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My 3 Favorite Shelf Styling Tips

Over Christmas, Nathan's family helped us start a project we've been dreaming about since moving into our house. We opened up the office/junk room into our entryway and living room by installing a pair of vintage french doors.

We're still putting finishing touches on the doors and trim so I'll share more on that project later. What I want to focus on today is styling a wall of bookcases that will be the main focal point of this new space and sharing a few of my favorite tips for styling beautiful, cohesive shelves.

Tip 1: Repeat and Mirror

When working with multiple bookcases or builtins rather than just a singular bookcase, I like to repeat pieces throughout my shelves. For instance, I have several floral items on these shelves like bookends, faux arrangements, book covers, artwork, etc.

I try to space out these pieces almost mirroring each other in placement so I have a repeating theme among my wall of shelves.

Tip 2: Flip Your Spines

If you have a large collection of books that aren't exactly aesthetically pleasing or don't match your color scheme, try styling them backwards. It's a great way to create a neutral backdrop to your other decor and bring a bit of texture to your shelves.

Tip 3: Intentional Clutter

The trick to that "messy, but beautiful" look is to get creative with your stacking. Books are your friend when aiming for this look because there are so many ways to style and stack them and they always look good.

Once your books are in place, fill in with a few fun details like a magnifying glass, statues or figures, trinket boxes, etc. Place them on or between book stacks to create an unkempt, lived-in, yet styled feel.

I've got a little work left to do with these shelves before they become the library-meets-victorian greenhouse that I'm envisioning, but I think styling and collecting for shelves is so fun and I can't wait to see it all come together in time.

If you want even more tips for shelf styling, I've created an entire guide that you can find here. It's full of strategies I use when decorating shelves as well as a list of my favorite unique items to include in my shelf decor.


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