Our Decor Tips Will Make Your Bookshelf Look Like A Page From The Pottery Barn Catalog

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If your bookshelves only hold books, you’re seriously missing out! Yes, books are an amazing aesthetic, but you can make them even more aesthetic with some shelf decor! Keep scrolling to check out all our tips and product recs!


Think Beyond Books

Yes, bookshelves are called bookshelves for a reason, but rows of books give off a serious college library feel. Your shelves should be a reflection of your interests and hobbies. From artwork to framed photos, decorative objects or items picked up on your travels, let your unique personality shine through in your shelf decor.


Organize Your Shelves In Smaller Groupings

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This lets you focus on creating balance and interest across every section of the shelf and is much more pleasing to the eye. Section your bookcase out however you’d like, but make sure each grouping feels like an individual vignette.

Balance Heights

You need to vary the heights of the items you’re placing on the shelves for peak visual interest. This can be achieved by using taller decorative objects like glasswork, plants, or framed art. If most of the shelf decor items you’re working with are small, stack books vertically to create small platforms of varied height.

Texture, Texture, Texture!

The most visually interesting shelf display will have a variety of textures. Include items like leather bound books, plants, silver or gold tone objects, ceramics or bronzes, baskets or woven objects and any other fun textures you have on hand.


Odd Numbers Are Always Best

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I don’t exactly know why, but any visual designer or artist will tell you that our eyes prefer odd number groupings. So start each vignette with your tallest item and then add items in odd numbers. If you’re doing a grouping of like objects, such as a collection of vases or trinkets, always group them in odd number groupings. If you have an even number in the collection (for instance four silver cups), split it into two vignettes of odd numbers (like 1 and 3).

Leave Some “White” Space

Just as you would on a designed graphic or written page, you need some negative or white space in your shelf decor to break up the display. Otherwise it will look like clutter. Depending on your aesthetic that can be more or less — minimalist design leaves a majority of white space. More eclectic design can leave considerably less. If you’re not sure how much space to leave, you can follow the old rule of ⅓. Use ⅓ of the space for books, ⅓ for decor, and leave ⅓ as blank space.

Play With Tone

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You can purchase quantities of books in one color family from sites like One Kings Lane or 1st Dibs. Or express the color tone through the decorative objects you choose — try not to be too matchy matchy, but make sure there’s some color theme present. If all your objects are too varied for this, consider adding a backdrop to your shelves with paper, wallpaper or fabric. This can make a fun and still elegant statement to simple white or wood shelves. 


Shelf decor is a super easy, fun way to spice up your bookshelves! How do you use shelf decor? Do you use any of our tips? Let us know in the comments!

For More Home Decor Advice, You Should Read:

Make The Most Of Your Tiny Kitchen With Our Favorite Organization Hacks

The Cutest Macrame Wall Hanging Pieces You Need To Macra-Over Your Home

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