I started my bookshelf styling with a no-frills set of black shelves from IKEA. Because I am specifically displaying photos on my bookshelf, I wanted to let them speak for themselves. My main approach to styling was to create a visual flow working from the top to the bottom. After putting up the bookshelf, I first set out my large photos. I arranged them in almost an s-shape, zig-zagging them for a balanced flow. As you can see, these four photos are all the same size. It is good to have a bit of consistency at the foundation of your bookshelf styling, and then build out from there.
Next, I added my smaller framed photos. For this I like layering or stacking the photos slightly. The overlapping look is a bit more inviting and real than just setting out your photos in contrived, precise lines. Here you can play around with different shapes too. After this, I began incorporating my accessory art pieces. These are my pretty storage containers (mostly from West Elm), little trinkets and other things with sentimental value. The last piece of the puzzle is laying out my greens. The corner where my bookshelf lives doesn’t get a ton of sun, so I set out some maintenance-free crepe paper botanicals and air plants.
Now that I’ve had a chance to show you my bookshelf, I’ll list some of my favorite bookshelf styling tips that you can use to personalize your own. Generally I like to stick to a monochromatic theme – I went with black and white mixed with some warm metallics. Remember to keep the visual flow in mind and envision the bookshelf as a whole. Another rule I like to go by with bookshelf styling is to not have any one thing that is too distracting. For all of the photos and art pieces except for one (the foiled inspirational print at the top right), I used the same simple black frames that I found at IKEA. I admit it’s a busy arrangement, but it is intentional. It’s all about balance! The neutral, understated color palette allows me to visually pack more into my space.
Tackling DIY home decor can feel daunting, so we encourage you to check out some of our other DIY home decor projects for inspiration! If you want to make a set of those crepe paper topiaries for yourself, find the template and tutorial here. Head over to our membership page to join in on the fun, or follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for daily glimpses into the latest and greatest. Cheers! ~ Lia and the Team