How to Style a Book Shelves like a Pro.

Hello all,

Today we have another instalment of Darby's Design ideas. We have spent a long, long time in our homes over the past months. No doubt everywhere you look you wish for something new and different. Well here is a quick and easy way to update your rooms and pretend you're somewhere else!


Book shelves…aren’t just for books. They are focal points a room and a home for treasured items.

Book Shelf Develop a Colour Scheme 
First have a look at the colour behind where your objects will be sitting. The name of the game is finding contrast so your gorgeous objects are visible. If it is a dark or wood background, you will be looking for objects that are light in colour. If you have a white or light coloured background, you can look for darker and brighter objects. 

Tip: you can always spray paint objects so they work with your scheme. This is a great way to re-purpose grandma’s vase or kids toys

And Another Tip: If you would like your books to look lighter in colour, place them with their pages facing out instead of spines out. As I am practical to a fault, you will only want to do this if you are using a small number of books. We never want to sacrifice organization for style.

Book Shelf

Book Shelf

Diversify your objects  

What other objects do you have that work with your existing colour scheme? What other colours or textures (such as woods, metals or stone) are in your room that you would like to tie into the objects on your book shelf. This is an easy way to bring things together for a cohesive look. 

Tip: Include objects that are tall, short, large and small and make sure there is space between them so they have room to breathe.  

Tip: For each object, try to have 2-3 similar ones. For example, in this picture there are 3 baskets and several similar stacks of books. They add weight and consistency to your book shelves.


 Book Shelf
photo: Alice Lane Interior
Find Balance 
Make sure you find balance with your objects. They can be symmetrical or asymmetrical. You can rearrange the objects as much as you need to achieve this.

    Tip: Don't be afraid of height. Have objects that fill the space vertically. This brings a feeling of luxury to the shelves.

    Tip: When I am happy with the way a book shelf looks, I will take a photo on my phone and have a look. I find looking at my work in two dimensions helps me decided if anything needs moving or changing.

    The wonderful part about styling your shelving unit is that nothing is permanent. You can have fun and play around with the pieces until you get it exactly right.

    As always, I prefer the less is more approach. Let your pieces shine.

     Feature image by @griffenstudio


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