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How to Style Bookshelves

January 22, 2015

You guys, remember this post? Yeah, amazing, right? Well Phoebe had her little baby girl (congrats!!!) and now she already back in action beautifying homes and inspiring design-inept people like myself! I am slightly embarrassed by the before picture (ok more than slightly)…. but Phoebe came to the rescue and now I walk into this room that you are about to see and all I can think is “Ahh….!” Just wait. You’ll see. Here is Phoebe from PS & Daughters in her first contributing post giving us some great tips on how to style bookshelves!

How to Style Bookshelves

A New Year always inspires me to freshen things up around the house. With the unbearably frigid temperatures outside, it’s the perfect time to stay indoors and make your abode feel more appealing. After all, we all want to enjoy our space while we’re hibernating through the winter!

When I stopped by Lindsey’s house to help her rearrange her bookshelves, we honed in on some built-ins in her TV room. She had an array of adorable photos of her adorable family, (did I mention they are ridiculously adorable?) and a mishmash of tchotchkes that I knew would work well with just a touch of good old fashion reorganizing. She had the goods. She just needed to know what to do with them. The best part about this redo is we didn’t purchase one thing! Lindsey had some Ikea finds stashed around the house, so we looked around and used what we had. Love a project that is literally free!

how to style bookshelves

First things first in any bookshelf re-do. Remove everything. You need a clean slate to assess what you have and decide what goes where or should really never see the light of day again. Another critical step – realign all of the shelves so they are at the same height. This immediately gives the feeling of a custom built-in.

how to style bookshelves

Now for the fun part! Lindsey had a selection of great books, but not an overwhelming amount, so we had room to space them out. I positioned some on their side with a plant or frame on top, using the books as a platform to create height. I try to get one tall element on each shelf to make it look full, finished and purposeful.

how to style bookshelves

The next step was to consider color and types of objects. I wanted everything to have a medium tone. You don’t want to overdo it with too many colors – it loses the harmony. And finally, the placement of objects means everything. This grouping has books, little succulent planters, frames in white, silver and gold, with a few little toy accents; more than enough to achieve a full and finished look. If you clutter the shelf with too many different types of objects, it starts to look messy.

how to style bookshelves

how to style bookshelves

how to style bookshelves

how to style a bookshelf

And who doesn’t love a little before/after action?

how to style bookshelves

And now when you walk in the room…. ahhh. Clean, simple and fresh for 2015!

how to style a bookshelf

how to style bookshelves

Shop the Post: Philadelphia Skyline Print // Threshold Fretwork Area Rug // Tabouret Bar Stool // Rotera Lantern // White Areaware Cubebot // Ikea Frames // Succulents // Jumbo Clothespin (with gold spray paint)

The PS & Daughters team recently won Best of Houzz 2015 for both Design and Customer Service Categories. They provide full service interior design, remodel and design management, and decor/fine arts consultation. Phoebe and her team have been transforming the way their clients live and work since 2011. To see more projects by PS & Daughters you can check out their profile on HOUZZ, and also visit their website, www.psanddaughters.com. Be sure to follow along on Facebook and Instagram for more inspiration! Questions/inquiries can be emailed to inquiries@psanddaughters.com. Want to see Phoebe’s non-traditional nursery? You can check that out here!

  • Trina O'Boyle
    January 26, 2015 at 9:34 am

    These are great ideas. I always struggle with the shelves in our dining room. I am constantly changing them and never thinking they are looking “just right”.

  • Devon
    January 26, 2015 at 8:41 pm

    Gorgeous end result!

  • Sarah
    January 26, 2015 at 8:58 pm

    These look great!!! We have the wooden robot too!!!

  • Hilary
    January 26, 2015 at 10:26 pm

    Love this! My bookshelves have a very similar look (The Before I mean!). We have so many pictures and there’s a lot of tall open/empty space that I don’t know how to fill it. Need to go rummaging through our random bookshelves for fillers!

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