How to Decorate a Book Shelf

Ever since moving into my own apartment within the past year, I have been obsessed with interior decorating. Making my home look nice not only impresses my guests who come to visit, but makes me feel happy every single day. I’ve really found a new appreciation for taking care of my home, and putting thought and care into how I decorate. That being said, one of my favourite parts of my home is my bookshelf. I love looking at all the books I’ve read, or have yet to read. Bookshelves are super versatile, and there are so many ways you can style them! That being said, they can get messy and cluttered very fast. Here are my tips on how to decorate a book shelf:

  1. Plan Plan Plan!

Having a plan for how you want to style the bookshelf always helps before you go all in. I’ve been guilty of just trying to fit as many books as I can on a shelf, and hoping that I’ll have space to fit everything perfectly… this has seldom worked out for me. Carefully consider which books you want on display, and where/how you want to place the different stacks can really help take the pressure off down the line.

2. Keep the Balance

The rule of thirds is a simple, yet effective style trick to make sure that everything looks balanced on the book shelf. You don’t want to have one side completely stacked up with books, and another side looking completely empty. For those of you unfamiliar with this design trick, imagine drawing three horizontal lines and three vertical lines on your bookshelf – forming 9 uniform squares. Plot out where you want your accent pieces/where you want to draw attention according to this.

3. Mix it Up

Regardless of the name, bookshelves don’t only need to have books! Mix up the material with some candles, pottery, picture frames, or a globe. Adding some different texture really helps to personalize a bookshelf, and make it look more presentable. That being said, too many knick-knacks can make a bookshelf look tacky – everyone has an elderly relative with the cluttered shelf full of trinkets and things, and nobody wants to achieve this look. Curate some items which go together and that make you happy, and stick with them.

4. Add Some Greenery

I have become absolutely obsessed with house plants – maybe that’s the millennial in me, but adding greenery to any room really makes a difference. Adding some small succulents or branches in a vase to a bookshelf will help bring some colour to your display. Make sure you adapt the type of plants you use for how much light the shelf gets. If it is low light, opt for something such as a mini snake plant, or if it is bright, try an orchid!

5. Organize the Books!

Finally… whether you want to colour code or alphabetize, try to give your books some kind of order. It will either make them more aesthetically pleasing, or make it easier to search when you’re trying to find a book by a specific author.

There you have it! I hope these 5 ways have inspired you to redecorate that cluttered bookshelf you have in your living room. Happy decorating!

Lots of Love,


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