Accessorizing bookcases is always a problem it seems. Instead of being a dramatic focal point in the room, they end up looking like a catchall.

Bookcase Accessories

Here are some helpful tips for ways I solve the bookcase blahs for my clients:

1- As with all accessories, it’s very important to leave “negative” space (empty space) on each shelf so you can better appreciate the books and decorative objects that are there.
2- Books should be lined up so that the taller ones are close to the sides of the case gradually decreasing in size toward the center of the shelf. Don’t be afraid to take off those ugly book jackets for a less-busy look.
3- Create flow and movement on your shelves by using a zigzag pattern of items from shelf to shelf to alternate the visual “weight” and balance.
4- Think bigger accessories on shelves instead of lots of little ones that are better suited for curio cabinets.
5- Soften the edges of man-made items with a little greenery. Just a sprig or two tucked in is enough!
6- Don’t be afraid to layer on bookcases as well. I’ve seen examples of small to medium sized artwork hung on the front of bookcases to add even more visual interest. Laying books horizontally can create a riser for smaller picture frames or other objects too.

It’s always a good idea to start with a clean slate, so take everything off of your cases (also a good opportunity to dust and clean) and rebuild them with purpose keeping these tips in mind. You’ll be amazed at just how good your bookcases can look.

Happy Decorating!