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How to Decorate Your Bookshelves

As the writer once said, “Books really do furnish a room”. Bookshelves are a great way to show off your personality and tell visitors a little bit about who you are. But there is an art to styling bookshelves in a way that is both practical as well as pleasing to the eye. Shelves can be a way not only of storing your book collection but also to show off your favourite objects and ornaments. Whether you are a minimalist who prefers as few items of clutter as possible, or a maximalist who loves to collects trinkets, your bookshelves can tell a story to whomever walks in the door. And most importantly, it will make you smile every time you see them!

 

Here are my top tips for bookshelf organisation!

 

 

1./ Organise!

 

 

There are multiple way of organising your bookshelves. It really depends on many books you have and how easily you need to be able to retrieve a book you are looking for you for. A loose alphabetical system should suffice for most books. You may also find it helpful to organise by genre - for example, separate your fiction from non-fiction.

It is more likely that your non-fiction books will be used for reference, so you might benefit from organising these types of books in a way that makes sense to you. Art, cooking, biographies, and so on. This will also help to prevent you from buying the same book twice!

 

F.Scott Fitzgerald Wall Art Print

Or else, you might abandon organising by author or genre in favour of aesthetics - for example, arranging books in color order was enormously trendy a couple of years ago and still looks amazing! While not as practical, this “rainbow” effect is really pretty and when it is done right it can really resemble a work of art!

 

 

2. Be Selective

 

If you collect books with abandon, you may blanche at the thought of culling any of your collection. But most bookworms also have to admit that it can quickly get out of hand, and before you know you have crammed shelves and stray books piling up everywhere. Even though it may go against your nature, being selective with books will help you to have shelves that are not only full of great books to read but also look amazing.

 

If you are really struggling to get rid of some books, try boxing up some of your least loved titles and putting them in the garage or elsewhere for a while - just to try out what a more selective and refined bookshelves could look like! That way, if you find you are missing how it was before, you can always get them back out - no harm done. But you may also find that you didn’t actually need to keep all the titles you previously had.

 

Here are some ways to find good homes for beloved books:

 

  • Gift books to friends and family (according to their tastes!)
  • Donate nearly new copies to your local library
  • Put a “giveaway” box on your doorstep or stoop
  • Donate to your local thrift stores
  • Organise a “book swap” with friends

 

3. Add your interesting objets d’art

 

 

Add texture and interest to bookshelves by adding small personal touches in the way of art, ornaments or even plants. This will add depth to a room and stop your shelves from looking over cluttered and dull. Some other ideas:

 

  • Travel souvenirs
  • Meaningful ornaments and gifts
  • A few family photos
  • some soft lighting with small lamps or fairy lights

 

 

4. Work in your interests

 

Anne of Green Gables Wall Art Print

 

Even if you are not the biggest reader (or prefer your books on Kindle), bookshelves are still a great way to show off your personality. But that doesn’t mean buying a load of books that you’re never going to read. That’s a waste of time and money! Instead,, treat yourself to books that you will actually want to pick up, that speak to you and your interests. And shelves aren’t just for books — If you are a vinyl collector, put your records on display too! Display things in a way that will bring you a little boost of joy whenever you them - a photo of your pet, a book you bought about your favourite holiday destination - these kind of things will trigger good memories. Having books that interest you will inspire you and maybe even motivate you try out new skills or hobbies. They can also be a great talking point with friends.

 

 

Overall, make sure your shelves are pleasing to look at - whatever configuration that means to you. Don’t be afraid to experiment, to rearrange and edit things out, until it feels 100% you.

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