5 Tips for Decorating Bookcases and Bookshelves

Bookcases are fabulous pieces of furniture to use for extra storage and showing off some of your most prized possessions. Having bookcases in your home can let guests get a sense of your personality. They also help you organize and store your book collection. Of course, you can use these tall storage structures to hold much more than books. From sculptures to journals to precious photographs, there are so many different ways to decorate a bookcase in your home. Here are the top tips and ideas for decorating bookcases in your home!

How to Decorate a Bookcase or Bookshelf

Bookshelf styling and bookcase decor are somewhat of an art. From the placement of objects to comparing sizes and colors, it’s something that most people don’t know how to do instinctively. It’s often not as simple as loading up the shelves with books like you would do in a reading nook! Not to worry, we’ve got several examples to guide you through this common decorating process.

1. Put the Breakables Towards the Top

If you have kids or large pets, be sure to keep any breakables towards the top of your bookshelf to avoid accidentally broken objects! Things like glass jars, mirrors, and vases are best kept out of reach from the little ones. These amazing bookcase decor ideas will all go to waste if things get broken, after all!

2. Less is More

Even if your natural instinct is to fill up your bookshelf or bookcase as much as possible, don’t give in to this! When it comes to decorating a bookshelf, less is actually more. You don’t want to over clutter the shelving space. Instead, it should feel light and airy.

Brass accents help tie together all the pieces of this bookshelf styling arrangement:

Built-in Bookcase with brass accents via @sitamontgomeryinteriors

3. Pick a Color Theme

A good idea is to choose a color theme for your bookcase. If you live in a coastal home, you may want to only include objects that are blue, green, and coral. If your home is more rustic, you may want to go for a more neutral palette.

This feminine bookshelf has mainly pink and blue accents including a blue ginger jar.

Bookshelves with Books and Ginger Jars Decor via Lattes + Lavender
Lattes + Lavender

4. Personal Touches

You should absolutely think about including some personal artifacts from your home as part of your shelf decor. This could include family photos, your children’s art projects, family diplomas, and other personal effects. Giving your home a personal touch will make it feel yours.

This bookshelf has lots of cameras showing the homeowner loves photography!

Cameras on a Home Bookshelf Styling via Hannah Pobar
Hannah Pobar

5. Change It Up Every Season

Don’t be afraid to add a wide variety of accents and objects to your shelves. When a new season rolls in, adjust your decorations accordingly. You may want to have bright colored shelves in the spring and summer, warm orange tones in the autumn, and cool blues and whites in the winter. One of the best bookcase decor ideas is to keep things in season!

I hope these bookshelf decor ideas gave you a better idea of how you want to organize your bookshelves or bookcase at home!


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