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Beyond Books: Styling Your Bookshelf Like a Pro

Bookshelves can be so much more than just storage for your favorite reads. When styled right, they become dynamic pieces of art that reflect your personality and elevate the ambiance of your space. Whether it's a towering built-in unit or a quaint wall-mounted shelf, let's dive into some tips to curate and style it like a pro.

Start With a Clean Slate

Before diving into styling, empty your shelves completely. This gives you a fresh canvas and lets you visualize your design better.

This is my bookshelf. I ended up painting mine to match the metal shelves on the other side of our fireplace.

Sort Your Books

Organize your books by size, color, or genre. While some prefer the rainbow look with books arranged in a color gradient, others like me enjoy stacking them with the pages outward instead of the title of the book. Play with stacking some horizontally and others vertically to break up the monotony.

Add Personal Touches

Incorporate personal items like photographs, small sculptures, or souvenirs from your travels. These pieces can add depth and provide conversation starters when guests come over.

Bring in Some Green

Plants can breathe life into your shelf. Succulents, air plants, or small potted greens can be the perfect organic touch amidst the books.

Play With Heights

Use items of varying heights to create visual interest. Think tall vases or decorative pieces paired next to shorter stacks of books or other décor items.

Consider Negative Space

This is a hard one for me. I have learned that you don't need to fill every inch. Allow some space to breathe. It gives the eyes a break and makes your shelf look less cluttered.

Layer Your Items

Place items both in the forefront and tucked in the back. This layering effect creates depth and makes your shelf look professionally styled. A good rule of thumb when decorating a shelf is to follow the rule of 3’s.

Keep It Functional

If you're an avid reader, make sure your favorite books are easily accessible and not buried beneath layers of décor.

Rotate and Refresh

Change things up every few months. This not only revamps the space but also gives you an opportunity to clean and dust off the shelves.

Trust Your Instincts

While these tips are a great starting point, trust your instincts and style. If it feels right to you, go with it!

Remember, a bookshelf is an ever-evolving space. Refresh and rearrange as you acquire new books, décor items, or plants. Most importantly, let your bookshelf tell your story, reflecting your passions, memories, and the cozy corners of your soul.

Happy styling, Cozy Crew!


P.S. Just a heads-up, Cozy Crew: some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission if you decide to make a purchase through them, at no extra cost. This helps me continue to bring you awesome content and cozy inspiration!


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