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Everyone has a bookshelf in their home. Most people just stack their books up with no sense of design. Maybe they will put a few nicknacks here and there to fill up space but most of the time all I see is a shelf being used as storage. Why not jazz it up a bit and add a sense of style that will not only look great but complete the entire room.

With a little guidance, anyone can do this. Yes, you need to have an eye for these things but that’s what I’m here for. I used to have two bookcases in my old living room that I will use as an example. I hope these tips can help you overcome the “bookcase black hole” and give your shelves a sense of design and pizazz.

First, you want to start organizing your books into categories. Either group them by color, by size or both. It’s also good to keep certain subjects together so you can find what you are looking for in a pinch. Sometimes it’s cool to have a section of old vintage books to add a little touch of history to the room.

Group books by subject

Keeping books of the same size together looks organized and clean

Then, gather up some cool things around the house that you can showcase on the shelves. If you collect things this would be a great opportunity to let them shine. I happen to have a collection of old bottles and vintage radios that I display throughout mine. Any other unique accessories you have that you think would look nice, include them as well. You don’t want too many or else it will look too crowded so make sure you pick the best small items you have.

Break up books with unique accessories

Bookends are something you should consider buying if you don’t own some already. They will definitely come in handy and they add a nice touch. Nowadays, there are so many different types and styles you should have a lot of luck finding one that matches your decor.

Now that you have all your items and books together it’s time to have some fun. It’s important to remember balance. You want to think of the bigger picture so the final result looks complete and well put together.

Try to spread the books out among all the shelves. Arrange the books largest to smallest, stack some up on top of each other and place them on different sides of the shelves. You don’t want all the shelves to look the same so switch it up a bit.  Then start adding the decorative items. Keeping size in mind, fill in the empty spaces. This might take some time. You will need to move things around a bit to see what looks best. Always keep some space around items and don’t crowd the shelves.

Place bigger items on top

A great tip for placing items is to group things in threes. Sometimes when you put two things together it looks like it’s missing something. Three is the perfect number.  Keep this in mind when you are decorating any space in your home.

Group items in threes

Small objects find a cozy place on top of a vintage radio

Placing an object or a bowl with some unique items on a stack of books lightens it up

Now, you want to use an array of items but try not to go crazy.  Keep objects in the same color families, such as neutrals, so you don’t have one bright yellow piece standing out. Having an eyesore like that will ruin the look.  You want your book shelf to stand out, not one particular item.

Glass shelves allow more space to showcase your favorite items

Have fun with this project.  If you’re like me, you will want to rearrange every room in the house. I absolutely love doing things like this. Not only because I am a designer and addicted to organizing, but it really relaxes me.  The bonus is a great piece of art I created with objects that I love.

Add some color and organize your office space as well with magazine files and boxes

What’s even better than that is how people get drawn in to look and are interested in my book collection. The whole point of design is to attract and submerge. You want people interested in what you created and then happily drown in the sweetness of your work. A few simple makeovers like this will add a modern and clever touch to any room.

{I would love to see how you did on this project. Send me a photo and I will post my favorites}