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5 Tips for Styling a Bookshelf

5 tips for styling a bookshelf from interior designer Lesley Myrick. No more boring bookshelves for you!

No more boring bookshelves for you, my friend!

It can feel intimidating to try to recreate an expertly-styled bookshelf, but it’s actually pretty easy to pull of with a few badass tips from your designer pal Lesley. Here’s 5 tips for styling a bookshelf so awesome you’ll practically want to make out with it:

Can’t view the embedded video above? Click here. Prefer to read? Transcript is below.

Hey everyone, Lesley Myrick here – interior stylist and owner of Lesley Myrick Art + Design where we create some pretty rad interiors with an offbeat edge.

If you missed the video about how to style a coffee table, go back and check that out. And today, I’ve got even more styling tips for you.

We are gonna talk about how to style a bookshelf.

Now, some people are going, “What do you mean, ‘style a bookshelf’? You put books on it!”

Not so, my friends. Of course, you do put books on it, but it’s more than that. So here’s how I recommend styling a bookshelf.

First, when you’re putting your books on the shelf,

play with both vertical stacks and horizontal. I know, it’s crazy – but that immediately is going to break things up visually and create a lot more interest. Plus, those horizontal stacks form great pedestals for putting cool objects on, but we will get to that one in a minute.

Whoa! Styling a bookshelf doesn't have to be hard. Interior designer Lesley Myrick has 5 awesome tips to style your shelves.

Another thing you can do when styling your bookshelf is to add art.

Whether it’s a framed photo on the shelf, or my personal favorite, a piece hanging in front of part of the shelves – kooky, I know! Adding art, family photos, and other framed items can really elevate a bookshelf from just ‘a bookshelf’ into a real display and centerpiece in your home.

Another thing to consider when styling a bookshelf is negative space.

What you don’t put on there is just as important as what you do. Don’t be afraid to just have one stack of books in the middle of the shelf and nothing else around it. And to sort of intersperse these little moments of white space, of breathing room, to allow your eye to move around and to not get completely overwhelmed.

I touched earlier on the idea

of using objects, or ‘objets‘, if you’re fancy, and other decorative things on a shelf. I think decorative bowls, bookends, sculptures, all those things can play real nice with books.

If you find an awesome pair of bookends, grab ’em, throw ’em on your shelf, and they’re going to become a super conversation starter.

How to style a bookshelf with kickass ideas from interior designer Lesley Myrick

And last but not least,

this is a trick I have done with all my bookshelves in my home. You can see them behind me. I always wallpaper or paint the back of the shelf before assembling it.

There is no reason not to have fun and take advantage of this awesome opportunity for a little funky factor behind your books on your shelf.

So there you go – a few tips to take your bookshelf from a bookshelf to totally freakin’ awesome!

Grab your books, grab a few decorative things, and have fun!

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