Bookshelf styling has become quite the art. Search for it online, and a slew of articles claiming to have perfected the recipe for creating perfectly curated bookshelves will pop up. Listen to them. Take those articles, and apply it to your own life. The key to pulling off a styled bookshelf however is making it work for you and your lifestyle.
The first step is to select items and a color palette. Do you want to create a rainbow on your shelves like in the picture below (our basement bookcase), or do you want a simplified version with muted colors and just a few elements? I love shopping for home goods just as much as anybody, but there is something to be said for finding items you have around the house and using them in a new way. Maybe it is a favorite magazine, vintage book, glass globe, or heirloom piece. Whatever it may be, think creatively and a bit outside of the box.
The second step, is to know that your shelf will never be perfected. If you are like me, I spend a lot of time styling and restyling my shelves. Sometimes I’ll live with my shelves, and then come back to it weeks later. Sometimes I change them seasonally. With the recent onset of spring, I wanted to clean my house and “cleanse” my shelves, creating a simplified space to highlight a few items.
Our living room is a palette of grays and blues with pops of burnt orange. I gravitate towards black and white too, which I always feel is a tried and true neutral color combo that can serve as a solid base if you are unsure of where to go with your decorating. On this shelf, I selected a stack of magazines that fit in with the neutral theme and added the pop of color with this coffee table book on home style. To top off the horizontal stack, I placed my glass globe that I found at a Home Goods awhile back. I also placed a candle with a bold pattern on this shelf to extend the neutral vibe, but continuing a bit of a pop.
The top shelf of our ladder bookcase is a bit narrow, and can only fit a few narrow objects. To coordinate with the candle from the picture above, this frame ties the shelves together creating a well curated look. I also laid another horizontal stack of books that are similar in color. Three of these books came from my grandparents house, and I love their vintage look and feel. On top of this stack is a small Kate Spade bud vase with dried Baby’s Breath and a sprig from our Christmas tree this past year. To add another pop, is the Merlot colored geometric bud vase that I found at World Market this season. I like the touches of geometric patterns, as I feel like the add a subtle element of modernism to this room.
When you are stacking your shelves, it is important to switch between horizontal and vertical stacks of books. The alignment of these stacks also should be varied. By doing this you can add lots of personality to your shelves. Even though the three top shelves are horizontally stacked, the juxtaposition of the vertical records helps add interest.