5 Tips for Styling Bookshelves.

Moving nine times over the past six years has taught me a thing or two about not getting too attached to anything in my home – with every move has come a great purge but despite dozens and dozens bags full of donations and trips to Goodwill, I’ve never been able to part with my books. The collection has grown throughout the years (much to my movers’ dismay!), with recent reads mixed in with books from my childhood and with every new apartment, unpacking my book stash is always what makes a new space truly feel like home.

We recently added two of CB2’s Stairway bookshelves to our living room on either side of our television and couldn’t be more in love – the wall-mount added a built in feel but best of all… lots of room for books! After initially unpacking I’ve been fiddling around with styling the new shelves over the past few weeks and wanted to share some tips I’ve learned along the way just in case you too have been driven moderately crazy by bookshelf styling or are just looking for an easy way to add a little oomph to your space:

1. Start with Books: First things first, let’s talk about books because they don’t call ’em bookshelves for nothin’! From the functional to the pretty, books are always an amazing way to add color and interest to your space. Grab your favorites and start by mixing a variety of sizes and colors together, displaying them both stacked and standing. Note: guests LOVE browsing bookshelves which always makes for some amazing conversation so be sure to place any favorites at eye level (and hide anything embarrassing 😜)

5 Tips for Styling Bookshelves.
2. Layer in Artwork: Adding art to a bookshelf is a really easy way to bring some personality, depth and height to the vignettes you’re styling. Lean a few pieces against the back wall of the shelves in a variety of sizes, being sure to create balance in how the shelves are styled. We recently had a few Instagram photos printed and framed using Framebridge and I’m not only obsessed with how amazing they turned out but they’re also a really great size for including in bookshelf styling and a really fun way to add a personal touch.

5 Tips for Styling Bookshelves.

3. Add a Few Plants: I should really get a tshirt printed that just says “PLANTS MAKE EVERYTHING BETTER” at this point after I crossed over into full-on plant lady territory, but seriously… Plants make everything better. Plants are always a great styling accessory – mix things up by choosing a few different types of plants with different sizes and textures but stick to simple pots to keep your shelves from looking too busy.

5 Tips for Styling Bookshelves.

4. Accessorize! And now the fun begins.. Ever have an urge to randomly buy a vintage brass elephant you spotted at the flea market? Have a matchbook collection you’ve been stashing away over the year? Put ’em on display! Accessorizing is always the ultimate finishing touch to any styling project and what will keep your bookshelf feeling fresh vs. only functional.

5 Tips for Styling Bookshelves.

5. Get Creative with Storage: If your home is anything like mine I’m sure you’re always looking for new places to stash things away and out of sight! Add some function to your bookshelves by using small baskets, boxes or jars to store small items and anything you’d like out of sight (wifi router, I’m lookin’ at you). Since we had so much shelf space with our two new bookshelves we grabbed these storage boxes from CB2 for our lower shelves for some extra room to stash papers, random blog props and electronics.

  • Ciera Chang

    Great pictures and tips babe! Your shelves are just gorgeous!!

    xoxo, CiCi

  • Maya Kohn

    Great tips! I love the layering you did with art… I am now inspired to reorganize my shelves! Thanks!

  • Rachel Golden

    Your bookshelves look amazing! As an English Lit grad, books are basically my life and I love incorporating them into any room. I love adding little trinkets to make things pop. I haven’t yet started incorporating plants, but thats an excellent idea!

  • Rachael

    Yes! So cute! I have a hard time with books because I’m always picking them up, reading a few pages, and putting them back down. But I love the way this utilizes space so the books I read often can be accessible, and the books I don’t can be part of the decor scheme!


  • Lauren Easby

    I need to look at my bookshelves again… Accessorize and adding artwork is definitely something I could be better at… All great suggestions.

  • Melissa Chee

    Those bookcases are absolutely amazing!

  • Love how you styled these bookshelves! I want to get something like this for my office.

    xoxo, Jenny

  • gorgeous styling and details! i love CB2 also, very fresh and unique!

  • I love love love this! Soooo much cuteness, and your bookshelves look marvelous! So dang cute.

  • These are great tips! Beautiful job styling. Definitely pinning for future reference!

  • Totally agree with you about the plants! I love how you’ve styled your shelves, they look great.

  • I need to know where that gold vase is from! Love. :)