Bookcase Styling Design

Do you have a bookcase or shelf that you just can’t seem to get right? Bookcases can be super difficult to style! Especially if you’re unsure of what to use in terms of accessories, or struggle to find aesthetically pleasing items already at home to display on them. Luckily, there are a few principles to keep in mind when accessorizing a bookcase! In this Shop the Look feature I’m going to share my top tips and ideas on how you can create a Bookcase that is styled to perfection!

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How to Recognize a Styled Bookcase


A styled bookcase is one that looks perfectly balanced. Traditionally a bookcase would only contain books, however this can often look cluttered or bulky. So by using decorative accessories, you can actually create a perfectly styled bookcase! This combines books, with other household items like photo frames, and accessories to give it that polished, cohesive, and designer look.

Fun Bookcase Styling Facts:

Built in the 16th Century, the existing bookcases at Oxford University are the oldest to remain. It was during this time that the first bookcases were invented and built. Libraries became popular, where shelved galleries over flat walls were installed to showcase collections of books.

Since then, bookcases have evolved massively! But the original principle remains the same – shelves installed over flat walls in order to display books. The main difference nowadays is that not everyone reads the same books, nor places the same importance on it. Instead, bookcases are often used as a combination of things! Firstly as storage for any books in the house, but also as a way of displaying family memories and other decorative items to create a well rounded and balanced area.

In order to create a well balanced bookcase, it’s important to think about all shelves together and use the zig-zag principle. This principle means that items with a similar shape or size shouldn’t be placed directly above, below, or beside each other. Instead – they should be diagonally placed from one another.

Style Clues

This style often includes:

  • Books and / or magazines
  • Decorative accessories   
  • Picture frames
  • Vases or faux plants

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Scandinavian Design

Bottle Vases - Set of 3

Start your bookcase off with a set of vases. This is an easy way to inject some texture and different heights into the bookcase!

Scandinavian Design Chairs

Wedge Bookends - Set of 2

Add decorative bookends like these wedge ones, to keep books in place. Choose bookends that are full of color, texture, or even a decorative piece.

Scandinavian Design

Boxwood Artificial Plant

Inject some greenery to your bookcase through faux plants! These are maintenance free and provide extra color to bookcases.

Scandinavian Design

Velvet Frame

These velvet picture frames are perfect for using on a bookcase because they add color and texture while showcasing family memories!

Scandinavian Design Chairs

Bust Pot

Add interesting pots to your bookcase in order to showcase more greenery and inject a visual interest piece.

Scandinavian Design

Ceramic Sculptural Objects

Use sculptural objects like these ceramic ones, to provide visual interest to the bookcase!

Scandinavian Design

Faux Succulent Bowl

We love this faux succulent bowl because it adds extra greenery and a decorative touch through the bowl.

Scandinavian Design Chairs

Symmetrical Brass Objects

Use sculptural metal objects on a bookcase to add a decorative metal into the mix. These objects are great for using on top of flat books!

Scandinavian Design

Agate Stone Bookends

These agate stone bookends provide so much depth in color! And are a practical addition to a bookcase.

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