Whether they’re built-in shelves you’re looking to fill or extra shelving you need for book storage, there are plenty of ways to go about filling and styling your book shelves.

I’ve put together a list of 11 helpful tips and ideas for styling shelving that fit the categories of form and function.

If you have a large collection, one of the best ways to bring harmony to your shelves is by sorting your books by the color of their spines.

Sort books by color.

Maybe you like things a bit more neutral. If so, flip the book spines around to show off all the pretty tones of paper and keep the neutral books facing out.

Flip (some of or all) the books around.

Find cool vases, bowls, art, and small accessories to fill in the empty spaces. I generally like sticking to a neutral color palette when it comes to accessorizing bookshelves.


For instance, instead of stacking books underneath each other on all the shelves, move them to opposite nooks and fill the holes with accessories.

Distribute the visual weight.

Plants are the perfect accessory for you. They take up a lot of space, and long vine plants like pathos or ivy look great winding down the side of your shelf.

Bring some life in.

If you need some storage but don’t want things to feel cluttered, fill the bottom shelves with baskets to store blankets, board games, toys, or photo albums.

Make it functional.

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