How to Style a Bookcase

A bookcase can be so much more than just a place to store your books – it’s also a great way to show off your personality while elevating the look of a room. Whether it’s in a living room or a home office, a well-styled bookcase can give your guests a creative glimpse into your family’s life, or a pretty backdrop to admire while you work. With these easy curating and styling tips, you’ll have your bookcase going from storage space to statement piece in no time.  

Start fresh
It may sound tedious, but clearing out your bookcase and starting fresh is the best way to go. This is a good time to purge your shelves and get rid of any books or other items that are simply taking up space. Once your shelves are clear, it will be easier to decide what, and how many, items will fit in the bookcase. To avoid a cluttered look, remember that less is more. Note: Not everything needs to fit in the bookcase! If after your purge you do find items you don’t need, but also don’t want to get rid of, you can always store them out of sight in another room.

Use color
For a more unified look, it’s nice to pick a theme or color scheme for your display. For example, give your bookcase a natural look by punctuating the shelves with dark wood accessories, a potted plant or two, pressed wildflowers or wicker baskets. Or go nautical with blues and greens, glass jars and white sea stars. If you’re feeling bold, try painting the inside of your bookcase to add some vibrancy to the room.


Get creative with books
There’s no one way to arrange books in a bookcase. You can group by subject, author, color or size. Don’t be afraid to mix it up with horizontal and vertical stacks. For smaller horizontal stacks, use a decorative item on top of the stack, such as a small plant or geode. Or use two horizontal stacks as bookends for one upright stack. 

Fill in with favorites 
Framed pictures, artwork, plants, handmade objects and miniature collections all make great bookcase items. Remember, your bookcase is your place to showcase your personal style. Choose your favorite items and make it your own!  

Looking for a new home where you can show off your bookcase styling skills? Check out our available homes in the Puget Sound area at

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