Style Your Bookshelf Like a Boss With These 10 Items

How do the design pros make their bookshelves look so good?! Designer Brian Patrick Flynn spills his styling secrets and must-have essentials so you can get the look just right.

Photo By: Rustic White Photography, LLC

Photo By: Rustic White Photography, LLC

Photo By: Rustic White Photography, LLC

Photo By: Rustic White Photography, LLC

Photo By: Rustic White Photography, LLC

Photo By: Rustic White Photography, LLC

Photo By: Rustic White Photography, LLC

Photo By: Rustic White Photography, LLC

Photo By: Rustic White Photography, LLC

Photo By: Rustic White Photography, LLC

Photo By: Rustic White Photography, LLC

How to Style Your Bookshelf From Top To Bottom

A simple, wooden bookshelf gets a chic facelift with a mix of both decorative and practical accessories. Take a look...

Showcase Souvenirs

Ignite conversation by using bookshelves to display trinkets from your travels. If you're going to group like-objects together, choose items that differ in height. Here, a pair of knight's helmets, one large and one small, are placed side by side.

Add Life With Greenery

Liven up your bookshelves with low-maintenance plants potted in chic containers. Here, a simple, sun-loving grass thrives inside an aluminum pot placed next to a large window.

Always Use Odd Numbers

A popular trick designers use to style bookshelves is the arrangement of objects in odd numbers. This is especially useful when grouping picture frames together. As a general rule, three is the magic number. To achieve the perfect look, stick with one large, one medium and one small frame, then alternate orientations from vertical to horizontal.

Hang Artwork From Shelves

Designers often look at shelf facades as an extra surface for hanging art. The key to doing this right is to choose a shelf that sits approximately four to five feet above the floor, then fasten the art to the fascia using non-abrasive picture hanging strips. Once the art is situated, use the space behind it to hide objects you want to keep out of view.

Mix in Natural Materials

A careful mix of organic materials can make a space feel well-rounded and expertly curated. Bring a touch of natural stone to your bookshelves with marble, onyx or amethyst bookends. These materials help break up the rigid, linear look of stacks of books.

Add Interesting Shapes

Coral adds the perfect dose of life to surfaces, and designers use it to break up spaces that can otherwise look flat. Choose a piece of coral with an interesting shape and think of how it will fit onto the shelf. If you choose a piece that's too large, it can take over. Conversely, tiny pieces of coral may end up looking more like visual clutter than a stylistic feature.

Mix in Metallic Elements

Metallic elements can add beautiful sheen to a bookshelf and also help play with light. While pewter and nickel are usually the most popular metallic finishes, the richness of brass can add a classic touch of antiquity. Look for brass objects that have a faded finish rather than those which are super polished and may appear too formal.

Add Whimsical Touches

A few small, playful touches can take a serious-looking bookshelf and make it more approachable, personable and one of a kind. Hold on to children's artwork or dig up some of your own vintage creations and place them on the shelves to add shape and color.

Integrate Chic Storage Options

Bookshelves have a knack for fulfilling decorative and practical purposes, but you need the right open storage containers to successfully achieve both goals. Instead of plastic bins, choose those with vintage, industrial appeal, such as wire or welded steel. In addition to adding a space to keep papers organized, they will add a touch of aged texture.

Display Vintage Decor

For a mix of both masculine and feminine style, add vintage electronic objects to your bookshelves, such as cameras, radios or clocks. These items introduce interesting shapes and add a touch of history.

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