Shelves are an often overlooked aspect of home decor, used to haphazardly stow books and miscellaneous objects. Turn them into an impressive display using these 10 tips:

1. Vary book orientation.

Shake up the traditional way to display books by stacking some horizontally and some vertically.

Mix and match vertical or horizontal books

Source: Apartment 34

2. Use artwork and photographs.

A well-styled shelf doesn’t have to be devoid of a personal touch. Mix photos in with artwork.

Styling a bookshelf: mix family photos in with art

Source: 320 Sycamore

3. Color coordinate.

Choose the color of pieces on the bookshelf by pulling them from the room the shelves are in. This bookshelf picks up on the pinks, blues, and golds in the rug.

4. Use objects as bookends.

Nix traditional bookends in favor of mismatched accents in a similar color palette. This gives your shelf a curated, one-of-a-kind look.

5. Take cues from the bookshelf itself.

Pull inspiration from the shelf’s style. In this case, an industrial bookshelf lends itself to vintage touches, like an old typewriter. The decorative accents also mirror the shelf’s wood and iron materials.

Industrial IKEA hack shelf with vintage industrial decor

Source: Skreytum Hus

6. Use storage as decoration.

Kill two birds with one stone: boxes, bins, and baskets will fill up visual space while hiding any clutter. Choose patterns or colors that flow with the rest of the shelf decor.

7. Keep it monochromatic.

Get an instantly polished and chic look for your bookshelf by choosing monochromatic decor.

8. Bring in natural elements.

Whether real or fake, plants add color, texture, and life to your shelves. Accents in organic materials like wood complement the plants.

9. Go symmetrical (almost).

While a common bookshelf styling tip, if the thought of shelves decorated asymmetrically makes you uneasy, know that a balanced design can work too. Just swap out enough elements to make the shelves appear symmetrical without actually being the same.

 

10. Use books as art.

Display eye-catching book covers facing outward. This will both take up space and add visual interest.

See more bookshelf styling inspiration on our Pinterest.

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