The Great Bookshelf Challenge

There’s just something about beautiful bookshelves filled with a collection of all of your favorite things… or perhaps all of those books you intend to read when you find the time! But, arranging bookshelves can be a bit of challenge. We get asked all of the time for help styling bookshelves. So, in this week’s blog, we’ll tackle this challenge with some tips and tricks for filling all of that empty space!

I love the bookshelves pictured below because they showcase a number of successful strategies for making a beautiful display. First, group collections of similar items, like vintage books, or the coral and sea shells on these shelves. Always arrange your books in different directions, grouped vertically and horizontally. A stack of horizontal books can do double duty and serve as a platform for showing off something special, like this horseshoe crab.

But, what about the books? These are bookshelves, right? Raise your hand if you still have a collection of paperback books from college somewhere in your house? You are not alone! That old TS Eliot may bring back lots of memories, but it may not be worthy of prominent display on your bookshelves. I will admit I even have my copy of The Great Gatsby from high school! If there is a classic that means a lot to you, why not consider picking up a lovely hardbound copy of it? You can actually purchase beautiful collections of books online at places like One Kings Lane. I love this set of green vintage books that includes a gorgeous copy of Jane Eyre.

Using wallpaper or paint in the back of bookshelves is a great way to instantly fill the empty space and add color and texture. I love the way the objects placed on these shelves pop against the background, especially the light grasscloth paper in the master bedroom below. Having a background color will also allow you to display light colored objects more successfully.

Want to incorporate a group of neutral objects on your own bookshelves? Here are a few pieces of coral and sculpture to get you started!

What if you just have lots and lots of books?? Embrace it! Fill up all of that space. The key is for all of the shelves to be filled. If you don’t have quite enough books, break up each shelf by displaying some of your favorite items. Books can naturally bring so much color and pattern to a space that it can make it easier for you to mix in plenty of colorful objects. Just be sure that the surrounding decor doesn’t compete with all of that pattern. In this room, the soft shades used on the chair and window treatment blend in seamlessly.

Looking for a few colorful objects to fill the gaps on your shelves? Check out a few eclectic items here:

Here are a few of my favorite finds this week, some for your bookshelves and some just for you!