Bookcase Styling: Easy Tips + Tricks

bookcase styling tips nesting with grace

Hello! Brooke from Nesting with Grace here. I have a confession, I am slightly obsessed with bookcases. I love to style them, just like Legos are to a little boy. I have had some practice over the years and learned a lot from working in a design store where we were always rearranging and putting out new product to replace sold items. I also used to do the managing of the designers in the showroom and styling a bookcase does not come natural to all designers. You are not alone if it is hard. Here are some examples and tips that I have learned over the years. Applying these tips will make you love your bookcase.

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Repeat similar colors, items, textures throughout the bookcase. It will keep your bookcase from feeling messy and cluttered, even with a lot of accessories. I used white pottery, real succulents, whites, grays, glass, gold and silver.

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I also used books throughout my bookcase. I turned the covers to the back or I tore them off so the covers wouldn’t be distracting, now they are well-balanced throughout.

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This is a well styled bookcase. Notice how she turned her books to the back. This does not always have to be done. You could also group them by color to make them flow. (image source)

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Can you imagine all of these books! Even if you don’t have this many, this is a great way to display books as well as adding in some unique accessories. ( image source )

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I love the use of books in this bookcase. They have color but the colors are also repeated in the accessories. She also balances out the bottom with heavier, larger items. (image source)

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I kept the vintage crate on the base of my bookcase and added the basket to create height in a larger opening.

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Our lovely Jen does that as well. She put a large basket on the bottom and used it for storage. Makes perfect sense. Notice how Jen’s bookcase has only a few colors and textures and again she repeats all of those same elements over and over for balance.

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This is a very well-balanced bookcase. I love the light glass clustered on the top. She repeated the woven baskets in opposite spots, not right on top of each other. Also books are stacked in several spots. Rather then just placing objects side by side they are grouped. (image source)

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I am in love with these built-in bookcases and how she made them. I love the different elements she has and it feels very cohesive. I would love to see that gold skull and the art hung on the back of the bookcase. Command strips work perfectly for that and also is another way to add some variation in height. (image source)

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This is a simple lived in way of styling a bookcase done by Sarah from Our Vintage Farm House. I love how it is set up to use the items daily, even if they aren’t. Stacking dishes and cake stands add varying height where height is needed. Again cohesive colors are used with a little pop of pink in the fresh flowers. And the bookcase alone is stunning. (Bookcase source)

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I used command strips to hang the art on the outside of my bookcase. It is a great way to add layers and showcase something you want to see better. Throughout all of my examples there are not a lot of frames or pottery just lined up, a trend that I see often and an easy way out. Start collecting unique objects that tell your story, those are the types of things that should be displayed in a bookcase. You can see more of my family room and home tour HERE.


Thank you Brooke, I always love to get ideas for styling bookcases and open shelving! By now you are in FULL summer swing and maybe looking for some summer decorating and/or entertaining ideas. I am over at Better Homes & Gardens sharing 10 easy tips for getting a “summer house” look in your own home. You don’t want to miss this post, the ideas and inspiration are incredible!

Summer House-10 easy ways to get the look

Have a fantastic weekend!


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  1. Yummy set up. Am very curious where you got the white chair!! Dearly would love to find one like that.

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