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bookshelf decor

19 Easy and Functional Bookshelf Styling Ideas

Sometimes the smallest changes in the home can have the most impact. Restyling bookshelves is one such small change. Whether it’s rearranging how your books are displayed, adding some colorful art or layering in your favorite objects and collections, giving your bookshelf a quick refresh can completely bring a new perspective (and vibe) to your spaces. But it’s also a small decor moment that can be surprisingly difficult to master.

For some inspiration, we’ve rounded up our best bookcase styling ideas along with quick tips on how to decorate bookshelves to be instant focal points in your spaces. Find out below!

1. Set Up A Sculpture Show

Fill your shelves with sculptures and accents that have unique and interesting shapes. Whether it’s unusual vessels, captivating artifacts or organic ceramic vessels, they make for intriguing bookshelf decor that’s bound to inspire conversation. Try adding a few cool-shaped sculptures alongside books as a way to work in movement and break up the straight lines of your shelves.

Style Tip: Combine a mix of sculptures in different sizes and heights, like a round vase with tall vessels and obelisks, for visual balance.

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2. Think Multipurpose

Bookshelf decorating isn’t all about styling shelves out just for show. For most people, they’re used for multi-purpose storage for books, bins, and knicknacks, like these low bookcases in this reading corner. With low shelves, try not to overstuff them with books and storage containers. Space things out so it doesn’t look overwhelming.

Style Tip: Have a mix of baskets and containers that hide smaller items on the bottom, then layer books and accents on top for both weight and visual balance.

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3. Organize For Work

In any home office, a tall bookcase is essential for keeping books, resource materials, and work supplies organized and within easy reach. If you’re wondering how to decorate a bookshelf that’s all about functional storage, consider pretty storage baskets, bookends, and sculptures that can be set on top and alongside books. They have more impact than you think.

Style Tip: Don’t forget the style of your actual bookshelf can also make a statement. Try one with a captivating look like this bookcase with an arched design.

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4. Organize In Full Color

Take a vibrant approach to bookshelf decorating by mixing bright accents, like colorful books, sculptures, and florals. It’s a great way to incorporate color into a space without painting or buying colorful furniture. Focus on two or three colors for your palette to create a cohesive look.

Style Tip: There are no hard and fast rules for how to style a bookcase, but it’s always good to arrange accents in groupings of twos and threes for many unique focal points.

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bookshelf decor

5. Mix It Up

Shake things up with your bookshelf decoration by turning your shelves into a stylish mixed-use display for books and a bar. Whether or not you have built-in wall shelving or an inlet like this little corner, you can easily create an impromptu bar space by arranging cocktail accessories and drinkware on the lower shelves, then filling the top ones with books.

Style Tip: Select neutral-colored books to go with silver, copper, and brass-accented barware. It’s a surefire way to create an instantly chic look.

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6. Create A Curated Display

Take a cue from this under-window cubby bookcase and arrange your shelves into an artful display of decorative objects and books. This bookshelf decorating approach is perfect for those who have a collection of finds that deserve to be seen in the home. Think of each cubby as its own mini gallery space for your items.

Style Tip: It’s about showcasing the uniqueness here, so work in all kinds of shapes and colors—tall vases, round items, big colorful books. The more eclectic your mix, the better.

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bookshelf decor

7. Build Out A Library

If you’re like us, a wall of bookshelves is home office goals. With wall-to-wall shelves, give yourself room to experiment and have fun with how you store and display things. Stay practical by filling the lower shelves with all your books, then use the higher shelves as showcases for sculptural pieces, art, and other decorative accents throughout.

Style Tip: Beautiful book covers are artworks in themselves. Display some pretty books by placing them cover forward to give your shelves a high-end gallery vibe.

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8. Think Simple

Don’t feel like you need to curate your bookshelf decor to only be unique objects. The best display can be one that has simple everyday items that speak to you, like a pretty bowl you like or a photo that reminds you of a trip. Keep to simple styling, leaving lots of room between your objects and shelves, for a layered but airy look.

Style Tip: If you have trouble editing what objects to show, choose a theme or color palette, like the nautical red, white, and blue focus here.

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9. Go For A Monochrome Look

Bookshelf decorating doesn’t get more refined than a towering wood-and-glass cabinet. It sets a formal tone and elevates the bookshelf look by default. Play up the sophisticated look further by displaying books in monochrome white and off-whites all throughout. It will guarantee a tailored and elegant overall look.

Style Tip: For balance, arrange books in horizontal rows as well as stacking them vertically. This is an easy way to create height and visual variance with just books.

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10. Keep It Lean

Bookshelves aren’t just for the living room and office. Lean a slim ladder-style bookcase in your entry, where it can function as a catchall as well as extra storage. Style larger items on the bottom shelves and go smaller as you work your way up. This will invite the eye to explore up and down.

Style Tip: One bookshelf decorating idea that’s always great in an entry is to combine art with greenery. It’s a lively pairing that’s certain to set a welcoming tone.

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11. Opt For A Gallery Look

A long and low bookcase in your dining or office space is the perfect display ledge for a collection of artwork. Think of it as a gallery wall but with shelving. Arrange the surface with framed prints, sculptures, and art objects, then fill the shelving below with books and practical storage. Be sure to leave plenty of open space to emphasize a gallery-like look.

Style Tip: To round out this gallery approach to bookshelf decorating, hang art above your shelves and lean larger pieces nearby to fill out the surrounding area and drive the look home.

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12. Aim For Height

If you’re pressed for space, consider installing a few tall and slender open bookshelves. It’s a great way to utilize vertical wall space and decorate with shelves that are styled out instead of hanging up art. Organize your shelves by use, with everyday items more accessible on the lower shelves and art and display objects higher up.

Style Tip: Tall open shelving has a way of adding visual height, making the ceilings appear higher and the room feel more spacious. Keep your surface styling uncluttered to maintain the open look and feel.

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13. Show Off Your Collections

When it comes to show-stopping bookcase ideas, you can’t beat a wall-length cabinet of curiosities. It’s all about playing up a collector’s vibe here. But instead of ephemera and taxidermy and strange objects, filling your cabinet with your book collections is just as impactful and eye-catching. If you have old books and vintage sets, this is the best way to give them pride of place in your home.

Style Tip: Mix vintage and new books, sculptural vases, and other small neutral decor items that don’t overshadow your books.

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14. Liven Up With Greenery

Venture outside of traditional bookshelf decorating ideas by arranging your shelves with greenery instead of art and decorative objects. Make it a point to have a mix of greenery and florals, and bring in a range of vases and vessels for your plants. Space them out and set them on top of stacks of books.

Style Tip: If your shelving doesn’t get much light and you’re worried that live greenery will be too difficult to maintain, go faux. They’ll be just as vibrant and elegant.

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bookshelf decor

15.Combine Practicality and Fun

A tall bookcase is an essential in a kids room or nursery. Make sure to choose a bookcase that’s both functional and safe for a kids room. One that has a combination of closed drawer storage and open shelving is best. You can store blankets and larger toys in the drawer and spread out stuffed animals and books on your shelves, which keeps it cute and stylish.

Style Tip: Your bookcase should provide storage that’s easy for you to access as well as higher shelving where you can keep toys and heavier bookshelf decor out of reach from the little ones.

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16. Play Up Your Personal Style

Another bookshelf decorating idea that’s ideal for an entry is to array a console shelf with all of your favorite art and objects. Unlike a gallery-like approach, this is all about letting your personality shine and welcome guests from the moment they step into your home.

Style Tip: Don’t worry about pretty shapes and matching colors. Trust that grouping together things you love and that reflect your personality will always result in a creative look and feel.

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17. Try A Classic Color Combo

Round out a media cabinet with decorated shelves that are arrayed with accents in classic blue and white. It’s a versatile color combo that works with any room and decor, including a large TV screen. Blue and white accents have a way of adding style and color without being distracting or stealing away all the attention. Avoid anything too bright. Simple is key here.

Style Tip: If blue and white isn’t your color pairing of choice, try another classic color with white as the anchor. Black and white can have a graphic appeal while green and white can bring the outdoors in.

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bookshelf decor

18. Make It An Eclectic Catchall

Rather than books, use a ladder bookshelf as a multipurpose catchall for a range of everyday items. This is a great way to corral everyday items into one central spot. Assign each shelf a function—two lower ones for bins that hold cords and electronics, one shelf for music and a record player, one for plants, etc. If you live in a small space, this is a stylish storage solution.

Style Tip: Decorating shelves is all about play and experimentation. Try arranging your shelves for different uses and with various objects and decor to see what works visually and what suits your everyday needs.

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19. Turn It Into A Vertical Garden

Draw inspiration from vertical gardens and make leafy greenery and plants the main focus of your bookshelf decor. Unlike an elegant display of floral arrangements and delicate greenery, this approach is all about adding plants to your shelves over time and building it out into a full garden display.

Style Tip: Mix different varieties of plants, like cacti, philodendrons, and ferns, with interesting garden accessories, such as lanterns and a watering can, to play up a greenhouse vibe.

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home storage solutions

The Best Home Storage Solutions for Any Room in Your House

Storage. It’s something we all need—and something most of us never seem to have enough of. In fact, home storage solutions are actually one of our most-requested features from Modsy customers! For those who have plenty of closets or a basement or garage where you can store stuff this isn’t much of a problem—but for those of us who don’t have those features in our home, we have to get creative!

However, there are many ways to use design to your advantage and use it to help increase your storage space and make the most of the space you do have. And we’re not just talking about buying furniture that gives you extra storage. Because furniture storage options like a credenza, while beautiful and practical, are bulky and take up valuable square footage that many small spaces can’t afford. And most often it’s small spaces that need the most creative storage solutions. No, we’re talking about both hidden storage ideas and practical organizational solutions that will make your life easier, help you stay organized, and make your home more beautiful.

If you’re wondering how to create more storage space in your home, we’re here to help. We’ve rounded up our best clever storage ideas for every room in your house!

home storage solutions1. Get Organized With Large Baskets

One of our favorite home storage solutions is utilizing baskets. Large baskets are easy organization tools, as they can be moved around to where you need them most and you can easily stash things in them to keep your home looking sleek. Plus, woven baskets look great anywhere in your home!

Some favorite basket storage ideas for homes with kids? Assign a basket to each kid, and they’ll always know where to put their stuff during clean-up! Baskets can also help make use of the “dead space” underneath raised furniture, like a bench, platform bed, or sofa, adding extra storage while minimizing clutter. And you can also utilize the wall space above the furniture for added organization or decor. Hang a floating shelf, and perhaps a mirror to help reflect light and open up your space.

Bonus organization tip: If you’re using the bench in your entryway but don’t have a front closet or space for a coat rack, consider hanging a single hook near your front door. This gives you the perfect flexible organization option for coats, a dog leash, or even a purse.

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home storage solutions2. Wall-Mount a Storage Shelf

We love the idea of using floating wall shelves with cubbies for additional storage. Using this style, like the one pictured above, means you not only have the top shelf space for storage and display, but you can also use the inside cubby for storage! (Whereas, with a traditional floating shelf, you mainly just have space for decoration.)

Wall-mounted storage shelves are a great storage solution for small bedrooms that don’t have a ton of space, giving you extra surface space for books, cosmetics, personal objects, or even baskets for stowing socks or accessories! And, since they’re floating shelves rather than a standing bookshelf, you don’t have to worry about them taking up any precious floor space.

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home storage solutions3. Do Double-Duty with a Storage Bench

Storage benches are perfect home storage solutions for any space in your home. They’re great in entryways, as pictured above, for stowing outdoor gear, bags, extra shoes while also giving you a place to sit as you put on and take off your shoes. And, in an entryway, it’s particularly nice to pair them with a coat rack and mirror. But they’re also great in living rooms, hallways, and bedrooms.

Wherever you place a storage bench, it gives you an easy, out-of-sight place to put clutter—which is great for busy households with kids. Instead of stressing about things looking cluttered, you can just throw things in the storage bench and have it out of sight and out of mind! And we love the practicality of a storage bench with drawers versus a lid that lifts up, so that you can have a nice arrangement of pillows or a blanket on top that doesn’t get disturbed every time you want to put something away.

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home storage solutions4. Divide your Room With Shelves

For those in studio apartments, where storage tends to be minimal and you don’t have the benefit of as much wall space, we love the idea of using a room divider with built-in shelves. Not only does this help add more distinct zones to your space, but by opting for one with built-in shelves, you’re adding surface space for books, decor, baskets, and more. We love pieces that offer double-duty practicality.

This is also a great option for homes with open living and dining rooms, or as a way to section off a play area or office within a living room. For everyone who’s working at home right now and doesn’t have a separate office, this is a perfect way to create that separation of work and living space. If a room divider isn’t quite your style, a great alternative would be open-back bookcases floating in the middle of the room, which can still help create some distinct zones within a space.

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home storage solutions5. Keep a Low-Profile with Wall-Mounted Bookshelves

When square footage is at a premium, we’re big believers in utilizing the height of your room and making the most of vertical space. That’s where wall-mounted shelves come in. They have a slimmer, lower profile than traditional bookcases or credenzas—so, overall take up less space—but still offer a ton of shelf space for storage.

With open shelving like this, you can still have hidden storage by placing baskets or organizational boxes on some of the shelves. This is a great option for an office or for living room storage ideas. In fact, the desk and shelf combo, pictured above, is perfect for if you don’t have space for a separate office but still need a space for working from home.

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home storage solutions6. Sneak in Storage with a Coffee Table

If you have a small living room that doesn’t have space for additional storage, then you definitely need to consider a storage coffee table. This piece of furniture gives you a place to stash extra blankets, remotes, magazines—whatever you want close at hand but out of sight! And it’s also perfect for cleaning up clutter in a pinch when someone stops by unannounced!

We love the option featured in the design above because it doesn’t look like a storage piece but is seriously so practical for a small living room. Plus, the lid pops off, so you can put a bowl or tray on top of the coffee table and easily remove the lid without upsetting all of the decor. But, if you don’t like a drum table style, you could also go with a storage coffee table that has drawers, a pop-up top, or even just a traditional coffee table with two tiers so you can use the bottom shelf for storage. All in all, it’s one of our favorite storage ideas for small spaces.

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home storage solutions7. Corral Clutter With a Credenza

For those who do have a little space to spare, you can’t go wrong with a console table or credenza. These low-maintenance furniture pieces offer tons of storage—but, if you get one with doors and drawers, you can simply hide away what’s stored inside! So, you don’t have to worry about maintaining it and keeping it looking good like you would for an open or glass-front shelving unit. No one knows how much clutter is hidden behind those gorgeous carved doors! Plus, the top is a perfect place for decor, a lamp, and perhaps a bowl or tray for keys or knick-knacks. This is a perfect way to utilize a random nook in your home for storage.

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home storage solutions8. Utilize a Pass-Through Space

Do you have a wide hallway, a larger entryway area, or even a pass-through or alcove space that you aren’t sure what to do with? Make the most of this “dead space” by lining the wall with useful pieces. This is a great place for a console with drawers, giving you both hidden storage and surface space for decor and organization. And we love the style above that has a lower shelf—perfect for shoe storage!

If you have a longer space, you could also add a bench, and hang some wall hooks for additional storage. And, while not a storage solution, adding a runner will help give this set-up a more intentional look instead of it being a hodge-podge of furniture and objects! By putting wall space to work, you can make the most of a space that would otherwise go unused.

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living room storage ideas

6 Ways to Add Storage to Your Living Room

living room storage ideasSpring has almost sprung, and if you’re like us, that means it’s time to hit refresh on your home and dive into some much-needed cleaning and organization projects. But if you’re not up for a full KonMari purge, don’t worry – there’s still hope! Adding more storage to your living room can be a great way to get organized and de-clutter your space.

Whether you have a small space or an open floor plan – or even something in between – there are plenty of ways to organize with clever living room storage in all kinds of styles and color schemes. With a few smart solutions, you can make sure your living room always feels tidy, airy and light.

To help, we’re rounding up 6 of our favorite living room storage ideas. Spring cleaning, here we come!

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living room storage ideasStorage Coffee Table

Let’s face it – we all somehow end up with a lot of stuff. And while a lot of it might be things you use daily, that doesn’t always mean you want to keep it on display. That’s why one of our favorite living room storage ideas is rethinking your coffee table.

The right coffee table can be the perfect furniture piece for extra living room storage! Instead of choosing one just for surface area, consider a storage option that opens up to reveal space for all your stuff!

You don’t have to skimp on style either – you can find plenty of options that offer storage space inside and look great on the outside. Coffee tables with drawers and lift-top coffee tables also make excellent storage options. Tuck away odds and ends that don’t display well, coasters, remotes, magazines and other items that you don’t want overtaking the surface space.

living room storage ideasCabinet

If you’re tight on space in your living room, you don’t want to add more bulky furniture that will clutter it up even further. Instead, a great solve is to look for options – like a cabinet – that have a small footprint yet still offer plenty of interior storage space.

With a living room storage cabinet, you can keep blankets, books, games and toys neatly organized and out of the way. These also make a great choice for alcoves and corners that might otherwise go unused. Another option is using a decorative cabinet with glass windows. Here you can display fragile items, photos, heirlooms, books… it’s all up to you!

living room storage ideasStorage Bench

A storage bench combines all the things you need: hidden storage, extra seating, and a display space all in one. It is one of the most functional and practical ways to declutter a home and keep a space organized.

Benches with hidden storage can help make your space look neat and stylish and also provide some extra seating. Use them to stash bulkier items out of sight, like blankets, seasonal decor and more of that “stuff” that always seems to pile up!

All you have to do is choose a bench that fits your space and style (if that feels daunting, let us help)! You can find wooden options, ones with cubbies, or upholstered options like the white one styled here.

Credenza

A credenza is one of the most traditional dining room staples. They are often used to serve food and display dish ware, but they can also be used as a handy living room storage piece! They also offer ample surface space to display decorative items that show off your style. Also known as a sideboard or buffet, no matter whether you call it, it’s an awesome way to bulk up your storage potential in any room.

Because they come in so many different styles, you can usually find a place for one in any living room, whether it’s against a wall, as a stand for your television, or set against the backside of the sofa. Credenzas have so many uses – put it to work as a bookshelf, entertainment center, buffet, or curio cabinet – making them a pieces with some major staying power!

living room storage ideasSide Tables With Drawers

Most living rooms benefit from side tables placed at the end of your sofa or next to your armchairs. But don’t think of them as just a place to set your drink!

Instead of using delicate side tables with only a bit of surface space, try an option with drawers that do double-duty as living room storage. There are a lot of small items, like remote controls, coasters, pens/pencils, notepads, a pair of glasses, etc., that you might want easy access to in your living room, but don’t want to busy up the space.

With a storage-infused side table, you can easily tuck these items away in the drawers for additional living room organization. That way you can save the surface area for lamps, photos or other objects you’d prefer to display.

living room storage ideasBaskets

Baskets are one of our favorite living room storage ideas, especially for kid-friendly spaces!

If you have a full house, you know that you need plenty of places to stash the clutter. It’s totally possible to have kids and a clean home, and having some smart and sneaky storage solutions on your side certainly helps!

These wicker baskets easily tuck into the room below the side tables. They also make an awesome place to corral kids’ stuff, like toys, books and art supplies, or pet accessories, or even regular old clutter! Baskets can hide it all.

You can choose from a variety of sizes, shapes and styles and they can fit into open nooks on bookshelves, built-in shelving, under coffee tables and more.

With these living room storage ideas, it’s easy to keep your space feeling neat and tidy so you can enjoy it with family and never have to worry about inviting guests over to a messy house! Want to find out what your space would look like with new furniture and decor? Sign up for a design package with Modsy today!

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