How to Style Your Bookshelves
Spoiler alert: It’s not all about books.
Bookshelves are the best canvas for displaying meaningful collections, adding visual interest, and maximizing storage — all in one. Whether you’re starting to style a bookcase from scratch or refreshing what’s currently there, these tips will give you the confidence of a seasoned stylist. And with our Threshold collection for Target, you’ve got everything you need to fill in the blanks.
“Styling bookcases is one of my very favorite things to do, because it shows off a little personality and is easy to change up over time.”
No. 1: Take inventory
We like to clear everything off the shelves to give ourselves a blank slate. With all of your decor on the floor, you can get a good look at your options and organize them by size. Need some inspiration for what to display? Try a mix of these:
- Books (and bookends!)
- Framed photos
- Baskets and boxes
- Potted plants
- Dishes and bowls
- Accent objects
No. 2: Lay the foundation with larger items
Placing your biggest pieces first will ground the look and create focal points. We recommend staggering them in order to balance the visual weight across the shelves.
No. 3: Create groupings of two or three smaller items
Fill in the gaps and add some personality with small and medium-sized items, grouped into mini vignettes. Some easy ways to do this are stacking books (horizontally or vertically), pairing similar objects together, and layering an item with a framed photo. But don’t forget — negative space can go a long way!
“As you shift things around, don’t be afraid of a little bit of white space.”
No. 4: Step back to gauge balance
As you find a new home for all of your odds and ends, don’t forget to see the bigger picture. Varying up the grouping structures, object heights, and even the textures will bring an overall sense of balance and interest to the eye.