Styling Decorative Books for Shelves and Bookcases

Using decorative books in your home or office has many benefits. They add charm and character, give people an inside look into your interests, and show off your creativity. Decorative books can be conversation starters or be pretty to look at. They are great for creating height, balancing out awkward spaces, and adding style. They can be used just about anywhere, from coffee tables and countertops to shelving and bookcases. 

For more ideas on using books for decorating around the house, check out some of the other blogs on our website. Keep reading to learn about different ways to style your decorative books for shelves and bookcases. Your space will be a living Pinterest board in no time!


Vary Horizontal and Vertical Stacking

Lining up books vertically is the default for a reason. It makes looking for and pulling out needed books simple and quick. But with decorative books that have been purchased more so for aesthetics and to look cool and pretty, not to be read, having easy access is unnecessary. So why not try something different and switch it up with horizontal stacks. By varying both horizontal with vertical book stacks, you’ll add an extra layer of texture and visual interest to your space.

Use your larger decorative books for your horizontal stacks. The eye tends to be drawn to odd numbers, so keeping your books in smaller stacks of three, five, or even seven books will create a visually pleasing aesthetic. Just make sure you vary the location of your books. Putting them all on the left side, for example, will cause a lopsided effect. Zig-zagging your horizontal and vertical stacks will solve this issue.


Top Your Stacks

Once you have a few stacks of decorative books on your shelves, you can play with textures and shapes using your books as a base for other home decor items. Using the books in this way draws attention to the books and highlights the decorative object, whether it be a picture frame, vase, small sculpture, or a plant. And speaking of plants, flora of all styles, shapes, and sizes are perfect for adding texture, color, and literal life to shelf spaces. Just make sure the plants and greenery you choose can still thrive inside and without direct sunlight.


Organize Books by Color or Subject

A decorating trick often used by the pros, variations are endless. Whether you choose to arrange your books like a rainbow, group books in sections based on color or subject matter, showcase multiple variations of one hue or stick with neutrals, remember not to overcrowd any particular area. The beauty is that you can play around with these ideas and rearrange them as you see fit. Maybe you keep your decorative books neutral most of the year but style them in blocks of color for the holidays, such as red and green for Christmas or blue and white for Hanukkah. 

If you’ve gone with a neutral color palette when it comes to your decorative books, you can use your accessories to play with color. Bold artwork or bright and unique home decor items will really pop against a neutral palette. And again, changing out these items throughout the year will keep your space feeling fresh. The possibilities are endless, so have fun with it!


Add Color to Your Shelves

Speaking of color, if you have decided to keep your decorative books and accessories to a neutral color palette but still feel like your space still needs a pop of “something,” add some color to the back of your bookshelf or to the shelf itself. You can use paint or removable wallpaper depending on how permanent you want the color to be. It is recommended to use a solid color and not a pattern. Especially if your shelves are filled with lots of smaller items, when you add a patterned background, it can read as clutter and look messy instead of chic. You want the items on your shelf to stand out and be appreciated, so keep your book stacks small, accent pieces larger and spaced out, and leave some space in between vignettes. Even if you decide to add color in the background, the solid color should allow the books and decorative items to be the highlight.


The Power of Bookends

Another interior decorating secret? Using accessories as bookends. Brightly colored decorative elements make great bookends and stand out against neutral shelves. Vases, globes, small sculptures, and yes, even actual bookends are all a great way to showcase more accents. 

Even though bookends usually come in pairs for each end of your vertical book line-up, that doesn’t mean you have to use both pieces. Use the edge of the shelf to help balance one end, and then use an accent piece or one bookend to hold your decorative books up on the other side. Just make sure that the decor you choose is sturdy enough to hold up the weight of the books.


Decorative Books from American Retail

Finishing touches can make all the difference when it comes to creating a personalized space. At American Retail, we believe that style shouldn’t break the bank, so we offer beautifully curated pieces with superior quality at affordable prices.

Our decorative books are individually sold, so you can pick and choose your favorites. We offer great covers to choose from, including Chanel, Tom Ford, Dior, and Gucci. Instead of charging over $100 each for a book filled with photos that you’ll rarely look at, our decorative display books are more than half the cost and filled with blank pages waiting to be filled. So not only are our books a fashionable decoration for your shelves, but they are also functional and ready to be used as a journal or notebook. 

So buy one or two or buy them all! Here, at American Retail, quality is of the utmost importance, so you can be rest assured when you order from us that every item has met our supreme standards. After you’ve added your new decorative books to your shopping cart, be sure to check out our other unique home decor items. Happy Decorating!

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