bookshelves travel

Design: Styling your Bookshelves –

Bookshelf; a shelf on which books can be stored.

This generic definition doesn’t really begin to indicate all the possibilities and excitement that a bookshelf can hold.  In my eyes, a bookshelf is better defined as a work of art or perhaps a conglomerate of memories.  A big album exposing where you’ve been, who you are, and even offering a glimpse of where you may be in the future.  How can a bookshelf be all these things?  Simple, it’s all about how you style it.  The story that your bookshelf tells depends on you.  It depends on what books, keepsakes, and treasures you choose to display.  On what room it’s located in and on the magnitude and origin of it’s design.  Styling your bookshelves can do more than tell a story, it can also transform your space, or people’s perception of your space.  Below are some inspirational photos and tips on how to style your bookshelves.  Have a great idea, be sure to let us know, we always love to hear from you.


1. Space

If you are short on space try adding doors or curtains to the bottom of a built-in.  If you are looking for a freestanding unit, choose one that has open shelving as well enclosed space, the combination can practically double your storage.  Since you don’t need to be concerned with how the space behind the curtain or doors looks, you will be able to fit twice as many items.

2. Placement

Mix up your books.  Place some horizontally and some vertically. You can do this within the same shelf and also on an alternating basis.  Mixing up the placement of your books creates visual interest and keeps the eye moving.

3. Tell a Story

As I said in the introduction, a bookshelf can really offer friends and family a glimpse into who you are.  It can also be a great visual reminder of the memories you’ve made.  By displaying treasures from past trips, gifts from loved ones, decorative accessories, and photos from your travels, you can create a bookshelf that tells the story of your choosing.

4. An eye for an eye

Don’t be afraid to group similar items together.  Do it by color, theme, or event.  Do you like to cook?  Try creating a chef’s shelf.  Fill it with cookbooks, vintage cooking utensils, and photographs from some of your favorite dinner parties.  Do you live by the sea? Curate a nautical collection.  Be sure to include your favorite seashells, paintings, photos, books, and treasures from vacations gone by.  So whether you emulate a box of Crayola crayons, curate a nautical collection, or showcase your inner gourmande, grouping similar items is a fun and easy way to create an interesting ambiance within your shelves.

bookshelves by color

Books arranged by color are visually stimulating! via style at home

bookshelves travel

 Keepsakes, photos, and books tell a story in this well styled bookcase

bookshelves storage

Enclosed storage provides double the space


A nice combination of horizontal and vertical books keep it interesting. via thesuitelifedesigns


Free standing bookshelves are a great alternative to built-ins. via illtaketwo

color coding

Crayola color coding = visual delight! via



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