It’s often said that you can learn a lot about a person by looking at their bookshelves. Somebody’s choice of reading material will definitely give you an insight into their ideas, tastes and preference – but it can be just as illuminating to look at the way they’ve styled the bookshelf itself.
If you want to make a subtle design statement, you might want to think carefully about how to style a bookcase. These items of furniture are the ultimate storage solution and, despite their name, don’t need to be limited to books if you have other pieces you’d like to display in pride of place in your home.
In this blog post, we’ll be sharing our top tips so that you can learn how to style a bookshelf like a pro.
1. It’s all about the balance
Perhaps the easiest way to style a bookshelf is by completely filling it with books and letting your spines do the talking! But if you’re planning to put a mix of items on your shelves, it’s important to think about your spacing, arrangements and coordination.
When placing your bits and bobs on the shelves, the most important thing to bear in mind is a sense of balance. Putting lots of items on the top shelves and just a few on the bottom is unlikely to look pleasing. Instead, make sure that every shelf holds a similar number of your belongings.
As well as the number of items you’ll be keeping on your shelves, consider their shapes, sizes and position. Want to place a large vase on the right-hand corner of your top shelf? Maybe choose a stack of books that’s roughly equivalent in height to store at the left-hand corner of the shelf below. This will ensure that your shelves look even, maintaining that all-important balance.
2. Mix and match shapes
The key to a beautiful bookcase isn’t uniformity. Instead, you should try to create interest by including items with a variety of different shapes, sizes and textures.
For example, why not try mixing up the orientation of your books? On the taller bottom shelf of our Florence bookcase, arrange some of your larger books vertically. Then, on one of the narrower shelves above, place a small horizontal stack – ideally at the opposite end of the bookcase from the books below.
This will create a coordinated, but still casual, aesthetic that strikes the perfect balance between looking well-designed but not overly staged. After all, you’re probably going to want to use the items on your bookcase at some point, so you don’t want to be worrying about replacing each thing with mathematical precision on a daily basis!
3. Think about your colour scheme
If you’re planning to style your bookshelf with a range of different objects, another important factor to consider is your colour scheme. This question starts with the bookshelf itself. Our handcrafted Florence bookcases are available in four different colours to suit any style: navy blue, dove grey, white and truffle.
Once you’ve chosen the colour of your bookshelf, you’ll need to think carefully about what you want to store in it. For a neutral colour scheme that complements most décor, stick to simple white bookcases or cream, black and natural tones such as oak.
If you want to brighten things up, you can try introducing an accent colour. Green works well because this will pick up the colour of your houseplants, as well as greenery you can see outside your windows. In fact, why not add a pot plant or two to your shelves? The plant will casually trail down onto the shelves below and an extra something to your display.
4. Stick to the rule of three
When it comes to styling your bookcase (or any item of furniture, for that matter), one of the greatest tips is to stick to the rule of three.
Try arranging your ornaments, books and other items in groups of three, ideally consisting of two larger items and one smaller one. Three is one of the most pleasing numbers to the human eye and makes it much easier to create a look that’s curated and uncluttered.
Style your home with furniture.co.uk
Whatever your personal style, you’re sure to find the missing pieces for your home at furniture.co.uk. From our classic Florence collection to our chic Scandinavian-inspired Edvard Olsen range, our hand-crafted furniture has been built with your family in mind.
Want to find out more? Contact our customer support team on 01989 763343 or email [email protected] to have your questions answered. You can also learn more about creating a cosy reading nook on our blog.