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The Dos + Don'ts of Well-Decorated Bookshelves

Few parts of a home say more about its inhabitants than the bookshelves. Not only do the books on your shelf reveal your interests and passions, but the way you decorate (or don't decorate) your shelves says a lot about your personal style.

So how do you decorate your bookshelves? With books, of course! But a well-decorated bookshelf contains more than just books. Bookshelves are an excellent way to flex your creative muscles with accessories and staging. If you're looking to step up your shelf game, follow these tried-and-tested tips.

Do: Vary Book Placement

Let’s start with the books. (It is a bookshelf, after all.) Once you have an idea of how you want to organize your books (by color, size, alphabetically, etc.), mix up the way you place the books in the shelves. Keep it visually interesting with some books standing vertically and some stacked horizontally. You can also lean a few books against the side of the bookshelf.

Take advantage of stylish bookends to center a few books in the center of a shelf. Or get creative and use an unusual object as a bookend, such as a vase or a large crystal. Find your own natural gemstone bookends at Empressive GeoDesigns.

Don't: Be One-Dimensional

While we’re all for rows and rows of books, your house isn’t a library. Break up a row of books with an interesting-looking object — maybe a treasured memento from your travels — or set it on top of a stack of books. Be sure to place taller items toward the back and smaller ones at the front of the shelf. Find unique items for your bookshelf at Griffin Trading Company.

Do: Consider the Whole Room

There may not be a lot you can do about changing the look of your books, aside from taking off the dust covers. But you can add elements to your bookcase that will tie into the overall design of the room.

Keep the room's aesthetic and color palette in mind when choosing items for your shelves. If you're going for a nautical, beachy vibe, for example, you could add items like shells, sea glass and wicker baskets. Check out the collection of accessories at Made Goods.

Don't: Overcrowd Shelves


Sometimes it’s a little too easy to go overboard with knick-knacks. Collect too many objects, and your shelves will end up looking messy and cluttered. Once you’re done styling your bookshelf, step back and take in the whole scene. If it’s a bit too much, remove one item — sometimes that's all it takes. Step back again, and if you feel a little more pruning is in order, remove one more thing. Keep going, one item at a time, until it feels just right. Think out of the box with accessories from Gallerie Noir.

Your bookshelves, both with their books and their decor, tell the story of you. Make sure you stop by the Dallas Design District when you’re ready to tell your story.

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