Bookcases are a great place to showcase who you are and what you love!  Shelves which are chock full of books all lined vertically tend to be boring and uninteresting while bookcases which display different collections, framed pictures, memorabilia as well as books tend to reveal stories about you, your family and friends.  When decorating a bookcase, think of it as you would decorate a room taking into consideration color, texture, height and balance. 


Just like any redesign, you need to start by removing all items from the bookcase so you can start with a blank canvas (in this case blank shelves!).  While you are emptying the shelves, if you have too many books try to pair down your collection.  For those books that you do not use, plan on using, love or even like, consider donating or giving them away as it will help clear the clutter and make you feel more organized.  After weeding out your books, start to “shop” your home for collections and other objects you would like to use to decorate your “new” bookcase.  Don’t forget to include art, candles, plants, framed pictures and other memorabilia.  Now try grouping items together by either color, collection, size, texture or theme.  Once you’ve gathered and grouped the objects, you can now start the redecorating process (which is the fun part!)!


Here are some tips for on how to redecorate your bookcases:

– Start by placing those books that you use most often vertically on the shelves so you can easily access them.  Think about grouping the books by either theme or author to make it easier to find them.  Instead of just lining the shelves with books, mix up collections or books with collections of accessories/objects to create different “scenes” throughout the shelves. Alternate stacks of books horizontally and vertically. 

– Keep things balanced and make sure the bookcase doesn’t look too weighted on one side versus another.  Try putting larger books and accessories on the bottom shelves and lighter items on the upper shelves.

– Vary height and depth among the shelves to keep it interesting.  Placing objects on top of stacked books helps to add height.  Feel free to layer accessories and books in front of each other as well (maybe place a small object in front of a framed picture or place smaller books behind larger books (if the shelves are deep enough) to give yourself extra storage space.

– Don’t forget about the rule that sometimes “less is best” so some empty space on the shelves is a good thing.  The shelves shouldn’t be crammed with books or objects.

– Using objects that add a punch of color helps to add interest.  Greenery (real or artificial) is also a nice touch as well!

– You also may want to consider removing the jackets from the books and keep the jackets in a drawer or storage box.  Books look so much nicer without the jackets!


If you need some inspiration for your bookcases, take a look in some of the home decorating magazines or the catalogs sent out by Pottery Barn, Crate and Barrel and various other home furnishing stores.  They might help to spark your inspiration and give you some ideas!

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