How To Style a Bookshelf

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A bookshelf can be as fashionable as it is functional. It makes a statement about who you are, what you are passionate about and gives you a blank canvas to display your favorite things. The challenge is to create a shelf composition that is visually appealing and not too cluttered. There is an art to organizing the books and having the decorative items tell your story and share your interests and hobbies.

  1. Begin with a blank slate. Take everything off of the shelves and go through the collection of books and decor to see what you would like to keep.
  2. Embrace negative space. The shelves don’t have to be completely full and cluttered. It looks best when you don’t over-stuff them and leave some breathing room.
  3. To add some pretty patterns and colors, cover books that don’t match your color scheme or have seen better days with pretty paper. I found the chevron and polka dot wrapping paper, pictured below, at Target for only a few dollars!
  4. Mix it up. Have some of the books displayed vertically and others stacked horizontally. Vary the heights of decorative objects, such as tall and short candles or give a decorative bowl a boost by stacking it on top of a few horizontal books.
  5. Odd can be perfect. Don’t worry about having everything perfectly symmetrical and even. Creating balance on a book shelf involves placing items off center and grouping things in odd numbers. A collection of candles looks better when there are three of varying heights instead of two that are equal in size.
  6. Integrate books and decorative objects. A bookshelf is not just for storage; it is a backdrop for your favorite decorative items, such as photos, art, vases, meaningful knick-knacks, etc. This is a fun way to express yourself and share your passions and pursuits.

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