Do you have a bookcase or shelving unit in your home that just never seems to look “right”? Well, you’re in luck today because I’m walking you through my no-fail tips for styling a bookcase. Through this process, I’m also going to show you how I decorated one of my bookcases.


No-Fail Tips for Styling a Bookcase

No-Fail Tips for Styling a Bookcase:

I do follow a few “rules” when it comes to getting the look I want in a bookcase/shelving unit. Here are the elements I keep in mind: function, color, shape, texture, spacing, botanical, bling, and personal.

I know this may seem like a lot, but each aspect is important. Once I explain things a bit, I’m sure it will make sense. I’ve snapped some pictures of a bookcase in my apartment to walk you through the process. Let’s do this!

Bookcase Styling Tips:

Function – Decide what you need your shelving to do.
I wanted to use this bookcase for storing books and miscellany. It’s close to my kitchen so it needs to double as a wine rack. My overall goal is to balance storage and décor.

No-Fail Tips for Styling a Bookcase

Color – Stay within your color palette.
Here I used greens, teals, and blues. These are the colors I have in the rest of the room. I pulled in neutrals as well (black, white, and wood) because they coordinate with details in the space.


No-Fail Tips for Styling a Bookcase

Shape – Use a variety of shapes to create balance and interest.
A bookcase full of square items is probably going to be a bit boring. To break up the sharp lines of my bookcase, I added elements with different shapes – my bunch of grapes, tree sculpture, and round pots and vases. This keeps things interesting!


No-Fail Tips for Styling a Bookcase

Texture / Pattern – Bring in multiple ones to enhance visual appeal
Things like plants, baskets, and wood are great for adding texture. Incorporate them throughout your bookcase to create different surfaces.


No-Fail Tips for Styling a Bookcase

Spacing – Leave some empty space. (It’s the difference between collected and cluttered.)
Allowing room between the items is better than cramming in too much. When a piece can breathe, it can stand out.


No-Fail Tips for Styling a Bookcase

Botanical – Include flowers and plants to complete a space.
If you ever look at a shelving unit and think it’s missing something try adding a plant or fresh cut flowers. A botanical element is a natural way to finish off any space.


No-Fail Tips for Styling a Bookcase

Bling – Add something that sparkles – glass, metallic, mirrors, crystals, etc.
Finally, every space needs a little bling. Add something metallic or another item that reflects light (like my vintage bunch of grapes). Touches like these will instantly give your bookcase life and movement.


No-Fail Tips for Styling a Bookcase

And voila! Your bookcase went from drab to fab in seven simple steps! I hope these ideas are helpful.


No-Fail Tips for Styling a Bookcase

As always, Happy Decorating!

Disclosure: This blog post may contain affiliate links as part of the Amazon Services LLC Associate Programs and other affiliate services. This means that receives a small commission by linking to and other sites at no cost to the readers.

Posted By at 1:06 PM
Tags: // // //
Love it?
Share it!
You may also like...
Inspired By Charm Paint Colors

  • Kathie at

    This is very useful! Where did you get the tree sculpture?

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      I found it years ago on Etsy.

      xo Michael

      • Sherry Holinaty at

        I found it. 2of2goods Etsy

  • Teri at

    “Your apartment”. do you have 2 residences or is this an older post? Don’t tell me you’ve moved from your gorgeous home?!

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      This is an older post. I found it as a “draft” in my posts and realized I never posted it. Ack!

      I still think the advice is applicable (regardless of where you live), so I figured I would publish it.

      Thanks for asking!

  • Sherry Holinaty at

    Hi, i loved the trees the first time I saw them but I can not find the post to locate the source. What etsy shop did you find them?

    Thank you, Sherry

  • Linda Joy Bannister at

    This is really attractive but where do I put all of my books? You have about 10 books total on this lovely bookshelf. Most of us have many more favorites so maybe a post on what to do with your books. I give away the ones I don’t want and store the ones I don’t think I need but there are so many I like to have at hand. Thanks!!

    • Joy at

      ….I tried to delete this comment after I read it because I didn’t want to sound critical. You actually have 14 books displayed and it’s very nice.

      • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

        Not critical at all. I have another bookcase in my office that is full of books. This is just more decorative. However, you could certainly add more books to this type of styling if you wish. This is just a guide. I always recommend making it your own too.

        xo Michael

  • Suaan at

    Very useful, valuable information on styling but WHERE do you keep all your books if not on the bookcase? I love all the design details but have a great collection of books and not sure how to implement all this? Looks like there are only about 10 books on this “bookshelf.” I hope this does not sound snarky. It is certainly not meant to be. Just an honest question of how to store books and still look nice. I enjoy all your posts and always learn something!

  • Theresa Ball at

    I was happy to to see the bunch of grapes. My mother back in the late60’s made several bunches of these grapes. She made red and one exactly like the bunch on your bookcase. Brings back memories of her being crafty.

Post a comment (Need an avatar?)

* required fields