8 Bookcase Styling Tips

Make the most of your bookcases by showcasing your favorite books with accessories. 

Bookcases make it possible to organize your cherished books, but making the cases stylish can be a challenge. Following some simple tips, you can create bookcases that are as beautiful as they are useful.

Tips for Easy Bookcase Styling

Tips for Easy Bookcase Styling

Learn to Style Bookcases Simply

Photo by: Sam Henderson

Sam Henderson

1. Create a Backdrop

Change the back of the bookcases to add some character that coordinates with your decor. Cover foam core with textured or printed fabric and simply press them into place. If preferred, cover the backs with a bright-colored paint or wallpaper.

Tips for Easy Bookcase Styling

Tips for Easy Bookcase Styling

Learn to Style Bookcases Simply

Photo by: Sam Henderson

Sam Henderson

2. Organize and Order

Organize your books in a way that works for you. Choose to do it alphabetically or by category. Lay some books flat and some on their ends. Top books with accessories for a finishing touch.

Tips for Easy Bookcase Styling

Tips for Easy Bookcase Styling

Learn to Style Bookcases Simply

Photo by: Sam Henderson

Sam Henderson

Tips for Easy Bookcase Styling

Tips for Easy Bookcase Styling

Learn to Style Bookcases Simply

Photo by: Sam Henderson

Sam Henderson

3. Go Vertical

Use tall objects like vases or small table lamps to fill tall spaces. 

Tips for Easy Bookcase Styling

Tips for Easy Bookcase Styling

Learn to Style Bookcases Simply

Photo by: Sam Henderson

Sam Henderson

4. Personality Plus

Add framed quotes to reflect your personality. Choose decorative frames and print your favorite quotes using your printer. 

Tips for Easy Bookcase Styling

Tips for Easy Bookcase Styling

Learn to Style Bookcases Simply

Photo by: Sam Henderson

Sam Henderson

5. Collecting Impulse

Gather your collections and use the bookcases to showcase them. Think outside of the norm. Try vintage cookware with your cookbooks or nests with your birdwatching books. Give yourself some time to gather, assemble, and carefully curate. Add just enough to tell your story without going too far.

Blue Painted Accessories Featured on Bookshelf

Blue Painted Accessories Featured on Bookshelf

To get high-end style on a dime, unify mismatched knickknacks with a coat of spray paint. A white bowl, green bird, and gold box are just tchotchkes, but turn them all teal and they become designer touches. Distribute them throughout a bookcase to bring it all together.

Photo by: Jennifer and Kitty O'Neil

Jennifer and Kitty O'Neil

Bookcase With Ceramic Knick Knacks

Bookcase With Ceramic Knick Knacks

Whether you collect birdcages or buttons, sculpture or shells, transferware or teacups, any collection you love deserves pride of place in your home. Plus, there's power in numbers: "Anything looks better as a collection," says Mary Carol. "The different sizes, shapes and colors play off each other, and grouping a collection together gives it emphasis." Gather up your treasures around the house and mass them for a stunning display.

6. Display Souvenirs

Add small touches and artwork to remind you of travels to far away places.

Seashell Collection on Beachy Bookshelf Display

Seashell Collection on Beachy Bookshelf Display

Give your books added dimension with a little show-and-tell. Gather up one of your collections and display it among related books. Showcase butterflies with field guides, souvenirs with travel guides, or Russian lacquer boxes with the fairy tales they depict. It's like making your books come to life!

Photo by: Jennifer and Kitty O'Neil

Jennifer and Kitty O'Neil

7. Add Some Green

Place greenery some of the shelves to add life to your collection. Choose plants that will thrive with the lighting conditions available.

Tips for Easy Bookcase Styling

Tips for Easy Bookcase Styling

Learn to Style Bookcases Simply

Photo by: Sam Henderson

Sam Henderson

8. Box It Up

Make use of beautiful boxes or small cases to fill spaces.

A beautiful bookcase filled with your most cherished books and collections is just a few steps away. 

Eliminate Clutter

Eliminate Clutter

Pretty boxes are a great way to corral clutter, from television remotes to stationary. Books with their spines turned away and their pages visible also lighten up your bookshelves.

Photo by: Red Arrow Industries

Red Arrow Industries

Designer Inspiration for Home Styling

Think Like a Designer: Trends You Can DIY at Home

Find DIY ideas on how to give your home a designer look.

10 Genius Showhouse Ideas

Find amazing ideas for styling bookcases, coffee tables, consoles and more.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Copy This Look! Color Coordinate Bookshelf Decor

10 ways to curate bookshelves and liven up your home. 

Made+Remade Holiday Gift Guide

Treat the DIY junkie in your life—or yourself—to an awesome maker gift this holiday.

12 Homemade Gift Ideas From Made + Remade

Begin checking off that holiday list with a DIY gift that shows you care.

Expert Tips for Barn-Style Door Installation

Two builders offer their top tips for replacing existing doors with sliding doors.

Tasty Turkey + Stuffing Recipes Remade for Thanksgiving

Get fresh ideas for your Thanksgiving Turkey and sides with these recipes shared by DIY Network blogger Emily Fazio.