Bookcases and Shelving Ideas: Tips for Decorating Bookcases

Bookcases can be one of the most charming ingredients in a room, but can also be one of the most difficult design challenges. Whether your bookcase is built-in or freestanding, most of the same principles apply.

Tips for Decorating Bookcases
Tips for Decorating Bookcases

Tips for Decorating Bookcases

The two most important things in getting started will be background color and the adjustability of the shelves. Painting the background of a bookcase in an accent color can immediately add drama. Choosing a color that is not too dark and not too light will be important in allowing the objects that will be sitting on the shelves to be seen to their best advantage. It is more interesting to space your shelves unevenly rather than having all the shelves the same distance apart. 

Using items of varying heights on a shelf adds more interest than lining up everything that is the same size. Using books on their sides is a good way to raise some of your shorter accessories. Hanging small pictures or plates on the back of the bookcase can create the same effect. The best way to start is to consider what will be your most important piece and put a shelf that is at or slightly above eye level to accommodate it.

Using greenery in a bookcase can brighten it up and add height and dimension where you need it. It also softens the entire look. Because greenery such as ivy is flexible, it's a good choice. You can manipulate it to some degree to be wider and taller when you want to.

The tricky part of ending up with a nicely designed bookcase will be achieving a balance of weight and color. This can best be done by spreading your color and same sized pieces throughout the bookcase

Creativity is a key to success