Styling A Bookcase {September Challenge}

The bookcase in my office was in dire need of editing, purging, and restyling. The challenge for September for the Decorating Enthusiasts DIY Forum is a Bookcase Challenge.

Bookcase Challenge for the Decorating Enthusiasts DIY Forum

I love a challenge and so this was the perfect motivator for finally tackling that overcrowded mess that I call a bookcase.

Normally this is where I share a before picture but I was so excited to tackle this job that me, my pj's and cup of hot coffee got right to the task.

How To Style A Bookcase for the September DIY Forum Challenge

I thought I'd share the vignettes I created on each shelf.  I hope they don't bore you...

I think they're cute.

Under each picture, I'll share some helpful tips when styling a bookcase.

Using interesting objects to display things when styling a bookcase
Consider the style of the room when shopping the home or retail shelves for the pieces you want to showcase.  My bookcase is in my office so I used industry related books, functional storage boxes, vintage and modern objects that relate to an office theme, and an interesting object to display my business cards. 

Create Themed Vignettes when styling a bookcase
If you have enough objects to create a theme try to keep the same theme within each shelf.  

Stack books and place small objects on top when styling a bookcase
Stacking books and placing small objects on top is pleasing to the eye.

Place 1 to 3 objects alone on shelf when styling a bookcase
Have a shelf with only 1-3 objects on it, preferably at eye level.

Group three objects at varying heights when styling a bookcase Eg 1

Group three objects at varying heights when styling a bookcase Eg 2
Create vignettes with three objects at different heights.

Group objects by color when styling a bookcase

Groups objects by color and pattern when styling a bookcase
Balance the objects by color, theme, pattern, or material.  You can see some of my shelves are all black and white with different patterns and textures that compliment one another.  Others have bright colored book spines that play well with the colorful ceramic trinket box.

  • Line your books up about an inch away from the shelf.
  • Place the largest books on the bottom shelf not only to stabilize the bookcase but it creates a visual foundation.
  • Create a zigzag pattern by placing similar objects, like books, for example on the left side of a shelf and then place them on the right side on the next shelf.
  • Create a centering pattern by always having something in the center, either on their own or flanked by books. 
  • If your bookcases are split in the center or you have two separate bookcases flanking a fireplace, for example, create a Mirror Image. Each bookcase shelf is a mirror image of the same shelf on the opposite bookcase.
  • The Most Important Step is to take a step back every once in awhile to see how it looks. I find snapping a photo with my smartphone very helpful. Like they say, a picture is worth a thousand words and it's true when styling too!

Styling an office bookcase with helpful tips

I hope this has inspired you to tweak your bookcases, shelves, mantle, or hutches.  The same principals apply!

Be sure to visit the fabulous hosts and see what they did for the Bookcase Challenge!

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