How to style a bookcase

A rustic bookcase can be so much more than just a bookcase. It provides you with an excellent additional display opportunity in your living room, dining room, home office, kitchen or bedroom. Here we look at a few designer influenced ways to style the perfect shelving display.

There are so many different types of reclaimed wood shelving units available but one of our favorites is the Standford Industrial - we love to see an industrial shelving unit in the home office. 

Industrial bookcase in reclaimed wood for How to Style a Bookcase blog

Choose your colour - As you know you don't need to stick to just one colour - you can set a very flexible colour scheme. Neutrals with accent colours, different shades of your favourite colour, or blend two bold colours to make this a really eye-catching feature in a neutral room. Obviously, this will want to match your room to a certain degree so you can be influenced by other colours already in your room or dress your shelving first and then let that dictate an accent colour that you can bring into the rest of the room.

Grey bookcase with cupboard doors in living room with floor lamp and dining table

Odd numbers work - It is claimed that our brain finds odd numbers more appealing and as such memorises them more easily. Even numbers create symmetry but odd numbers create interest. Use this simple mind trick when you are dressing your shelving. So on one of your shelves, you can add clusters of three - three pots, three candles, three picture frames etc.

Three small pots of cactus for How to Style a Bookcase blog

Vary the height - When you have three items to put together you can use this to bring in different heights - so if you have some decorative vases you can go for the same "theme" but display different shapes, sizes and heights together - as one item so to speak.

Books and mags - Add a few of your favourite books - whether about gardening, food and travel, mindfulness etc. and show off your interests. On kitchen shelving, the perfect choice would be your favourite cookery books. 

Bold statement pieces - Add at least one big bold item to your display shelving - this could be a large houseplant, a favourite heirloom, something special you found in a bric-a-brac shop - This will save the shelves looking too cluttered and your shelving will have a focal point. If it is a piece of artwork or sculpture you will also have a talking point for visitors.

Reclaimed wood furniture is really versatile and here we have styled the Chelwood bookcase with an industrial dining table.

Reclaimed wood bookcase for How to Style a Bookcase blog

You've been framed - Personalise your shelving display by adding a couple of your favourite photos, which can of course be of family and friends, your parent's wedding day, pets etc. But they don't have to be of family and friends - these pictures can be of places that are special to you and your family or inspirational quotes that you like to see regularly.

Bring the outdoors in - Houseplants are just so popular right now so you really should make space for one....if not more...on your shelving unit. Place a trailing plant on a high shelf so it tumbles down to the shelf below it. A trio of plants in miniature pots or a larger plant on a lower shelf.

Wooden bookcase with hanging green plants for How to Style a Bookcase blog


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