Anatomy of a Well Styled Bookshelf

We’re moving into our new office today (!!!!!!!) so this is going to be short and sweet. Someone suggesting tips on styling bookshelves and so I thought I’d break down a few images of ones we’ve done for you with the hopes that it helps you with your own bookshelf styling!   The issue we run into with a lot of bookshelf styling jobs is not enough books. The key is to have as many books as possible- hopefully all ones that interest you, but no shame in buying books for their pretty spines (ahem!)  Too many decorative objects and not enough books is not my favorite look.

Also, when arranging- start with a blank slate. Take everything off the shelves first and start arranging shelf by shelf.  Trying to just move stuff around never works out well in my experience.

bookshelf1

bookcase2

Source tip: Buy books by color here!

bookcase3

You can visit this post to see some of our most used styling accessories to compliment your books!

18 comments

  1. I desperately needed this post- although I have the opposite problem- too many books, not enough decorative objects!
    Congrats on the new office, Erin! I cannot WAIT to see what you do with it!

    xo, brittany
    18 sneakers all under $30 on my blog today!
    http://www.notablob.com

    1. Same here! A bounty of books.
      Also be careful that freestanding shelves are anchored to the wall so they don’t fall over (more of an issue with small kids who might climb).

  2. Hope you get settled into your new office before the blizzard hits! Stay safe, Erin, and enjoy your new space!

  3. Have fun styling your new office! I know it’ll be beautiful and hope you’ll share everything with us when it’s done! Bookshelves are my favorite – thank you for this!

  4. I have a long bookcase with 3 shelves and a window over it that I had no idea how to style. FINALLY picked up EOS book last week and completely copying your styling on one that looks exactly like mine. Good stuff!

  5. I love that the books are the center of attention on your bookshelves, and I love that they aren’t covered or spine in. In my opinion, using books solely for decoration rather than for reading enjoyment looks tacky. But I know a lot of people disagree!

  6. My bookshelves used to look great, then I downsized into an apartment. Bookshelves moved with me but not all my books. I’m trying to be selective as I add books. Some of your tips can help make them look better in the meantime. I had not thought about using large platters. I have several blue willow. I also have small soapstone carvings and some antique wooden boxes.
    One section is filled with a vintage shinto shrine and holds my netsuke collection. But the rest of the shelves could use some styling.

  7. I have loved your blog for years and I was wondering if u have ever thought about doing a YouTube channel I think u would be amazing!!! Plz respond

  8. Can you tell me where I can find acrylic bookshelves like the ones in the last picture they are fabulous!!

  9. Love these looks! I wish I was better at pulling together these detailed designs! I used Furnishr when furnishing my home and was thrilled with the results. Definitely recommend.

  10. Thank you for this post Erin! I’m obsessed with styling my shelves. Could this be a future series??? Please!

  11. Thank you for this post! I think I’m the one who requested it. Our older home has tall ceilings and built ins flanking the fireplace to the ceiling. It’s overwhelming me really, but I realize I need more and even. More books. Thanks for simplifying it!

  12. This is awesome!! Wish I had seen this post earlier for more style ideas. But with lack of time, I reached out to Furnishr to get new furnishers for my condo. They created a customized package for me which included a bookshelf in the living room, plus they took care of all the logistics to setup everything in one day.

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