4 simple ways to beautify your bookshelves

November 6, 2014

Bookshelves are a necessary piece of furniture for stashing your beloved, dog-eared novels, but you're missing out if you're not also using them as a decor asset.

4 simple ways to beautify your bookshelves

1. Nix the neat freak

It's true that organizing your novels and chapbooks alphabetically can be very soothing (and it's how they do it at the library), but if you always stack your items A-Z, you're not creating as compelling a visual presentation as you could be.

  • Try organizing by the colour of each book's spine, either progressing in a rainbow-like gradient (a decorating blog favourite), or simply by colour blocking various shelves for graphic impact.
  • Arranging by size can also be a fun alternative, allowing you to create wave forms.

2. Get out of your row rut

The most expertly arranged bookshelves use a variety of book placements, not just tidy side-by-side rows.

  • Choose a selection of smaller books to stack horizontally to create contrast.
  • Don't be afraid to let some books lean a bit to the side, angles can be eye-catching.
  • If you're really ready to mix it up, try organizing your books with the spines facing inward, which has become a recent, unexpected design trend.

3. Fill in the spaces

Use horizontally stacked books as miniature platforms for your favourite trinkets.

  • Decorative boxes can provide further height variation, allowing you to show off small objects like figurines, picture frames, candles, bud vases and more.
  • Petite plants like succulents are also great for giving a lush, organic feel to your bookshelf.

4. Think beyond the shelf

Run out of shelf? No problem.

  • Take a critical look at your living space for unique spots to store books.
  • For example, try stacking them horizontally in a non-functional fireplace, arranging them at crisp right angles on a coffee table or even displaying them on moulding above doors (a clever trick for thin books with pleasing cover art).

Better yet, books can even become furniture on their own.

  • Another hot design trend involves creating towering stacks of sturdy books in a living room or bedroom. (Just make sure to keep the ones you refer to often near the top.)
  • Worried about them toppling? Seek out specially made "invisible" shelves through popular online retailers.

These tips will help you to arrange your heavy tomes and treasured trinkets to get the biggest decorating bang out of those books.

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