I love a Bookshelf

I think kitchens and bookshelves are some of the most pinned things I see on Pinterest. There are so many ways to style a bookshelf depending on what style you like – minimalist or large display, modern, traditional, monotone, rainbow – I could go on and on.

I thought I’d do a post on bookshelves my way. I’m definitely not an expert but bookshelves are one of the things I love most to style and re-style. I even have a whole Pinterest board devoted to bookshelves!

I do mostly books, with a few objects and pictures thrown in there.


I think sets of books – think antique series books, childhood favorites, even encyclopedias- broken up look great grouped together.


There are tons of bookshelf tutorials but the bottom line for me is start with the things that I know I want to include and fuss with it until it looks right. I try not to group like items together or even mirroring each other on another shelf. I don’t like it to look super matchy-matchy or like I tried too hard to perfect it. I want it to look put together and thoughtful, but still lived-in. Know what I mean?

Another great tip is to alter the direction of the books on the shelf. This saves you buying a ton of bookends and adds to the collected look. In my living room, I also grouped books by color and thought it made the whole thing look more cohesive. 


Books on their sides are great bookend substitutes and often as I use that for a little shelf for an item I want to display – maybe a commemorative plate from Queen Elizabeth’s coronation?
In my bedroom, I mirrored stripes on both sides as well as lots of pictures of my baby!


The best place to get books is Goodwill! If you are looking for books of a particular color for a shelf, don’t pay attention the title or subject matter, just look for the cover/spine color. Especially if you are doing a neutral room or a room with dark colors, look for hardbacks with spines in that same color. Your friends won’t notice the 7 Danielle Steele novels in a row, but they’ll notice that they are all cream :).


I’ve also seen where if someone is going for a monochromatic look, they’ll turn the spines around you so just see the pages. Not my style but a cool look if you’re going for a totally neutral room.

Often if I am reworking a shelf, I find it most helpful to take everything out. Then start putting back things I know I want to include first.

I also like to alternate symmetry and asymmetry. I don’t like it to look so perfect – we do live here and read books after all. I want my shelves, like my home, to look collected but not fussy. You want to be able to find your Jane Austen, your Twilight book, and that picture of you on your honeymoon without a lot of effort.


In my foyer bookcase, I knew I wanted to display some of my canton plates, along with mostly books.


In a bedroom, I think you can get away with more pictures so that’s what I’ve done here. I’ve also done less color groups and more by size or even genre of book. The whole top shelf of one bookcase is all of my royal books. It’s shameful how many there are! 


There are a few other bookshelf looks I’d love to try. I love it when designers hang a picture between the shelves – that looks so cool. I’ve hung art to the back of the shelf with a picture hanger, but never hanging off of the shelf itself.

I also think the rainbow shelves are so cute in a child’s room, a playroom, or even a colorful living room.


*image via Pinterest

My friend, Elizabeth did an awesome post on bookshelves! Blue and White Home

Here’s a few photos that I’ve loved from Pinterest.



We’ve all seen this gorgeous one from Emily Henderson’s house that just sold!


And Bunny can style it up like nobody’s business! 

Do you love bookshelves? What’s your favorite bookshelf style? 

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