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How to Style Your Bookshelves

In this digital age, it may seem like bookshelves are obsolete. Instead of cracking open real hardcover books, most people read on their Kindles, so they don’t need a place to store books anymore.

But bookshelves are much more than just a place to stash your books. They’ll make your home cozier, give you a place to display cherished mementos, and help you hide clutter.  

Today, we’re going to show you a few different bookshelf styling ideas that might just convince to get a bookcase! We’ll go beyond books, so even if you’re not a big reader, you’ll see the benefit in having a bookshelf or two in your home.

Add Plants and Vases

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A bookshelf is the perfect place to display your growing plant collection. Depending on which planters you choose, plants can give your bookshelf a modern, minimalistic vibe or a cozy, homey feel.

We think that white planters like the ones in the photo above are a great choice for modern bookcases. They have a crisp, clean look that will fit in perfectly with your minimalist home decor.

For traditional wooden bookcases, we like to use slightly rustic terra cotta pots. They’ll give your bookshelf a more cozy vibe and compliment the warm tones of the wood.

If you don’t have much of a green thumb, try using fake plants or vases instead of real plants to create a similar effect.

Display Photos and Other Mementos

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You should definitely incorporate family photos and other mementos like travel souvenirs into your bookshelf arrangement! They’ll make your bookshelf so much more personal and homey, and may even spark a conversation or two between you and your guests.

If you don’t have any mementos to display, thrift stores are a great place to look for bookshelf knick knacks. Globes, figurines, old cameras, artwork, decorative plates and other accessories will give your bookshelf the homey, cozy vibe you’re after.

Use Decorative Storage Containers

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Putting baskets and decorative storage containers on your bookshelf is a great way to add extra storage space to your home.

Metal storage boxes like the ones in the photo above are an attractive way to hide clutter. We love the elegant rose gold hardware on the boxes, and how they’re stacked on top of each other to create a layered effect.

Play Around with Color

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Books aren’t just for reading! They make beautiful bookshelf accessories because their covers are so colorful and interesting.

Even if you don’t own any books now, it’s worth taking a trip to a local thrift store, bookstore, or vintage shop to see what kind of books you can find. You can pick books with a color scheme in mind, or choose an eclectic mix of books with covers that appeal to you.

One of our favorite bookcase design ideas is to organize all the books by color, as in the photo above. It’s a great way to add a bright pop of color to your living space while still keeping things modern. Eclectic bookshelves tend to look traditional or bohemian, but this design approach will make your bookshelves look much more modern, curated, and artful.

Experiment with Book Placement

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Books don’t have to be arranged in neat, vertical rows! Playing around with the spacing and positioning of the books on your shelf is a great way to make your bookcase more visually interesting.Try laying some books horizontally, some vertically, and some at an angle to add dimension to your bookcase design.

Don’t be afraid to leave some space between books, either. You don’t have to fill up the whole shelf with books like your local library does. You can add other accessories to fill in the space, or just leave it blank to create a more minimalistic feel.

The modern bookcase in the photo above is a great example of playing around with spacing and positioning. We especially like the placement of the yellow stack of books on the middle shelf. Placing books in the middle of the shelf with nothing else around them is unexpected and adds to the minimalistic vibe of this modern bookcase.

You can add even more depth to your modern bookcase design by playing around with height. Try putting some books on top of storage containers as in the photo above, or on top of horizontal stacks of books and magazines.

Add Lights

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Lights are a great way to add extra warmth and character to your bookcase design. They’ll cast a subtle glow on your books and collectibles and turn your bookshelf into a real focal point.

Some bookshelf lighting ideas include candles, strings of lights, lanterns, and cabinet lights. Our favorite lighting idea is strings of lights, especially when they’re used to line the edges of bookcases.

We hope that this post has given you some bookshelf styling ideas that you can use in your home. If you implement any of these tips, take some pictures of the results and share them with us on social media!

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