How to Style Your Bookshelves Like the Pros


How to Style Your Bookshelves Like the Pros


The key to a perfectly styled bookcase is balance. Balance of height and texture, colors and neutrals, and greenery with florals. Read on to find out how to do it!

While styling your shelves so that they are Pinterest worthy may take some skill and a design eye, it’s nothing you can’t master with a few practice runs!

Here are Kozy’s top 5 tips to style your shelves like a pro:

1. Make Your Selections

Up first, take everything off. With a clean slate it’s easier to spot where you want your items to go. Remove any items that you don’t want and take inventory there. Again, make sure you have a good mix of heights, colors, textures, and greenery to fill the space.

Photo: Avery Nicole Photo, Project Leander Luxe

A good trick to create height is to stack a vase or sculpture on a couple of books. This creates some visual interest while also following one of my rules for styling. My favorite thing to do with books is to turn the spines so that the pages are showing, that way you don’t need to worry about any clashing colors!


2. Create Item Groupings

Another tip to remember is that items look better in odd numbers. Groupings of 3 or 5 look much better and more styled than groupings of 2, 4, or 6. While symmetry is sometimes the key to good design, having a perfectly styled bookcase always tends to break this rule. You want it to look organic rather than perfectly symmetrical.

Photo: Avery Nicole Photo, Project Leander Luxe

3. Favor Variety for Interest & Contrast

Got your odd number groupings together? Good. Now, make sure that all of the 3 or 5 items are in a different category! Grouping one vase, a couple books, and a sculpture look more poised and styled than a grouping of 3 vases for example. Variety is key here, mix it up and create visual interest!

Photo: Becca Murphy Photography, Project East Side Bachelorette

4.Start Layering Your Accessories & Decor

Now to get the items on the shelves. I like to place heavier objects on the ends and back of the shelves to help anchor the space. An example would be a large and round vase on one end of the shelf paired with a book stack or artwork toward the middle. I also like to make sure both ends of the same shelf have different heights, so a tall vase on one end paired with a short succulent on the other, or, a tall vase with florals or greenery paired with a sculptural object on the opposite end.

Photo: Becca Murphy Photography, Project East Side Bachelorette

5.Step Back & Edit

Don’t be afraid to edit and make changes either. Even pro’s don’t get it right on the first try. Styling takes a lot of creativity and stepping outside the box, so stand back and take a look at your shelves and see where you can make a few small tweaks until it looks just right.

Remember practice makes perfect! It may seem overwhelming at first but once you take a couple stabs at it you’ll start having fun. Use your creativity here and don’t be afraid to make your own rules as you go!

Photo: Avery Nicole Photo, Project Leander Luxe

Stay Kozy,


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