Bookcase Design

How-To Curate a Stylish Bookcase

Inspired by the whimsical details in this bookcase designed by interior designer and blogger, Amber Lewis, we’ve put together a how-to guide for curating your own stylish bookcase. It’s time to stop thinking about your shelves as simply a place to store all of your books, and start thinking of them as a place to show off your personal style. Whether you have a few shelves to decorate or a giant floor-to-ceiling bookcase, by adding just a few key creative elements you’ll be surprised at how fast your shelves go from blah to ooh-la-la!

Amber Interiors Bookcase

Image via Amber Interiors

The first step is to organize your books. This could take you a few minutes or a few hours (if you happen to be the librarian type) but it’s essential to the process. Your books will be the backdrop for all the other quirky elements to rest on. Get creative with the layout by stacking your books both vertically and horizontally. Just remember to leave space in between stacks for your accessories. Some interior designers recommend grouping your books by color as well (and that certainly can work for some spaces), however we recommend that you space your colors out evenly like Amber has done in the example above.

Amber Interiors Bookcase DetailOnce all your books are in place, use the empty spaces to fill up your shelves with art and accessories. Larger artwork can fill gaps that would otherwise be hard to fill (and would look cluttered) with a bunch of smaller objects. Smaller accessories and trinkets can be peppered throughout your shelves, and even placed atop stacks of books for a more artistic display.

When choosing your accessories (whether you’re picking from your own collection or buying new treasures), make sure you have a mix of textures, sizes, and styles. Just try to keep everything in relatively the same color palette so your shelves don’t look chaotic. If you have room on the top shelf, try placing a few over-sized items there for a dramatic impact. Stick to a neutral palette for these large items, and experiment with color with your smaller items. Don’t be afraid to get creative with the actual selection of items either. Amber used everything from paintings, to a plant, to a bronze hand sculpture, and even used a painted deer antler. This is your own personal vignette, remember? The world, er, bookcase is your oyster!

Not sure which kind of items you want to buy? Here’s a little inspiration to get your creative juices flowing…

Industrial Chic Inspiration Guide

 1. Large Canvas Globe 2. Nickel Honeycomb Sculpture  3. Gray Succulent Floral Arrangement 4. Gold Hammered Brass Dish  5. Antelope Horn Sculpture 6. Impala Skull 7. Gold Ceramic Star Candle Holder (Set of 2) 8. John Richard Painting 9. Raj Resin Stallion 10. Golden Jewelry Box  11. Oak Leaves Wall Art 12. Crocodile Skull

The bookcase to match….

Mid Century Modern Inspiration Guide

1. Supernova Table Decor (Set of 2)  2. Turquoise Stupa Vase 3. Marbled Wood Vase 4. Gold Book End 5. Succulent Floral Arrangement 6. Orange Vase (Set of 2) 7. Tangerine Orbital Vase 8. Museum Phrenology Head 9. Chalice Gilded Brass Bowl 10. Yellow Faceted Spheres 11. Butterfly Display 12. Weber Costello 1921 USA Globe

The bookcase to match…

Luxe Inspiration Guide1. Turtle Shell Carved Wooden White Sculpture 2. Matte Black Faceted Spheres 3. Gold Neck Bottle  4. John Richard Painting 5. Rhino Bay Sculpture 6. Hand Forged Gold Insects 7. Dip Two-Tone Ceramic Tubular Vases 8. Male and Female White Book End 9. Marble Minimalist Bookend 10. Convex Ceramic Vessels (Set of 2) 11. Black Ceramic Star Candle Holders 12. Gold Giraffe Sculpture 13. White Ceramic Jar With Raised Polka Dots 14. Belgian Modern Black and White Blocks Wall Art

The bookcase to match…