Elevate your Shelfie Style: Book Shelf Styling

The spaces created by open shelving is an opportunity to show off personal style and tell a story about your family and home.

As a design element, bookshelves add color, texture and interest to the home and are often the spot that our favorite items find a home.

Bookshelf styling can be endlessly fun. Seasonally, it's easy to swap out pieces so that visitors always have something new to notice in your home.

To create a chic and cohesive feel to the bookshelf, we asked the designers at Katherine Elizabeth Designs for their top bookshelf styling tips.

Take Care with Color

Choose a color palette and commit to it. Adding bright, bold pops of color always works but a solid base of neutrals will keep the shelves from appearing mis-matched and provide a backdrop for additional, unique "layers" of items.

Think about color, texture, and scale, don’t try and over match but have things flow and then stop.

Assouline Book collection: New York

Books, Books, Books

If you purchase books that interest you, you will end up with interesting bookshelves. Layer them, open them, turn them on their sides, sort by color or subject or just let it be a feel for all until it feels nice.

Bedouin PLatform Bowl

Group Small Collections

Things that might look a little tacky by themselves somehow look fun and purposeful when put together. Within each collection, play with heights and textures. 

The combination of Midnight Leather Boxes with their exquisite detail and the shiny, black link is a good example of a mini collection that plays with texture and color.

Navy leather decorative boxes

Get Creative with Bookends.

Anything goes! Decorative boxes and small sculptures and an element of geometry to your shelves. 

Bold sculptural objects work well as a compliment to the linear shape of bookshelves and can be a fun way to add color.

Remember, not all elements need to be functional. Decorative pieces will make the bookshelf come to life.

Thinking man sculptural object


Use Natural Elements

Elements like stones, wood, greenery to add a hint of nature. Nothing makes a room come to life like adding a small houseplant or even fresh flowers. We also love the use of crystals and geodes on a bookshelf.

Art, Mementos, and Treasures

Do you love to travel? Show off the little pieces you've picked up while exploring. 

Art lover? Group a collection small prints, in frames or leaning against the wall behind them.

Amateur photographer? Add photography that has captured a special moment you hold dear. Small candids printed in sepia or black and white and tucked between some books is a nice way to highlight memories.

luxury picture frame with print
Gracious, elegant, eclectic, colorful. The direction you take with your shelves is entirely up to you. And remember, changing bookshelves out seasonally is part of the fun!