How to style a bookcase

People don’t read books anymore. But we still have a lot of pretty books to store in our home. They are more so here to be pretty, and to show we have intellect. What I want to share in this #Blogvember post is tips and tricks on how to style a bookcase. It is pretty difficult in my opinion, so some guidelines are more than welcome I think!

Welcome to my current setup

This is my bookcase currently. I am pretty pleased with it. Considering that it’s a cheap, secondhand BILLY bookcase, it looks kinda good. My fist tip is to space out the shelves quite far apart. On the one hand, this gives you less spaces to store stuff. On the other hand, it gives the bookcase a more airy and open feel. Also, this gives you the chance to put up paintings on the shelves.

What to put in your bookcase

Well, what can you put on those shelves? Books obviously. But if you want to make it look more interesting, you fill that space up with other things as well! As you can see on the picture I added plants, sculptures, vases, office supplies, magazines, vinyl records, camera’s and other nick nacks. To me it makes it feel more like something you wánt to show, instead of something that’s solely there to hold stuff.

The magic of negative space

It’s easy to fill all those shelves, but how do you work it in a way that it looks good? The secret is negative space. It might feel counter intuitive, but leaving space open attracts interest in the pieces that dó stand there. They stand out. Ik worked with splitting the shelve space in two or thee. The middle between those segments (between the storage boxes, the vase, and the vinyl records on the lowest shelve for example) have to stay empty.

Making magic with depth

In a lot of peoples minds, the perfect bookcase is a perfectly aligned bookcase. All books lined up with the edge of the shelve, and all books on one shelve almost as high as the space there is. For me, this doesn’t work. All my books are different sizes, so this dream is not for me. I made sure that one of the three or two segments lays deeper on the shelve. I think it gives it a more eclectic feel.

What does your bookcase look like?

Thanks for reading this kind of messy (like most bookcases) #Blogvember post! What does your bookcase look like? Did this article give you inspiration? Let me know in the comments down below! Also: follow me on Instagram to stay up to date on my blogposts.


  • My bookcase is metal and ‘wood’. It’s normally used in a garage. I painted it matte black. It contains books, old metal suitcase, records, old dinky toys and some plants.
    The white wall behind it needs a color so everything will be more visible. I can play with the styling for hours.

  • Loved this. Especially the contrast of the “perfect bookcase”, and not telling what to put in your bookcase, but what to balance. Keep it up, I’m diggin these posts

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.