20 Ways To Add Style To Your Bookcase

Marika Meyer Interiors

1. Start with the background.

Add paint, fabric, wallpaper, VJ’s or even get your stencils out!

This stunning bookcase makes a great statement with it’s stencilled background and, as a result, is the aesthetically pleasing focal point of the room.

My Domaine

2. Zig-zag your vignettes.

For example, above, see how the vertical books on either side of the second shelf from the top draw your eyes to the centred vertical books on the next shelf down.

Try to balance out larger pieces too … see how, above, the larger top shelf vase is balanced by the larger pieces on the bottom shelf.

Emily Henderson

3. Build your display around a colour theme and compliment it with interesting accents.

This beautiful display of blue and white has been warmed up with touches of wood and gold.

Source Unknown

4. Create a collection of treasures to give unity to your display.

I love this ‘National Geographic’ inspired theme, above!


Or base your theme around colour AND a collection!

A colourful collection! Such pretty birds!


5. Put your hobbies and passions on display.

Habitually Chic

6. Add artwork or a mirror.

Restoration Hardware

7. Stack books vertically and horizontally.

Atlanta Homes Mag

8. If you are going for the monochromatic look, add heaps of texture, for interest.


Pottery Barn

Dimples and Tangles

9. Use a stack of books as a platform on which to display a stunning decorative piece.

Or two or three!


10. Fill large or empty spaces with interesting pieces.

Vary heights and place pieces off centre, so your shelf vignettes don’t look too symmetrical or staged.

An Urban Cottage

11. Wanting more texture?

Add something metallic, or rough and raw like these pots above.

Love Grows Wild

Baskets add texture too and may also be used to hide not-so-pretty items!

My Domaine

12. Add depth by layering smaller objects in front of larger objects, using the entire depth of the shelf.

Pure Home

Traditional Home

13. Use a variety of objects on each shelf and a variety of textures.

Emily Henderson

14. Throw in some very sculptural, eye-catching accessories to add variety and create interest.


15. Add a ladder!

Via Tumblr

16. Add some sparkle … with gold, glass, or silver objects.

Country Living

17. Group similar items together.

Items that are similar in shape, texture and colour, grouped together, unify your display.

Above, the retro cameras and glass bottle collections work so well together when displayed in groups.

Pottery Barn

Via Tumbler

18. Display what you really love.

Via A Cup Of Jo



19. Leave a little bit of breathing room on each shelf.

Avoid overfilling every shelf. Not every section has to be filled to the brim.

Via 55dreamlane.blogspot

20. Be creative!

Who needs a big bookshelf?

This gorgeous mantle bookshelf has everything … height variation, horizontal and vertical books, with some on an angle to create interest, texture, layering, depth, something shiny, pictures in frames, books used as a base to display pretty ornaments.

Just perfect.

A-M xx


This is where I muse about home design, interiors, life with my boys and other stuff that stops my heart. I own my own Real Estate agency, 'Cape Cod Residential', through which I stage, style and sell beautiful homes all over Brisbane, Australia.

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  • Pamela
    October 2, 2015 at 7:41 pm

    These look so gorgeous and stylish. But ours haven’t a hope as our passion is the books themselves – and our bookshelves are literally crammed with them. I sort through them and take lots to the Op Shop – but then we buy more! I suspect that the people these bookshelves belong to are not serious readers/book collectors, either that or they’ve packed nearly all their books away into cartons to style their houses for sale. Best wishes, Pamela

    • A-M
      October 4, 2015 at 6:34 am

      There’s something pretty special about a bookcase only filled with books! x

  • Wendy
    October 4, 2015 at 1:38 am

    I thought the same as Pamela: I just have too many books and there is no room for ornaments! I have floating shelves for the ornaments instead.

    • A-M
      October 4, 2015 at 6:35 am

      Ha! Great idea! x

Comments are closed here.

About ‘A-M’

Happy Birthday blog! 10 years old this year!

This is where I have been musing about home design, real estate, interiors and life with my boys for a decade … before Instagram , Pinterest and Houzz existed!

I have finally started my next house build, ‘The Next House That A-M Built’, so you will find all the details about the build here.

I own and manage a boutique Real Estate agency, ‘Cape Cod Residential’, through which we stage, style and sell beautiful homes all over Brisbane, Australia. We have an unrivalled staging inventory, now warehoused in a glorious 700m2 on the south side of Brisbane. This inventory enables us to present all manner of homes in their absolute best light for sale. It brings me such joy to be able to do Real Estate so differently and achieve great results for my clients.

I am so grateful to be living such a creative and full life.

A-M xx

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The first 'House That A-M Built' -Home Beautiful Cover, May 2010

Archives – The house build part of this blog is over on an old Blogspot site somewhere out there in the ether!