How to Decorate your Bookcase

how to decorate your bookcase

how to decorate your bookcase

Over the years I've often been asked by people how to decorate bookcases. My answer is never the same. The reason is because every bookcase is different. You may be a bookworm and have an entire library of books or maybe you're someone who is looking to use your bookcase for additional storage or lastly maybe you're someone who mainly wants to use your bookcase to display your accessories/collectables, etc. Before you can start decorating your bookcase you need to figure out your bookcase's function. Asking yourself these questions is a great start.

  • What do I want to use my bookcase for? (e.i. store books, display pictures, showcase collectibles, storage, accents, etc.)
  • Do I need my bookcase to be functional or stylish or both?

I recently worked with a client to redesign her custom built-in bookcases surrounding her fireplace in the living room. To best explain how you can decorate your bookcase I'm going to walk you through my process as I gave my client's bookcase function and style. 


Dilemma: My clients are 2 busy working professionals with a toddler. They had a carpenter build a bookcase around their fireplace to create a focal point. However, as time passed their bookcase shortly became a collection of shelves that weren't serving a purpose but instead became extra surface space for items they wanted to keep out of reach from their toddler. 

Solution: My client's vision was to have their built-in bookcase and fireplace wall serve as the focal point of their living room. The bookcase had to be safe enough for their toddler yet stylish enough to compliment their living decor. To achieve this I started with adding function to the bottom shelves by incorporating large fabric bins for their toddler's small toys. For the 2 middle shelves I added medium picture frames with smaller frames layered in front for visual interest. I also added hardcover books (from large to small) on the end for easy access. I added the family initial for personalization with a small foliage for an organic feel. The heavy stone bookends placed on the middle shelves added both style and function to the design. 


Client's Reaction: "I like the diversity in the items that are on the bookcase. From the B initial to the candles to the arranged books to the basket, which makes it conveniant to hide things, it feels like the living room is complete now."

To elevate your bookcase into an area that will compliment your decor and lifestyle email me at to schedule a simple home visit. 

À la prochaine,

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