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Shelf Life: 6 clever ways to style your bookshelves

Whether its packed full of paperbacks or used to display your most beautiful art books, sparingly, a bookshelf can completely make or break a room. Bookshelves also often take up a significant amount of space in a living area, so it only makes sense to decorate them in the most beautiful or intriguing way possible. Whether you opt for simple shelf dcor or you go all out, styling your bookshelves is one of the simplest ways to completely transform a room. Keep reading for some major inspiration.

1. Upholster floating shelves

If you have floating shelves above a desk (or youre about to install some), try upholstering them, perhaps in the same fabric as your desk chair. This will add a delightful element of surprise to your dcor and help integrate your shelves into the space. Or, opt for a fun and bold pattern on its own, such as a houndstooth or a bright stripe.

2. Play with some cool colors

Knowing what youre doing when it comes to the colors on and around your bookshelves is key to successful shelf dcor. For example, if you have dark shelves, make them pop with white or light-colored accessories. Alternatively, think about painting the wall behind the shelves a fun, bright color, or paint the shelving itself. If you dont want to commit to paint, simply color-coordinating your books makes a big statement with minimal effort required.

bookshelf decor

3. Try more than just books

Bookshelves are for book storage, first and foremost. But using them just for books is a missed opportunity to add a little more interest to the room. Get creative with what you display alongside the books themselves: Think small works of art, photos in frames, trinkets, vases, flowers, found items, cameras, seashells, sports balls, you name it. The possibilities are endless.

4. Belly up to the bookshelf

Bookshelves are a great place to display your liquor collection and your stylish barware, so make yours do double duty. Use a shelf or two exclusively as a bar, stocked with bottles, glasses, flasks and a stack of linen cocktail napkins. Mixed with books, these cocktail niches can be both beautiful and functional. 

5. Put some plants in the mix

Adding plants to your bookshelves will add life to your rooms. Display small potted plants next to stacks of large art books, for a beautiful touch of nature in your living room or library. Or, go all the way and fill an entire bookshelf with plants, making it an indoor forest of sorts! Remember to put clay saucers or ceramic plates under every pot, to catch any water that may drain through. Also remember: There are no rules when it comes to decorating your home.

6. Go spare with your shelves

Depending on your personal design style, less can be more. Expertly utilize negative space on your bookshelves for an elegant, elevated display. Decorate with art books, vases and accessories but leave plenty of empty space between them. This will avoid a cluttered feel although theres nothing wrong with a maximalist dcor, either, if thats more up your alley. This is all about making your space your own  always the very best way to go.

Make the most of your bookshelf

Bookshelves often take up a significant amount of space in a living area, so it only makes sense to decorate them in the most beautiful way possible. Whether you opt for a simple shelf dcor or you go all out, revamping your bookshelves is one of the simplest ways to completely transform a room.

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