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Bookshelf Décor Ideas

Mar/03/2024 / by Rashmi Gopal Rao

How to display your collection of tomes at home

Books and decor items on shelves in an open cupboard
Photo via Shutterstock

Books in homes instill personality and infuse a unique character that reflect the occupants’ personality.  Whether you’ve built a book collection over the years or are just starting out as a reader, displaying books you love is a great way to enhance the aesthetic appeal of your space. After all, books make an exclusive décor statement, whether on floating shelves or in a dedicated bookcase or on your center table.

Organizing Your Books

A book case or wall shelf full of books can create a stunning impression.  Arranging your large collection of books in a manner that is both elegant and charming is the first step to organize your bookshelf.   Stack your books according to height and mix it up by arranging them both horizontally as well as vertically, ideally in groups of three or four.

You can segregate your books based on color, such as by arranging all white, beige, cream-colored books in one row followed by red, orange, yellow books in a separate row. This creates an interesting spectrum look. 

Alternatively, you can organize books by topic.  For example, travel books could go in one pile, books on art in another, and fiction separately.  Arranging them by author or alphabetically according to title are some other options.  If your overall color scheme is neutral and muted hues dominate your interiors, consider arranging books backward with the spines facing inward.  This idea works if you are a fan of the minimalistic look.

Styling With Accessories

Mixing up books with accessories whether it is chinaware, photo frames and even plants is a wonderful idea to amplify the visual content of your bookshelf.  Ceramics, pottery, and travel souvenirs not only elevate the look of the shelf, but also can be great conversations starters. 

Artwork is also another option to intersperse with books for added color and texture.  Make sure everything is spaced out well. You can even stack a set of books horizontally to act as a pedestal for smaller objects.  Accessories also can be good bookends, and alternately arranging books vertically and horizontally makes the arrangement interesting. 

Bright accessories also help to add a pop of color and add a contrast to neutral hued book spines.  If you are in a mood to experiment, consider painting your bookshelf in vibrant hues like olive green, cobalt blue or even pink, orange, or red. This will give your bookcase a glamorous look.

Books Beyond Shelves

If you do not have space for a dedicated bookshelf, there are plenty of options to display your books.  Floating shelves are a good way to display stacks of books along with décor accessories.  From shelves crafted in wood with vintage brackets to those with a rustic metallic finish, there are plenty of options available both online and offline.

Apart from simple, rectangular or square shapes, there are plenty of unusual geometrically shaped cases like this one which can be placed on the floor.  Further, if you are looking for something versatile try cube storage which can be easily moved around and is an great option for displaying books. 

You could also use your center table to display coffee table books, especially if they are related to travel or art. 

If you like quirky and boho chic décor, stack your cookery books on your kitchen shelves, consider stacking books on your bedside chair, or even on the mantle or under the staircase.

Maintaining Your Books

It is key that you maintain your books by periodically cleaning and dusting them.  Ensure that you keep books with fragile covers horizontally while hard bound books can be stacked vertically.  If you have rare books, first editions, author signed books or any book that holds a special value, make sure you place them in glass-enclosed shelves so that they remain safe.  Shield your books from harsh sunlight or high intensity light and always keep them in a place that is dry and cool. 

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