9 Secrets for Styling Stop & Stare Bookcases



A well-styled bookcase can make a room feel special, put together + peace-inducing to the max! But we’ve also seen how the best of intentions can result in overflowing, jumbled, attention-competing shelves to the tune of “look at me… no, look at me…”

So let’s put down the craziness + amp up the heart tingling goodness!

Today I’m spilling a few of the juicy design techniques we use to style bookshelves and tabletops for our clients. These tips are guaranteed to create spaces you (+ your neighbors) will love to stare at--even if you aren’t quite sure why. ;)

1 | Less is More

First, remember that less is more. We want your stylish accessories to stand out, not compete for attention in the crowd. We’ll help you pare down your possessions to the most loved and impactful pieces + then we’ll style them to impress!

2 | Select Items with Soul-Deep Meaning

Having shelves piled with a bajillion shiny new distractions sounds fabulous but if you don’t feel an emotional connection with those distractions, well… chances are your bookshelves will quickly fade into the background of your life + become invisible. Womp, womp…

But you don’t want invisible--you want joy, elegance, simplicity + a heart-tingling good time!! That’s why we source items (or keep your current ones) that have soul-deep meaning to you.


3 | Variety is the Queen of this Castle

Bookcases aren't just for books! Variety is the best way to keep a scene looking interesting, which is why we love to mix the types of items on your shelves. For example...

Some items could include baskets, mirrors, vases or bottles, jewelry boxes, greenery + of course... books! So go big, girlfriend!

4 | Diversify Your Portfolio

In addition to type of item, part of a sigh-worthy bookcase is a variety of stylistic elements. Having several colors, textures, heights and “weights” is just as important! We love mixing a little shiny, a little organic, and that delicious “after-work sink into the sofa” feeling.

5 | Largest Go First

Here’s another trade secret you might not know… we always place the largest items first! If we have a beautiful woven basket, we probably don't want to place it next to large vase, or they’ll compete for attention. Rather, we want to create balance by spacing our largest items across the entire bookcase. Balance in your home is balance in your life. ;)


6 | Back, Back, Back It Up

When we style bookcases or tabletops, we always place our tallest items in the back first! This creates a sort of frame and foundation for the pieces that will then go in front. Back-row items could be portraits, tall bottles or greenery, etc.

Which brings me to my next point...

7 | Create Item Groupings

Another trick of the trade is creating item groupings, a.k.a. putting together an odd number of items (usually 3 or 5) that look oh-so-fab together. Each grouping will usually have a variety of heights, weights, sizes + types, like I mentioned before.


8 | Our Eyes Love Asymmetry

It's a fact--asymmetry is pleasing to the eye. This means that when we're putting item grouping together, we usually favor a "stair-step" of heights instead of a perfectly symmetrical presentation. (As shown above!) Asymmetry is a technique we use all around the home but especially for bookshelves and table tops! Can you say vignette? ;)

9 | Step Back & Edit

Finally, we’re here--the very last stage of styling your bookcase. We edit + rearrange your pieces until we’ve created that warm, fuzzy collection of goodness that has you sighing with bliss when you walk through the door each day. Ahhh…

If you’re ready for this to be you (it can, it can!), don't be shy. Reach out to us and we’d be delighted to pow-wow it up with you!

— Sherri




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