Decorating Tips

How to Style a Bookshelf – Tips for Creating an Engaging Display

Bookshelves are often underestimated as merely functional pieces for storing books. However, in the world of interior design, they have become a canvas for showcasing decorative objects, creating visual interest, and displaying books in an aesthetically pleasing manner. In this article, I will explore some effective tips on how to style a bookshelf that goes beyond the traditional approach, adding charm and personality to your space.

  • Arrange Books Creatively:

To create an engaging visual flow, mix up the arrangement of books both vertically and horizontally. This variation allows your eyes to travel from one shelf to another, adding a sense of movement and intrigue to the display.Bookshelf Styled by Lin Wang Adelaide Interior Decorator

  • Balancing Size and Quantity:

When selecting decorative items, aim for a mix of larger and smaller pieces. Avoid overcrowding the shelves with too many small accessories, as this can lead to a cluttered appearance. Instead, maintain a balance by keeping small items to a minimum, allowing each piece to stand out and make an impact.

  • Colour Coordination:

Consider organising your books by colour and maintaining a consistent colour palette that complements the room. Boldly coloured books that do not align with the color scheme can either be stored away or incorporated strategically to add an unexpected pop of colour. Avoid turning the spines inward, as this can make it difficult to find specific books.

Decorate with Corals and Seashells Linlin Interiors Adelaide 

  • Personalise with Photos:

Introduce a personal touch by incorporating framed photos or artwork. Place them at eye level or slightly above to ensure they are visible and can be appreciated. This adds a sentimental aspect to your bookshelf and helps create a connection between your personal experiences and the display.

  • Statement Pieces and Artworks:

To add visual interest, incorporate statement pieces such as sculptures or plants. These elements introduce curves and break up the straight lines of books, enhancing the overall aesthetic appeal. Additionally, consider adding artworks or framed prints to further diversify the visual composition and make the bookshelf a captivating focal point in the room.

Bookshelf Styling Linlin Interiors Adelaide

Texture and Variety:

Enhance the tactile experience by incorporating textured elements such as woven baskets, marble bookends, ceramic vases, and copper plates. These additions introduce different materials and textures, adding depth and richness to the overall display.

Bookshelf Styled by Linlin Interiors Adelaide

  • Backing Board Accents:

If you’re feeling creative, paint or wallpaper the backing board of the bookshelf to create a visually appealing backdrop. This technique can add depth and highlight the items on the shelves, making them stand out even more. (Photo credit: Driven by Decor)

  • Utilize the Top Space:

Extend the display beyond the shelves themselves by placing decorative items on top of the bookshelf. This adds another layer to the composition, making use of the vertical space and providing an opportunity to showcase additional objects or artwork.

Bookshelf decor

  • Adjust for Deep Shelves:

For bookshelves with significant depth, bring books and decorations forward to create a visually balanced arrangement. This ensures that items aren’t lost in the depth of the shelves, maintaining an engaging and accessible display.Bookshelf styling


By following these tips for styling a bookshelf, you can transform it into a captivating focal point that reflects your personal taste and enhances the overall aesthetics of your space. Remember, a well-styled bookshelf not only adds visual appeal but also encourages you to spend more time with your favorite books, creating a cozy and inviting atmosphere for reading. So, get started and enjoy the process of curating a beautiful bookshelf that truly expresses your style. Happy reading!