Bookshelf styling can be tricky business. 

It requires a delicate balance of textures, colors, shapes, and sizes to achieve that effortless look.

But styling the perfect coastal bookshelf doesn't have to be hard. Here's a few tips to get you started.

Start with your Anchor Pieces

These are large scale pieces that can stand alone on their own, fill a decent amount of space and will serve as focal points for your styling. We love large framed art displayed on our Annie Decorative Easel, stacked boxes like our Savannah Bamboo Boxes, or an interesting oversized object like our one-of-a-kind Tea Tree Branch.

Layer in Books

Books give your shelf styling purpose. Stack beautiful coffee table books and stand others upright to create height. Add in stylish bookends, like our Maya Antique Brass Bookends to finish the vignette, but remember that pots and vases, like our Phoebe Planter, can also serve as bookends to help finish the look.

Add in a Variety of Textures

Slowly fill your shelves, coupling items with opposite textures, colors and shapes. Pairings like Laguna Wood Taper Holders with our Rowan Terracotta Planter, our crisp white Willa Pleated Vase with our cane wrapped Malia Vase, or our Eva Seagrass Lanterns alongside our Sienna Black Marble Links all add balance and interest.

One exception to this rule is to pair items that come as a set, like our Marble Taper Candle Holders, Thalia Striped Baskets or Lucia Scallop Picture Frames which complementing sizes.

Finding the perfect balance will take some trial and error, but as you play with different items you'll start see how they work together to create a cohesive look. Be sure to keep like materials distanced from one another to help keep your shelves from appearing unbalanced.

Embrace White Space

Less is more when it comes to bookshelf stying, so be careful not to overfill your shelves in a way that can become overwhelming to the eye. I like to do this by varying the the "width" of each shelf.

Generally speaking, this means varying between on shelf where the grouping of items spans the entire width of the shelf, followed by a more minimal shelf (filled with just one or two items), to achieve that effortless, minimal look.

Add Height Where Needed

If one of your bookshelves is falling flat, it could be a lack of height that fills the space. Elevate your decor by stacking books or Decorative Boxes underneath, giving it a natural lift. Candles, Faux Stems, and large scale art are equally good ways to add height to a bookshelf.

Fill in with Pops of Color

When you’re going for a natural look, it can be easy for your bookshelf styling to become too monochromatic. Adding in a pops of color, whether with Faux Greenery or colorful Recycled Glass Beads, is a great way to bring a light and airy feel back to your shelves.


Need a Little More Help?

Did you know we will soon offer (basically) free virtual styling services for bookshelves, kitchens, coffee tables and more? Yes, it's true!

Send us your project details and we'll provide you with a custom style guide and product list to help make your dream a reality!

Learn more about our virtual design services. 

October 04, 2022