Tips for Styling a Bookshelf

I love bookshelves! I think a well designed bookshelf can add such a warmth and life to a home. In fact, we just had some built-in bookcases installed in a client's living room and the difference is amazing. Their living room is so much more friendly and inviting. However it's not enough to just have a bookshelf, it needs to be filled either with books or in some other way. Here are some ideas for how to style a bookshelf:

Tips for Styling a Bookshelf | Sarah Barksdale Design

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Of course, The most straight forward way to style a bookshelf is, well, by using books. This can look gorgeous when done is the right way. DO be thoughtful with the selection of your books and group similar books together. DONT just throw books up on the shelf in a completely random order... this will look sloppy and will ultimately make the room look sloppy. DO pay attention to balance of the bookshelf... on other words don't put all of the biggest, heaviest, bulky books all in the same area, the bookshelf needs to look evenly spaced throughout.

Tips for Styling a Bookshelf | Sarah Barksdale Design

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A more modern way to style a "full-book" bookshelf is to arrange the books chromatically. I think this look is awesome if you have a more modern or artsy style. It really makes the bookshelf look like a work of art.

Although, I love a good bookshelf that is full of books, lets be honest, we don't all have enough books to completely fill a bookcase do we? I sure don't. Nor do I have the budget to run out and buy a ton of books (unless they were from foe markets and yard sales... which isn't a bad idea if you are wanting to create the full-book look)

Tips for Styling a Bookshelf | Sarah Barksdale Design

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If you want to use all books but done have enough to fill the whole shelf, think about stacking the books and spacing them out. I think this look is classy and it allows you for flexibility as you add books to your collection.

Tips for Styling a Bookshelf | Sarah Barksdale Design

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My FAVORITE way to style a bookshelf is to mix an assortment of books and accessories. What better way to show off your books AND your family photos or family keepsakes? This is my favorite styling option because it allows my creativity to go wild and gives me a good excuse for displaying the things that are special and inspirational to me.

Tips for Styling a Bookshelf | Sarah Barksdale Design

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Just remember that the same rules for styling also apply to assorted bookshelves. DO make sure to pay attention to the balance of the shelf. This is even more important when you are using accessories along with books. Make sure you have equal amounts of books on each side of the shelf and then fill in the gaps with the accessories. DONT bunch too many of the same accessory together (for example, done place all of your photos on one side of the shelf, while all the candles are on the other. Spread them out a it). DONT have no plan when you style your bookshelf. think about the items that you want to display and how you could group them together. DO play around with the layout. You are free to arrange your shelf however you want and change it as frequently as you want!

Do you have a bookshelf in your home? How do you style it?

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