How to decorate a bookcase

by Rustic Charm

From books to photos, family treasures and travel mementos, your bookshelf can be used to showcase your unique personality and style. If you’ve never tackled bookcase styling before, we’ll walk you through our top tips. The best part is, all our decorating principles can be applied to bookcases of all shapes and sizes.


Source: Amber Lewis Interiors

First things first…

You need a bookcase! Before styling, make sure you’re starting with a beautiful base. Sometimes, even the more proficient stylists struggle if the bookshelf is a  little lack-lustre. Here are some of our favourite bookcases


With our Modular Bookcase, you can customise your bookcase needs to suit your storage requirements and space. This particular arrangement has six elements you can choose from, making it perfect for small office spaces as well as sprawling living rooms. Available in various colours or two-toned combinations, to suit any home. 


This gorgeous Claremont Bookcase in grey, white and navy, and polar white provides the best of both worlds, open storage above and concealed cupboards below. It’s a great option for bigger rooms where you may like to hide a few things way for practical reasons, while still providing a platform to show off your favourite treasures. The Claremont is the perfect solution to fill a long wall or hallway (as seen below). Choose from either timber painted knobs or brass knobs, for an elevated look. 



Featured in Hunter Green, Navy Blue (below), and Polar White, the Newport Grand Library Bookcase is a stylist’s delight. Not to mention, a bookworm’s dream! Acting as an entire library itself, this bookcase creates a focal point worthy of constant admiration. Perfect for a home office to store all your books, files and stationery suppliers. 

A bookcase of this style and size, helps to anchor large open-plan living areas, by giving the space visual weight. It even comes with a sweet ornamental ladder — it does half the decorating work for you!


Now, let's style!

If you’re a budding stylist, you know a bookshelf isn’t just for books. For the most part, you probably have heaps of elements you can use for styling (as well as books). We suggest a cohesive theme or colour palette to bring everything together effortlessly. Look around your home for:

  • Vases
  • Plants
  • Decorative pieces
  • Books with aesthetic spines and covers
  • Photo frames
  • Small baskets
  • Sculptural element such as décor objects or pottery
  • Mini framed Artwork
  • Candles
  • Holiday souvenirs
  • Trays
  • Bowls


First step is to add your books, after all that's the primary use of a bookshelf! Be creative and stack books on top of one another as well as lining them up next to each other with a nice bookend to keep them in place- consider a larger piece of pottery or heavy vase, instead of a traditional bookend.

Now, layer in larger décor pieces like Artwork, Photos or trays- these help to fill up the space vertically and break up the "white space". 

Work in softer shapes like organic pieces- stone or pottery  pieces with interesting shapes, greenery or florals (faux or real) will add softness to the overall scheme.

Stylist Tip: We’re commonly seeing books lined up with the spine inwards, and the white pages outwards to create more texture and colour unison. This is a great trick to fill gaps or upper shelves which may be out of reach. Shop second hand stores for inexpensive fillers. 

Key tip: Fewer more substantial pieces always look better than lots of little pieces, so choose your elements accordingly. Consider vintage pieces to give your shelves a collected-over-time look. 


Source: Decorpad

You can restyle your bookshelf setup as often as you like, so don’t feel disheartened if you don’t love it right away. Mix it up, and have fun!


Source: Bria Hammel


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