6 Easy, Do-Right-Now Hacks for Better Bookshelves

Actions

Take a page out of this: Whether you have a small collection or one that rivals that of the local library, your bookcases can and should be a focal point of your home. (Just type #shelfie into Instagram and you'll see what we mean.) From bookshelves that are perfectly color-coordinated, to monochromatic ones overflowing with greenery, to overcrowded shelves that somehow still look flawless, the possibilities for this one utilitarian piece are seemingly endless. Here, some of our favorite ways to take your cases from simple storage to simply gorgeous.

1. Color coordinate

You could organize your favorite books by genre or author… or you could group titles together by color. It may not be the most functional organizational system, but it’s definitely the most eye-catching. The easiest way to recreate this look is to simply group similarly colored books together to create a rainbow or ombré effect.

2. Experiment with backwards books

.

This design trend gets backlash from purists who argue its functionality, but we love how it embraces the unexpected. Turn all of the books around, pages facing out, for a uniform look. Or, flip just a few books — start with those you’ve already read, then flip more as you finish them. (Yes, that is a challenge to read them all!)

3. Add wallpaper or a pop of color

Cover the back of your shelves with colorful paint, bold wallpaper, or even contact paper for some extra interest. The key is to embrace the unexpected — try something like jet black paint or a dalmatian print wallpaper to really make a statement. This is not the time to be subtle!

4. Layer artwork and other eye-catching pieces

The wall may be the most obvious place for artwork, but smaller framed paintings and prints look right at home on bookshelves. Top a small stack of books with a framed piece to add height, or layer two photos behind a stack of books to provide depth. Small accent pieces, like sculptures or trinkets, add an element of fun and are a good conversation starter!

5. Add greenery

Organic materials, like plants, seashells, or even a bowl of pine cones, add intrigue and help draw the eye to various points on your bookshelf. Even one cascading plant can have this effect, directing you down towards the shelf below. If you doubt your ability to keep a houseplant alive, a quality faux version will do the trick. (We won't tell!)

6. Keep it simple

Done right, an uncluttered, monochromatic shelf can make an equally large impact on a space. Start with books that have a similar neutral color palette, then stack tomes both horizontally and vertically. Finish the look by layering in a few accent pieces in a similar color palette.

Next for you
How to fill a big blank wall? In this Bluprint original series, designer James Worsham helps homeowners and businesses around Nashville transform blank walls into unforgettable installations. It’s your one-stop shop for DIY tips, tricks and the occasional dad joke.
James Worsham
with James Worsham
You don't have to be a celebrity to surround yourself with beautiful blooms! In this Bluprint original series, floral artist Carly Cylinder demonstrates easy, approachable methods to building breathtaking bouquets in your own kitchen. You'll learn how to visualize arrangements, pick the perfect blooms and expertly style them.
Carly Cylinder
with Carly Cylinder
Design, fabricate and assemble built-in shelving solutions for your home. Learn new woodworking skills and techniques while creating beautiful, functional storage with this class presented in partnership with Lowe's.
Kyle Kwiatkowski
with Kyle Kwiatkowski
Now Reading
6 Easy, Do-Right-Now Hacks for Better Bookshelves