Nearly every home has a set of bookshelves or two—and if you don’t currently have any, they’re easy to DIY—but bookshelves aren’t limited to just books anymore. These creative bookshelf layering and styling tricks will help you design beautiful bookshelves in your own home. We’re also sharing some shopping sources for key pieces to get a similar look from these beautifully styled shelves that have us inspired.
Repeating Textures and Colors
Repeating textures like wicker baskets and incorporating stoneware jars make these bookshelves look stylish yet homey.
Other textures to consider repeating are metals and woods. Garden statues, urns and wood carvings on stands are a great way to add something unique and interesting.
For continuity, or to showcase a collection, choose a main color (or two) to carry through your shelves, like the turquoise and white pieces shown below that are a common color theme.
Decorating with mostly neutral tones gives you a lovely backdrop upon which you can layer pops of color.
via Made by Katy
Artificial green apples, pears and moss balls are perfect for incorporating into bowls for that added pop of green that works so well with neutrals. Dough bowls are longer and wider, which makes them perfect for shelves filled with moss balls or artificial apples.
Work in Natural and Organic Elements
Work in natural elements like plants, driftwood, shells or pretty stones for texture and to create an organic feeling.
via Laura Trevey
Greenery, bits of wood, and even antlers are perfect partners natural elements to mix with special photos, inspirational typographical art, and other mementos.
via Love Grows Wild
Add Unexpected Items
Unexpected pieces like this antique fan, colored mason jars, colored glass jugs and cotton on branches make an interesting and attractive arrangement.
Be sure and check out the garden section of your favorite store for interesting and unexpected pieces to work into your shelves like statues, ceramic urns or unique metal architectural pieces.
Create Interesting Groupings
Combine multiple like items, like these clear glass jars and white containers, for a stylish statement.
via Home Bunch
Make it Functional
Stack small baskets for not only a well-designed look but to create storage for the little stuff.
Trays on shelves are also a pretty way to keep little stuff contained or to stack books.
Vintage metal boxes, garden urns and wood boxes are interesting pieces to work in, while creating more storage.
via Forever Cottage
Make it Personal
Work in personal touches like layered family photos in larger wall type frames.
Make a Statement
Line the back of your bookshelves with fabric or wallpaper for extra character and charm. This touch really adds drama.
via The Painted Room
Blue and white porcelain works with almost any design style and color combination and it just always pops in shelving.
Easily incorporate color into a room by painting the inside of your bookshelves. These beautiful shelves feature Benjamin Moore Stratton Blue.
via House of Ruby
A collection of clear glass cloches is a another beautiful way to display shells, moss balls and greenery in shelving.
Painting your bookshelves black adds richness and drama; using a lighter color on the inside, like the Benjamin Moore Palladian Blue shown here, adds sophistication.
Transform plain bookshelves by painting the back with a funky pattern, random spots, or even a fun animal print. (Check out Centsational Girl’s great tutorial here!)
Add Bookshelves Anywhere
Better Homes and Gardens Style Spotter Kristen created this awesome DIY library wall for under $600 using IKEA Billy bookcases, pretty brass lighting, and trim to make it all look built in. Incorporating neutral colors, white ceramic pieces, and warm-colored baskets makes her touches of turquoise stand out.
via Better Homes and Gardens Style Spotters
Ceramic urns, vases and ginger jars in white are a great way to incorporate white and lighten up shelving.
We hope these creative bookshelf layering and styling tricks have inspired you to take another look at your own bookshelves and make them gorgeous!
Thanks for stopping by!
**Cyndy Aldred is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.***
Great post – very informative! Thank you –
Great info – thanks again for your inspiring blogs!
sherry hart says
WOW…..so many great ideas and I am thrilled to be part of this post:)
We’re so inspired by you Sherry and your mad styling skills! Thank you for always keeping us inspired and sharing your talents! xo
In the first picture under Make A Statement what is the correct description of the round table? Is it a library table, dining table, entry hall table? I am looking for a table to use in the middle of an entry hall and have seen many in magazine photos but have not found them on any websites. What are the usual dimensions? The retail furniture company sites I have searched do not list them as entry hall tables. Will I be able to find one as an antique? Please help? Love your site!!!
I recently discovered you and love your posts so much! I have a bookcase that has open shelves and a mirrored cabinet with glass shelves and doors. Do you have any suggestions as to what type of objects would like nice in the mirrored cabinet? There are three shelves 12” apart and about 2 1/2” wide with the mirrored surface at the back. Thank you very much!