How to Style a Bookcase

I’m excited to show you how to style a bookcase.  I have a beautiful bookcase that my husband and I created.  Styling it is something I was excited to do.  It makes the beautiful piece look even more amazing.

Styling a Beautiful Bookcase

To start we my husband and I built a beautiful bookcase.  It was a labor of love and the results are amazing.  We had traveled to Waco TX and spent some time enjoying the Silos and Magnolia Market.  They had just opened up their Magnolia Home Store.  There were so many beautiful pieces, I fell in love with a bookcase.  It was too large for the space in my home.  

I took a picture of the bookcase, well part of it and headed home.  It was one of those times when I couldn’t get it out of my mind.  I convinced my husband that we could build something beautiful using the piece from Magnolia Home as inspiration.

Check out the building process Here and Here.  It wouldn’t be considered a beginners project but it wasn’t terribly difficult.  The hardest part was figuring it out as we went along and finding the material to get the look I was after.  

Lets Style a Bookcase

Step one would be begin with a clean slate.  If you have a bookcase that you want to improve the look of take everything off the shelves so you can start fresh.

Step two is organize what you have in groups.  

  • books
  • greenery
  • pictures
  • vases
  • decor pieces

I also have a guide filled with tips for money saving decor tips.  You can grab the FREE guide Here.  

Wrapping Your Books

Another tip I picked up when we were in Waco.  They had styled the bookcase beautifully.  I realized what I really loved was how nice the books looked.  When you’re trying to create a display having a variety of books that are all different colors gets looking a little busy which is what I had.

It is really hard make something that is really busy look elegant and pretty.  At Magnolia Home they had covered all the books in blue paper.  I loved the way it looked.  So I decided to grab my roll of brown butcher paper and cover a bunch of books.  I know some of you are thinking nobody has time for that.  Well I believe we have time for whatever we want.  I set up a wrapping station on my island one evening and just got busy while we watched a movie. 

I got really proficient and created a system that made it go really quick.

cover a book

cover your books

When it got time to styling the bookcase I realized I didn’t want to use all the books I wrapped but that was ok, I just put the ones I didn’t use in the game, book, VHS closet.

cover your books

It is one of the easiest and inexpensive way to create uniformity in your bookcase styling.  

Placing Your Books & Vases

I started with the books. Some of them I stood up others I laid down and stacked a few.  Zig Zagging my way from the top to the bottom.  This is an easy way to keep things balanced which I like to have in my styling.  You can create beauty without it being completely balanced but it is my preference.

After placing the books I add some of my larger pieces like the vases.  Again zig zagging them from the top down.  By adding vases to the books you create intrigue with different textures.

bookcase styling

 Adding Greenery

I love adding greenery for even more texture and a little color.  You can find all kinds of beautiful faux plants.  I am particular about the color of the greenery and the container.  Luckily there are a lot of options in all the stores.  I love this boxwood that is an actual plant that I just spritz with water every few weeks.  I found this pretty one at HomeGoods.  There were so many options.  HomeGoods is one of my favorite stores for home decor.  Except for my shop Decor to the Door

I also had a large greenery stem that I have used in a lot of places around my home and decided I wanted to use it in my bookcase.

Don’t forget to shop your home to find beautiful pieces.

Because it was starting to look pretty full I didn’t add greenery on each shelf but did space and place it on opposite sides of the bookcase.  Creating beauty and balance.

style your bookcase


Pictures are something I love to use when I am styling a bookcase.  I like to use pictures of my kids and vintage pictures of loved ones.  I have added each of my married children’s wedding pictures plus pictures from when my parents and my husbands parents had young families.  There is also a picture from where I grew up that I love.

To keep things consistent I like to have simple and similar frames.  Each of my kids wedding pictures is framed in a simple black frame. 

The vintage pictures are a similar color but a little more ornate matching the style of the times.   You can find so many cute frames at Michaels.  

bookcase styling

Filling In With a Few Decor Pieces

To finish things off I used a few key pieces that I love.  A beautiful 3 link wooden chain, antlers and some old scriptures from my husbands grandparents.

I also included a piece my son brought home when he spent time in Magadascar.  One of my all time favorite pieces is a super old crib board that was my great grandpas.  None of these pieces were purchased to complete the look it was items I had and wanted to display.  

It just adds so much intrigue to the bookcase.  I enjoy looking at everything I have displayed and love to talk about and share the pieces with guests in our home.

How to Style a Bookcase

My biggest tip is to use pieces you love but …

Step Back, Take a Look and Move Things if Necessary.

There is almost a 0% chance that you will get it exactly right the first time.  But if you follow the tips I’ve given you it will get you pointed in the right direction.  So if something isn’t looking exactly as you’d like you wont need to redo everything.  Just move a couple things around, step back take another look and shuffle again if needed.

bookcase styling

Shop Decor to the Door

Don’t forget to hop over to the shop and see what is available at Decor to the Door.  There is always new collections showing up.    If you need help finding beautiful decor that would look amazing in your bookcase hurry over and see what’s available.  The quantities are limited so don’t miss it.  

This post contains affiliate links.  If you shop from my blog, I may be compensated for clicks or purchases that you make.  

Read my disclaimer page for more information.

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I am passionate about cultivating home. Whether you like DIY, design, decor or organization I want to help you cultivate the best home for you. One space and step at a time. Small simple to maintain changes with big results.