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How to Style and Decorate a Bookshelf Like a Pro

Learn how to style your bookshelves like the pros with our tips for arranging books and displaying found objects.

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Add a Textured Back Panel

Textured wallpaper or fabric is a great way to add color and depth to a basic white bookcase but keep the importance of a consistent color scheme in mind when covering the back panels. Since a majority of the objects here are blue, neutral, white and brass, a navy backdrop is the perfect choice for layering the blues and adding contrast to the gold-toned pieces.

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Create Small Groupings

To create a striking display, arrange books in small groups rather than simply filling every shelf end to end. Remove their jackets, then gather books with different heights and thicknesses in similar colors and pair them with sculptural bookends.

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Opt for Creative Containers

While bookshelves are mostly meant for display, they're also great for storing necessities. On the shelves of this dining room bookcase, matches, lighters and napkin rings are kept in vintage buckets which double as decorative features.

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Curate Collections

It's easy to run out of display space when you have lots of treasures to show off. Cut down on the number of shelves needed by grouping objects with similar finishes together. Here, assorted brass candlesticks, goblets and tools appear as a cohesive collection.

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