How to Style a Bookshelf with Books

Accentuating your home with the right type of décor can be a tricky endeavor, but there’s one sure-fire way to make any room look stylish and inviting: styling a bookshelf with books.

How to Style a Bookshelf with Books

There’s something about the sight of neatly organized stacks of books that always looks pleasing to the eye.

Additionally, when styled correctly it can brighten up any drab corner in your home and transform it into the perfect place for reading and relaxing. In this blog post, we will discuss everything you need to know about how to style a bookshelf with books!

We’ll help you select just the right volumes for display on your shelf, choose beautiful coordinating covers and colors, incorporate plants or furniture pieces as accent elements, arrange decorative accents alongside spine spines—and more! Read on for all our best tips on how to style a bookshelf that stands out from the others.”

How Should You Put Books in a Bookshelf?

When styling a bookshelf with books, there are several things to consider. Here are some tips on how to effectively arrange your books:

1. Layer Different Sizes of Books Together.

This includes grouping different sizes of hardcover and paperback books together and mixing them up for an appealing visual effect. On the top shelf, you can place a few larger or hardcover books to draw the eye in.

2. Organize by Color.

Grouping books of similar colors together, shades of green and blues, can create an aesthetic display that will add texture to your shelves. You also try arranging books based on their binding color for a more uniform look.

3. Reserve Some Space for Display Items.

Besides books, you can also add other decorative items to spruce up your display and create a more curated feel. This can include vases, small sculptures, and plants to bring some life into the room. You don’t have to fill up all of the shelf space with just books.

4. Create Interest with Groupings of Books Upright and Laid Flat on Shelves.

Mixing it up by putting some books upright while laying others flat can give your shelves more interest without looking cluttered or unorganized. Keep an even mix of standing books and laying books so that neither takes over too much visual space on the shelf.

10 Methods How to Style a Bookshelf with Books

1. The Cover Method

One way to style a bookshelf is to choose books with covers that match your overall aesthetic. This can be a great way to add a pop of color to your shelf or to create a cohesive look if you have a lot of different books.

Covers That Match Your Overall Aesthetic

To do this, simply arrange your books so that the spines are facing out, and group them together by color or theme. If you want to keep the overall look simple and classic, opt for books with neutral covers, such as white or gray.

2. The Odds and Ends Method

Another way to style a bookshelf is to use odds and ends to fill in empty spaces. This can include items like vases, candles, picture frames, or sculptures. Arranging these items alongside your books can help to create a more interesting and visually appealing shelf.

Place the items in an organized and orderly fashion, such as by size or color. This natural symmetry will bring a sense of balance to your bookshelf. If you’re looking to bring a sense of warmth and personality to your shelf, consider adding plants or flowers on top or around the books. This can help to soften the look and make it more inviting.

3. The Accessorize Method

If you want to add a personal touch to your bookshelf, consider accessorizing it with items that reflect your interests or personality. This could include things like travel souvenirs, family photos, or art prints.

By adding these personal touches, you can make your bookshelf feel more like home. You can also use these items to create a color palette for your bookshelf by selecting items of different colors and sizes. This will help tie the look together and make it cohesive.

When accessorizing, be sure to use items that are of similar size, so they don’t overcrowd the shelf. Once you have your items in place, arrange them around the books to create a balanced look Also be sure to leave enough room for books. After all, it is a bookshelf!

4. The Plant Method

Adding plants to your bookshelf can help to create a more natural and inviting space. Plants can also help to purify the air in your home and improve your overall health. If you choose to add plants to your shelf, be sure to select varieties that are well-suited for indoor growth.

Look for plants that require minimal light and water, such as succulents. Place them strategically throughout the shelf to create a unified look. You can also use planters to add a bit of texture and color to your shelf. Be creative and experiment with different heights, shapes, and sizes for a truly one-of-a-kind look.

5. The Minimalist Method

Choosing Only the Essential Items

If you prefer a more simplistic look, you may want to style your bookshelf with a minimalist approach. This involves choosing only the essential items for your shelf and arranging them in a clean and orderly fashion. To achieve this look, select neutral-colored items and avoid clutter by keeping only the essentials on your shelf.

Place items in a way that emphasizes the beauty of their shapes and materials, such as by stacking books side-by-side or vertically rather than randomly. Make sure to also leave some empty space for your shelf to breathe and look clean. Lastly, choose items with texture or design elements that will add interest to your minimal look.

6. The Color-Coded Method

One way to make organizing your bookshelf easier is to color-code them according to genre or subject matter. This can help you quickly find the book you’re looking for without having to search through all of your shelves. To color-code your shelves, simply arrange your books by color or theme and label each section accordingly.

This can help you organize your books more efficiently and make it easier to find what you’re looking for. Try to assign colors to different genres or categories, such as green for science fiction, red for romance novels, blue for mystery books, and so on. You could even assign colors to particular authors or series that you enjoy.

7. The Vertical Stacking Method

If you have limited space on your bookshelf, you may want to consider stacking your books vertically instead of horizontally. This can help you fit more books onto your shelf without sacrificing style. When stacking your books vertically, be sure to alternate between different sizes and colors for a more visually appealing look.

You may also want to pair your books up with other decorative items, such as small plants, figurines, or even a vase of flowers. When styling with the vertical stacking method, be sure to leave some breathing room between books and other items so that your shelf looks organized and well-balanced.

8. The Seasonal Method

Styling It With Seasonal Books

If you’d like to update your bookshelf with the changing of the seasons, try styling it with seasonal books and decor. During the winter months, pick out a few interesting titles that evoke snowy landscapes and cozy nights in.

You can also pair them with decorative elements like pine cones small evergreen plants, and candles to create a truly seasonal feel.

In summertime, bring out the bright colors and lighter reads for an inviting atmosphere in your living room. Add pops of color with brightly-hued decorative elements and even a few beachy accents for an extra seasonal flair. With the seasonal method, you can quickly and easily update your shelf to transition from season to season!

9. The Matching Method

If you’d like to add a touch of elegance to your bookshelf, consider styling it with matching sets of books. This can be done by collecting books with similar colors, sizes and/or textures. Start by selecting a few color palettes that you think will look great in your space, then begin to search for the corresponding sets of books.

Add in Accent Pieces

You can also add in accent pieces like neutral-colored bookends and various decorative objects to break up the monotony and add visual interest. This method is also a great way to show off your favorite book collections, as it helps create an interesting color palette that stands out. Additionally, make sure to leave some empty space between each set of books so your shelf looks more intentional and styled.

10. The Unique Method

Finally, if you’d like to create a truly unique look for your bookshelf, try styling it with items other than books. You can fill it with plants and knick-knacks or try storing your items by color or size. Anything you can think of will work!

Just make sure to keep the heavier items on the bottom shelf and lighter objects on the higher shelves. Experiment and have fun with it–you never know when you’ll come up with a stunning, unique bookshelf style.

How Do I Make My Shelves Look Nice?

When it comes to styling a bookshelf with books, the key is to create a balance between form and function. To achieve this balance, you will want to organize your books by size, color, style or even genre. This will help create an aesthetically pleasing look while maintaining an organized system that is both functional and visually appealing.

Once you have your books organized, it is time to start deciding on decorations. Decorations can range from plants and art pieces to family photographs and figurines. Just remember that the decorations should complement the books rather than overpower them. Try to pick items with similar textures and colors so they blend in with the rest of the shelf.

Mix and Match


Styling a bookshelf with books is a great way to add personality to any living space. With our tips, you’ll be able to create an attention-grabbing display that accentuates the aesthetic of your home.

Be sure to mix and match textbook spines with larger coffee table books, paperbacks with journals or albums, and hardcovers with novels or vintage pieces.

And don’t forget to throw in small trinkets or other mementos for some added flair. Hopefully, this article gave you some helpful tips about how to style a bookshelf with books successfully, so now that you have the proper knowledge on how to get the job done, why not give it a try today?

Photo of author

Adrian Green

Adrian is a woodworking hobbyist and has loved Woodworking since he was 10 years old. Back then in childhood, his father used to have a furniture shop. He used to help his dad and learned a lot from him about how to fix woodworking furniture, basic carpentry knowledge and also about how to work hard and take care of business. He enjoys woodworking as a hobby. He loves the feeling of creating something with his own hands, and the satisfaction that comes from seeing his finished products used by others.

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