How to Style a Bookcase

I am constantly drawn to the amazing bookcases in the home magazines that arrive in the mail. They are always brilliantly put together and thought only an interior decorator could create this.

We didn’t have the space in our living room for the two cases; however, there was an odd empty space in our hallways where these fit perfectly!

So, after moving into our place in the Boston area and finally having our own space, we bought a couple bookcases. We own an abundance of books and thought there is no way they will all fit. Not to worry, they didn’t all fit, and we were forced to throw some in boxes and give away others.

We found the bookcases at Crate & Barrel… I know what you are thinking, “how could I afford that?!” Well, not to worry, there were identical bookcases found at Target, which were $25 more each.

I don’t have a before and after picture, because all of our books were in boxes prior to this move. And, I’m sure that this will gradually be reduced as we are trying to grasp minimalism. But here is my “How to” in styling a bookcase like a boss:

First, start with an empty, clean bookcase.

Get rid of any books that have been read and are more than likely not going to be read again. If there is no relevance or interest, donate.

You get to decide how you would like to organize your books. I separated the books into categories, like: Business, Travel, Religion, Self-help, and Miscellaneous. You can also do: color of books, genre, size, etc.


Keep it symmetrical.


Create Balance by layering items of varying heights from back to front. This will create good depth.


Pick a similar theme and/or color scheme. I chose unique artful pieces with a few pictures.

Try new things. Whether it’s an abnormal color, or a funky piece of art, vintage or contemporary… Give it a go.


Add framed artwork and pictures, along with unique collectibles. Accessories break up the monotony.

I absolutely love every detail about our bookcase!  What do you love about yours?

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  1. I love how you take something that could potentially be complicated and make it easy to understand by breaking it down into segments, as you’ve done here with How To Style A Bookcase…. it’s awesome! You’ve certainly got some skills, that’s for sure! 🙂

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