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How to Style Your Bookshelf at Home

Styling your bookshelves with books, decorations, & plants can be a fantastically rewarding task, and help transform a space. Starting with a stylish bookshelf, you can decorate it until it suits your home perfectly. Below, we run through our top tips for styling your bookshelf, and some common problems to avoid.

Scandi oak bookcase and coffee table styled with plants, frames, vases

Bookcase Location

First, you should choose a location in your home to place the bookshelf. Bookshelves are versatile pieces of furniture and can go in nearly any room, including bedrooms, living rooms, studies, and even hallways.

For a bookshelf that you are looking to decorate and feature prominently in your home, you should choose a spot with enough space around it, to avoid it becoming buried, and harder to notice. Against the largest wall in your living room or the back end of a hallway are both great options.


Wooden bookcase styled with books, plants and decor

Mix Up Your Book Arrangement

Now that you have chosen the location you should look to start the decorating process. This starts in the most obvious place, by filling your bookshelves with books! But how should they be arranged on your bookshelf? While it may be tempting to line them all up vertically in nice alphabetically ordered filing, this can often give the impression of a dusty old library rather than an exciting home feature.

Mix up your book arrangement by laying books down horizontally next to vertical books, leaning books against other bookshelf features, displaying books opened on stands, and more. Have fun with it and find a dynamic book arrangement that suits your shelf, and your personality.


White wooden bookcase styled with plants, vases, frames and home decor

Add Some Natural Elements

One thing that can help a bookcase come to life is some natural elements. House plants, natural stones, driftwood, and jars full of sands can bring a fresh and lively look to your bookcase. When choosing plants, you could go with a low maintenance succulent plant or could get a vine-like houseplant whose leaves will descend the height of the bookcase. These natural elements will help balance against the more neutral and static visuals provided by the books.


cream display unit filled with dining accessories, wine glasses, napkis and a plant

Add Decorative Objects

There are other decorative objects you can consider as well. Just a few ideas are:

  • Vases

  • Artwork

  • Baskets

  • Bowls

  • Sculptures

  • Clocks

  • Stationary

These objects can bring a whole new dynamic to your bookcase. Experiment and find out what works for your style.


Scandi oak bookcase with plants, baskets, home decor and books

Don’t Go Too Full!

With all these different options it may be tempting to go overboard when adding decorative features. It is important to have some restraint when adding objects, as negative space (empty space) can be just as powerful as a feature. Try to strike a balance, so the bookshelf looks occupied, but doesn’t look like it’s about to collapse under the weight of too many items.


white storage cubes with a lamp, plants and accessories

Aim for a Cohesive Colour Scheme

Start with the colour of the bookshelf and work from there for your design. Decide on a colour scheme early so you can choose the decorative items that best suit your bookshelf and books. Having a rainbow of different colours can work if done tastefully but can just as easily look tacky and disjointed. The typical advice is to choose three main colours and build around them.


Start Your Decoration with a Quality Bookcase

For the best selection of modern bookcases & display units, browse our range at Target furniture. If you have any questions regarding the different offerings we have, feel free to get in touch and our friendly team will be happy to assist. Shop with Target Furniture today!

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