf. However, that only makes it stuffy and overbearing on the eyes. The best approach is to arrange the books in piles, leaving space between them or at the end.

Do not stuff a shelf until it is full. Leaving spaces makes for a neat arrangement and makes the bookcase look spacious. It is crucial that you only use meaningful items to make the decoration purposeful. The books should be what you find interesting and not space fillers.


Try creating a color scheme


Books come in different colors, but you cannot fail to create a pattern. Use your decorative items, the bookshelf color, wallpapers, and the color of the wall behind the case to achieve a harmonious color. Not only does this make it blend with the rest of the room, and it is also easy on the eyes. You do not have to go for a block color but matching ones. Books of the same color should be arranged together and on the same side. Depending on the dominant colors, you can choose a bright or dull color for the bookshelf.


Mix height and depth arrangement


Another trick to use when arranging your books and other ornaments is to mix up the heights and the number of books on each shelf. There are two ways you can achieve this effect. First, arrange some books horizontally and some vertically. If a shelf is long, you can have the ends with books standing vertically and a set in the middle lying horizontally.

Otherwise, you can just have a vertical and then horizontal arrangement. Remember to leave some space between them to maintain a neat look and for the arrangement to appear deliberate.

Another option is to arrange books using odd numbers 3, 5, 7, 9 on each shelf. It helps achieve a balanced look. Besides that, you can add depth to the items by introducing layering. That means for large shelves, you not only play around with the heights but also arrange taller items at the back and smaller ones at the front but leave sufficient space around them.


Use mirroring to attain symmetry


Symmetry is crucial in attaining balance and keeping an attractive look. You can achieve this by mirroring the different sides. Thus, if you use decorations of a certain type, shape, and even color, on one side, try to match most of the characteristics on the other side too.


Step back and edit your work


Take time with every change to step back and see how it is all coming up from a distance. This step will help you see what is missing and how the bookcase blends with the house's overall theme. Your bookcase will also need refreshing with time, especially seasonal decorations.


Choice of bookshelf itself  


Finally, your styling will depend on the kind of bookcase you have. There are different designs in the market suiting both large and small spaces. Some exciting options include ladder bookcases and Roman Industrial Style storage. They come with different tiers, some with closed cabinets and others perfect for that unused corner. You can check out these exciting options at AusPoints, which not only offers you variety and quality but also have excellent deals. 

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