Bookshelf Styling

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Are bookshelves ever really finished?  I am forever tweaking mine because items and books on the shelf are constantly being pulled and used in other rooms.  Then there are times when something just doesn't look right, so I start playing around with everything.  When I search on line for bookcase styling tips and images, most shelves are narrower than the ones in our master bedroom and they are filled with books.  We have books, just not enough to fill our shelves.

Until a month ago, this is what our shelves looked like.  To simplify, I took out all of the small stuff.  Also, to make the colors appear more monochromatic, I removed the dust jackets from some of the books.

Here is how one side looks now.  

Glass and silver were brought in from other rooms and also simplify the overall feel of the shelves.

Every room needs a touch of green, so I added the small moss covered balls in glass and the large ball to the silver bowl. 

The other set of shelves looked like this and again, were too busy to me.   

After removing the small things here is what it looks like.

Simplifying the colors and accessories made all the difference.  

Thanks for the comments yesterday about the bed skirt.  It sounds like Velcro might be the way to go.  Stay tuned.


  1. Rene, I have a hard time with shelves, too. Yours looked fine before, but the new look does look better. Funny, how a few changes can make a big impact. I love your bookcases in your room. They make your room so cozy.

  2. It looks very pretty Rene! My shelves seem to be dumping ground for things so they are cluttered. I like the larger items here and there, it gives an overall clean feeling!

  3. Beautiful Rene! I love, love the grass cloth. What a great backdrop for everything on your shelves.

  4. No, never done, though I haven't touched mine in awhile. I am really drawn to the grasscloth lining yours, it adds so much to the bookshelves and entire space.

  5. Your bookshelves look wonderful Rene. I love how you've incorporated family photos along with books and mementos. I love the birds on a branch pretty!

    Kat :)

  6. Gorgeous, Rene. I am so happy that grasscloth is back. Just perfect.

  7. They look fabulous. I love how you have used fewer accessories and they have more of a presence. Beautifully done. Hugs, Marty

  8. Rene, please come to the northwest to help me "vignette" my shelves and tabletops. You've got the touch. Why is that so hard for me? Its not for lack of knick knacks, Peter says we have plenty.

  9. Thanks everyone! Blair, you have always had the touch :)


  10. Your bookshelves look great. I'm a big fan of not using dustcovers even though I know they protect the books. I really like your grasscloth! I love how you have mixed in family photos and other mementos with your books. It adds such a warm touch.

  11. Rene, they turned out great! I really like how you lined the back of your shelves. I think that's a great touch.

  12. I love the shelves...and notice you have NOT taken down the grasscloth:) The little birds are too cute.

  13. I really like the changes that you made to your bookshelves! It looks lighter and more airy!

  14. i think they look lovely! and the more i look at the background, the more i love it and think you def should not paint!

  15. You are so lucky to have all of those shelves...I would love it! All of your changes are perfect, everything looks more cohesive now. So nicely done!


  16. You did a great job! I know what you mean about not having enough books though - it's one of the items on my list of things I 'need' (ha!) when I'm garage saling.

  17. Looks great Rene! I always have such a hard time decorating my shelves. I'll have to use a few of your idea's to make them look presentable!

  18. I wish I had some bookcases somewhere in my house!!! And I like the grasscloth too. Well I love what you've done to it now;-)

  19. Your shelves look fabulous! I am completely envious though since I have none ;o) Love your window panels too btw!!!!!

  20. Oh, no, you
    didn't take away
    the hand prints
    did you? I thought
    that I saw them on
    the top shelf in the
    "before" shot and
    I liked the fact that
    you would have something
    sentimental mixed in
    with your other things.
    I have a whole wall of
    black and whites portraits
    of the kids in our master,
    from the time they were
    little until now. I figure
    if you can't brag openly
    in your private spaces, then
    where? You did a wonderful
    job, Rene!
    xx Suzanne

  21. Just a little tweaking and it made a big difference. They look great! Keeping the frames to one or two colors looks better too.

  22. I love that they're never done and a work in progress. Sometimes you want less, sometimes more, sometimes color, sometimes not!

  23. Book shelves are a lot of pressure. You really have to work at it to make it look balanced and not too cluttered. It looks like you are doing a wonderful job.

    Amy R.

  24. i never know what to do with shelves either. yours look awesome!

  25. UGH - bookshelves have been such a challenge for me! Thank you for sharing yours - and I am keeping that grasscloth in mind for when I find some time to dress mine up a bit! have a happy weekend, Rene! xoLisa

  26. Your shelves look great, I love the grasscloth. I seem to have the opposite problem, too many books on mine and not enough of them!

    Merry Christmas.

  27. Well, I've been an active DIY/decor blogger for 6 weeks, and I can't believe this is the first time I've seen your site! SOOO pretty!!

    Your bookshelves look great!! :)

    I just became a follower, keep the inspiration flowing!


  28. Hi Rene, I love doing bookshelves, even though they are challenging, because there are so many possibilities! I start out with them a little empty but they always fill up, either with more books or little things I find on outings! You have done a wonderful job with yours. Linda

  29. Thanks for stopping by my blog. Have a great day!

  30. Just stumbled upon this post while looking for shelf styling inspiration. Your's look great, love the grasscloth. Hope you don't mind I may use an image with a link in an upcoming post.

  31. Rene-
    I recently found this post of your updated bookshelves and they look fabulous! I just wrote a post on bookshelf styling and featured your shelves (of course with a link back) ~ take a look:

    ~Jenna, SAS Interiors

  32. Hi Rene--Just wanted to let you know that we featured your shelves in a post today "Styling a Bookcase." Such a nice job!
    THANKS for the inspiration! I'm restyling my own now based on all the pics in our post.


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