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How to Style Your Bookcase with 8 Tips

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Hey y’all…As you know by now, I love changing things around the house to create a fresh, new look. I typically try my best to achieve these new looks for little or no money. Restyling my bookcases is an easy and inexpensive way for me to change up the look of a room. It’s also a way for me to express my creativity and and make a space more personal for how I am feeling in that moment. Here’s how to style your bookcase with 8 tips from me.

I use my bookcases to display some of my favorite things. Photos, books, vintage finds and items found in nature, are just a few examples of items I like to display. I love mixing the old with the new for a fresh look. Typically I just jump right in and get started. Because I was so eager to start this bookcase refresh…I didn’t get a photo of the cleared-off shelves. But…

1. Clear off the shelves.

It is always best to start with a fresh, clean slate. This is also a good time to grab a damp cloth to clean the dust and cobwebs off the shelves.

2. Gather items that you want to use for your shelves. 

Put them all in one place so that you can see what you have. You can look for items to use in closets, other rooms of the house or maybe even in your basement or garage. You might be surprised that a long forgotten item can be given new life in a new decor restyle.

Styling a Bookcase and Tips

3. Start with one shelf at a time.

This particular bookcase has four shelves. I typically start on the second shelf, in the center. I do this because this shelf is at eye level, so it is the first shelf that people look at. I keep moving everything around until I am happy with the placement.

Styling a Bookcase and Tips

4. Use items of varying heights and textures.

You want your eye to travel across the shelves and to be drawn to items of interest. You don’t want everything on a shelf to all be of the same height – there would not be anywhere for your eyes to land, no creative interest.

Styling a Bookcase and Tips

5. Take advantage of the wall space.

Don’t be afraid to hang something on the wall of a shelf space. In this instance I added two framed vintage family photographs. It was also a way to gain some added height for the shelf.


6. If your shelves aren’t looking quite the way you want them to, take a break for awhile and step away.

I did just that when I started styling this bookcase. I was getting frustrated and aggravated because I couldn’t get the shelves to look the way they did in my mind. You know, drop-dead-gorgeous and magazine worthy! As you can see in the photo below, it looks very different than what I ended up with. I knew at this point that this was not the look that I wanted. So I took a break and came back and started over.

Styling a Bookcase and Tips


7. Edit, edit, edit

You don’t need to use everything that you collected together. It’s important to take away some of the items so that your shelves don’t look too cluttered. Take a step back and see what can be eliminated. These are just some of my collected items that didn’t make the cut:

Styling a Bookcase and Tips


8. Have fun with your styling

Make sure that you use items that make you happy and fit in with your design style.

Styling a Bookcase and Tips

I love this photo of my great grandfather…

Styling a Bookcase and Tips

Styling a Bookcase and Tips

Architectural salvage is another favorite of mine…

Styling a Bookcase and Tips

…as well as items found in nature.

Styling a Bookcase and Tips

Styling a Bookcase and Tips


PicMonkey Collage

I hope you like my newly styled bookcase and that you found my styling tips helpful. The most important thing to remember is to just have fun with your decor. If you don’t like it, you can always change it.

Until tomorrow,



  1. Great tips ladies! I love the fresh feel of this space, so beautiful. Hugs, CoCo

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