Bookshelves… to some they’re a necessity, a place to store precious books. To others, they’re a convenient surface on which to display favorite items, photos and maybe some books. Of course, there are those who simply avoid them and are baffled what to do with any built-in shelves they may find. If you’re the second type, you’ve probably already styled your shelves and you’re wondering why anyone wouldn’t. But if you’re a confirmed bookworm or a shelf-avoider, you may be looking at your shelves and wondering how to make them better. You don’t need to do a full-on shelf styling to improve the look and function of your shelves. Start with these simple tips for bookshelf basics.
Get ‘em clean
Take everything off the shelves and give them a good wipe down – shelves and contents. Take the opportunity to filter your collection as well and get rid of (or store elsewhere) things you no longer read.
Give ‘em a facelift
Try a fresh coat of colorful paint, or paint just the back wall of the case. You could also use wallpaper or fabric cut to fit for a custom look that will add a terrific pop of style and make even simple books look amazing.
Move ‘em around
Those really big books that are lying on their sides? Move them to the coffee table. They’ll look better there, won’t take up precious shelf space and they’ll keep the shelf looking neater as well. Got too many for the coffee table? First purge, then consider arranging categorized piles of them on side tables, or in a cool box under the table.
Play with ‘em a bit
Love it or hate it, organizing your books by color creates a stunning visual. Whether that just won’t last in your home, or it’s just not you, try organizing by genre, grouping each type of book on its own shelf (or shelves). They’ll be easy to find when you want them, and even easier to put away.
Mix ‘em up
A wall of books looks impressive and beautiful in its own way. But if you want a real focal point, get a little creative with your arrangement. Stack some books horizontally to create visual variety. Bonus – horizontally-stacked books can help define different sections of your shelf and keep your other books from tipping, kind of like a bookend.
Make ‘em fun
Unless you’re the library, bookshelves aren’t just for books. Give yours some personality with some fun or quirky add-ins. Framed photos, vacation mementos, or found items are favorites. Mix it up with small knick-knacks you truly love to create a more interesting and interactive bookshelf.