A Useful Guide to Styling Your Bookcase

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A lot of effort goes into making a house a home. You can sweat over so many design choices, each one as significant as the last.

Decisions about landscaping, interior and exterior colours, flooring, lighting, and furniture all must be woven into a single coherent tapestry. Yet, however grand those decisions are, your ability to gather up, juggle, and then arrange the countless little pieces is what can keep the whole thing from unwinding into a jumble of disparate design ideas. Bookcases and bookshelves can help.

Bookcases and shelves hold more than books, and how you arrange a solid wood bookcase or black bookshelves can either tie things together or leave a room in style bedlam. On one hand, if properly utilized, a Danish bookcase can spice up the décor of a living space. On the other hand, a white gloss bookcase could be the perfect choice for an already colorful setting, anda slim bookcase, minimally arranged,might serve as the style capstone in a room loaded with eye-catching appointments. For these workhorse pieces of furniture to do these things, it helps to have some idea how to get them to perform.


Putting the Fun in Function

First and foremost, bookcases and bookshelves are organizational tools. They hold stuff ostensibly to provide order and accessibility. However, you have the ability to determine whether they do so in utilitarian fashion or with inspired flair. Turning the drudgery of organization into artistry involves a little thinking outside the box—or case, so to speak.

To create a vivid backdrop for books and other items, start with the bookcase or shelf unit itself. Take a solid wood bookcase, for instance, and add color to the interior sides and back of it using paint or wallpaper.This simple trick can make any presentation pop.

Where you place the bookcase or shelves makes a difference too. For example, a slim bookcase can occupy a corner of a room and furtively draw visitors’ attention with an alluring array of objets d’art. Or two of them can stand like sentries on either side of a set of French doors. Position a staid white gloss bookcase behind a desk and let its contents set exactly the tone you need to do your work.

A series of unassuming black bookshelves can provide a stealthy means of showing off almost any kind of collection without overwhelming the display. A Danish bookcase possesses its own intrinsic style and can help shape the personality of its setting. Similarly, an architecturally unique bookcase or a museum-caliber showpiece can turn an otherwiseblandroom into a vibrant gathering place.

For many, the creative substance of bookcase styling is found in how the shelves are filled. You can avoid a cluttered, thrown-together feel by spending some time planning the layout. Design options are nearly endless, affording you every opportunity to express your inner artiste.

General strategies center on use of balance, symmetry, and space. One way of achieving balance is to play with your mix. You can add decorative objects to interruptlong lines of books; creative repetition of such items can have a unifying effect, and that can be subtle yet powerful. Symmetry can likewise be unifying when done simply with large items opposed to other large items and no incongruously empty spaces. That said, well-placed empty space on your shelves can give smaller roomsan expansive feel.

If you’re a bibliophile, your bookcases and bookshelves might be packed with books, making even a spacious room seem like a stuffy old library. However, you can do some pretty cool things with books, all of which fall somewhere under the general strategies for balance, symmetry, or space.

Break up the monotony of a straight march of books by leaning some away from each shelf’s center. If you have the space, this allows for the display of decorative objects. When space is at a premium, stacking books adds modern-looking horizontal lines. If you’re feeling particularly crafty, you can wrap your books in paper. Even using basic black bookshelves or a white gloss bookcase, almost any mood can be set depending on the color wrap you choose, and varied shades of a single color can add dimension.You can produce an orderly rainbow effect if you organize your books by color. A more sophisticated version of this involves arranging your books so the colors deepen from one end of a shelf to the other. You might also be able to arrange your books in a solid wood bookcase such that certain jacket covers provide intermittent bursts of color.

Many people acquire more than just books, and these things need to be organized lest entropy generates clutter. Sometimes, even important documents need to be stored, but who wants to dumprickety, dust-gathering stacks of paperwork in their Danish bookcase? Placing essential paperwork in colorful binders or boxes can prevent the spread of chaos.

Tchotchkes, antiques, curios, and any number of personal collectibles all need somewhere to call home, and all can be part of an inspired bookcase display. You can showcase your collection of model sailing ships, action figures, or raku bowls, grouping them perhaps in a slim bookcase for higher impact than could otherwise be achieved if they are displayed around a room. A faux flower arrangement or piece of coral can provide free-form organicelements to offset theangularity of books. Likewise, materials such as glass, ceramic, or porcelain in the form of vases, dishware, or figurines can add visual appeal from within the confines of a bookcase. A framed photograph or painting hung from the molding of a white gloss bookcase in conjunction with sculpted pieces of art provides a chic layered effect.


A solid wood bookcase or a set of black bookshelves serve the purpose of organizing your living spaces.

Yet, they can share your story too, revealing tales of your travels, hobbies, and other facets of your life. Are you quirky or urbane? Let a Danish bookcase or slim bookcase speak for you. With a little attention to detail, you can bring some order to your home, display your favorite things, and make any room visually arresting. 


January 08, 2015