How to Style Bookshelves – A Little Leopard
How to Style Bookshelves – A Little Leopard

How to Style Bookshelves – A Little Leopard


I’m a huge fan of the #shelfie trend on Instagram, but it does prove that there is a definite art to shelf-styling. Bookshelves are one of those dual-purpose items: necessary for storage purposes, but also a great opportunity to add some color and personality to your home. An organized, visually appealing shelf is also so much more calming and space-anchoring than a messy catchall. I should know – one of my bookshelves is a bit of a hot mess at the moment, and I’m still trying to figure out the best way to hide my cables/modem/blu-ray player.


So, how do you achieve a perfectly-styled shelf worthy of your Instagram feed? The tips and tricks below will get you started:

  • Invest in pretty baskets and bins to contain and conceal clutter. I own and love these Kate Spade boxes (in neon), and use them to stash things like charging cords and my nail polish collection.
  • Shelves aren’t just for books. Create visual interest with a collection of mementos, books, jewelry, and even shoes – whatever strikes your fancy!
  • Avoid clutter by displaying single objects among styled groupings, like a favorite framed photo or piece of artwork. It will guide the eye, break up the space and create impact.
  • Greenery – real or faux! – is a great way to add interest and dimension to your shelves. Succulents and peonies are two trendy options.
  • Think about basic design principles like color, balance and scale. Repeating colors or monochrome will help unify the shelves, and consider things like horizontal and vertical elements. Not all books have to be stacked neatly in a row – try turning some on their sides to switch things up!
  • In shelves, as in fashion, don’t be afraid to layer. Favorite mementos or postcards can be propped up in front of larger items, and art can be a great way to hide less-attractive objects from view that still need storing.
  • Finally, as with nearly everything in decor (and life!), do what makes you happy! It’s all about curating and displaying items that make you smile and make your space feel like home.

Shop some of my favorite #shelfie-worthy picks below, from books to frames and beyond: