Creative Bookshelf Styling and Layering Tricks

Clear and White Containers

Creative bookshelf style ideas and shopping sources. The Creativity Exchange


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.

Baskets and Urnsvia Design Indulgence

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.

Wood horse on stand for layering bookshelves. From Amazon.

via Amazon

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.

Main Colorvia Ciao Newport Beach!

Collection of vases perfect to work into styling bookshelves. Available from Amazon.

via Amazon

Horse ceramic bookends teal. Available on Amazon

via Amazon

Decorating with mostly neutral tones gives you a lovely backdrop upon which you can layer pops of color.

Neutral Tonesvia 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.

Wood dough bowl is a great accessory to use and fill with moss balls for book shelf styling.

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.

Natural Elementsvia 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.

Greenery and Mementosvia Love Grows Wild

Topiary for styling bookshelves. Available on Amazon

via Amazon

Do what you love, love what you do print.

via Etsy

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.

Antique Fan and Mason Jarsvia Puttin’ on the Grits

Green glass jugs in various sizes are great for layering bookshelves. Available on Amazon.

via Amazon

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.

Ceramic Garden Urn. Available on Amazon

via Amazon

Create Interesting Groupings

Combine multiple like items, like these clear glass jars and white containers, for a stylish statement.

Clear and White Containersvia Home Bunch

Clear glass large jug for decorating and layering bookshelves.

via Amazon

Make it Functional 

Stack small baskets for not only a well-designed look but to create storage for the little stuff.

Statues and Stacked Basketsvia Design Indulgence

Seagrass basket set of four with lids. Available on Amazon

via Amazon

Trays on shelves are also a pretty way to keep little stuff contained or to stack books.

Wicker trays available on Amazon

via Amazon

Vintage metal boxes, garden urns and wood boxes are interesting pieces to work in, while creating more storage.

Vintage Signs and Metal Boxesvia Forever Cottage

Make it Personal

Work in personal touches like layered family photos in larger wall type frames.

Layered Photos and Artvia The Inspired Room

Make a Statement

Line the back of your bookshelves with fabric or wallpaper for extra character and charm. This touch really adds drama.

Fabric-Backed Shelvesvia The Painted Room

Blue and white porcelain works with almost any design style and color combination and it just always pops in shelving.

Blue and white vase. Available on Amazon.

via Amazon

Easily incorporate color into a room by painting the inside of your bookshelves. These beautiful shelves feature Benjamin Moore Stratton Blue.

Painted Bookshelf Interiorvia House of Ruby

A collection of clear glass cloches is a another beautiful way to display shells, moss balls and greenery in shelving.

Set of three clear glass cloches in different sizes. Available on Amazon

via Amazon

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.

Black Bookshelvesvia Georgica Pond Interiors

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!)

Colorful Bookshelf Spotsvia Centsational Girl

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.

DIY Library Wallvia 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.

Ceramic Ginger Jars.

via Amazon


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***

About Christy Wagner

Hi! I'm Christy, an editor and writer. My husband, Keith, and I live in Fishers, Indiana, where I enjoy reading, writing, crocheting, quilting, embroidering, pouring candles, gardening, baking, and just about anything else creative. I'm so excited to be teaming up with Cyndy and sharing some fun ideas on The Creativity Exchange!
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4 Responses to Creative Bookshelf Styling and Layering Tricks

  1. Patti says:

    Great post – very informative! Thank you –

  2. Robbie says:

    Great info – thanks again for your inspiring blogs!

  3. sherry hart says:

    WOW… many great ideas and I am thrilled to be part of this post:)

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