15 Ideas for Bookshelf Decorating 2020 — These Cute Ideas for Bookshelf Decor Have Cozy Nerd Vibes


bookshelves

john francis

You know you’ve reached peak adult status when you’re more concerned with your shelfies than your selfies—or maybe that was just my turning point? Either way, ~styling~ a shelf is a right of adulting passage. It indicates that you have enough books to warrant a shelf, but also that you’re chic enough to strategically place them on said shelf in order to evoke compliments from your fellow HGTV stans.

If you’re just starting out on this journey, welcome. You’ll love it here. Also, getting your shelf on is way less complicated than you think. It’s all about curating and editing what you put on them.

The key is to be tough, keep only what you love, and be sure to vary the height and shapes of objects. If you’re still feeling stuck, check out these interior all-stars for inspiration:

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1

Don’t Be Afraid to Go Mobile

A shelf doesn’t have to stay put! Take note of this clever idea: repurposing a vintage rolling cart to store books. If you have people over or your storage needs evolve, it can roll it right into another room in your home.

2

Use a Cabinet to Corral

A beautiful vintage cabinet looks stunning and helps protect your favorite souvenirs and swag. The key to making it shine, mix up the colors, textures, and heights of the items to create visual interest.

3

A Study in Contrast

Dealing with a rich, dark color bookshelf or backdrop? Add books, vases, and objects in a lighter color, everything on the shelf will pop. Plus, interesting shapes and textures will get more attention.

4

Embrace a Bracket

Basic metal brackets make it easier to install a simple shelf AND they look good doing it. Buy brackets in a finish that matches other metals in your room. Here the brass accents warm everything up.

5

Get Weird

Include vases and other objects in unusual shapes. Ridges, rings, and rolls all feel way more fun than your standard planter or vase. In fact, they make the whole bookshelf feel more playful.

6

Don’t Be Afraid to Double Up

Practical and pretty, sometimes you need your shelving to do some serious heavy lifting. Ideal in an office or, if you’re trying to organize a large book collection, two shelves right next to each other are better than one.

7

Think About Your Wall Color

Sometimes it’s what’s behind your shelves that matters. Here the light wood tones provide a nice contrast against this moody green paint. It makes each shelf and everything on them the star of the space.

8

Don’t Just Stick to the Shelf

Style more than just the inner shelves. Add art and curios to the top and hang art on the fronts. When the shelving matches the color of the wall it feels more like a cool built-in architectural detail.

9

Play Up Your Plants

Instead of sprinkling a plant here and there, why not commit? If you’ve got a seriously green thumb, an entire bookshelf or shelves full of plants in matching terra-cotta pots will really make a striking statement.

10

Incorporate A Gallery Wall

A gallery wall on its own is stunning, but when you work in a bookshelf it adds even more color and dimension. By concentrating all of the accents on one wall, it creates a focal point for the entire room.

11

Think Outside the Living Room

Most people relegate decorative shelving to a home office or the living room—but they look beautiful in other spaces too. A high shelf in the kitchen can be a great spot to display artwork or more ornate serving ware or dining accessories.

12

Just Add Paint

Leftover paint gets put to good use, brightening up the inside of a built-in bookcase. Paint is an easy way to add a touch of color and turns a small nook into a standout storage space.

13

Find a Second Hand Gem

Why not look for something with more charm and character? You’ll score a better deal and having something that feels different and special makes everything you put on it look even better.

14

Display a Collection

Here, a collection of rainbow glasses look more striking when they’re displayed together. Not only does it keep them accessible and protected, it adds vivid colors to an otherwise neutral room.

Oh, and rainbow color-coding your books and accessories can instantly organize a messy shelf.

15

Display More Than Books

No room for a bar cart, no problem! A slim shelf is a clever way to store all of your glasses, liquor, and bar accessories in a dining room. It’s easy for guests to serve themselves or for you to mix up a drink on the fly.

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