Do you want to learn the secrets to styling a functional and beautiful bookcase?  No matter what your style is we have five simple tips on how to turn an ordinary bookcase into a stylish display.

Bookshelf styling

Clear your shelves

This is the first most important step.  Clear out all of your shelves.  Have a box on hand to store or pass on unwanted items that are no longer needed.

Bookshelf Styling


Add your books in sections, depending on the size of your bookcase.  Lay your books horizontally or stand them up to add height to your vignette.  Mix up your book placement from shelf to shelf. Use your larger decor pieces as book ends to hold up your books and add a decorative piece on top of your books to finish off your display.

bookcase styling

Colour & Collections

Choose what colours you are going to use.  You can take inspiration from  your favourite collection you have, such as blue and white decor pieces or a collection full of old colourful teacups.  The right combination of pattern, texture and colour can add dimension to your shelf.

Bookshelf styling

Natural Elements

Add some greenery to your shelving with a plant.  Stylists often use fresh flowers or indoor plants to add an element of nature and green to a room.  This cyclamen plant is a perfect fit.  Cyclamens come in shades of pink and white.

Bookcase styling

Pretty Things

I love this part, you can now add all your pretty decor pieces for your collection.  I have chosen to add some large shells on top of my books to finish off my display.

Follow this simple system to styling your own bookcase or shelf and you can now style your own with confidence.  We would love to see your work.  Tag us on Instagram using the hashtag #diyshelfie or on facebook.

You can read about Styling Secret No. 1 on DIY Decorator to also help you create beautiful shelves.

Style a bookcase