How to style your bookshelves so they look photoshoot ready


 Photo Capture By:  Claire Esparros  

Photo Capture By: Claire Esparros 

 Photo Capture By:  Sean Litchfield  

Photo Capture By: Sean Litchfield 

As an interior design studio, we're often approached to tackle the task of styling shelves once our creations come to life. This is truly when we can wave our merchandising freak flag in the air and put our strength to practice. we love working in all types of scale, from open shelving in the kitchen to large format built-in's in the media room. We look at shelving as the perfect opportunity to tell your narrative through a display of warm layers and personality that offer a window into your greatest pursuits and passions. what many folks find challenging is how to balance utility and aesthetics without cluttering the space. we're going to walk you through the art of styling a shelf, one book and object at a time!  

 Photo Capture by:  Sean Litchfield

Photo Capture by: Sean Litchfield


step 1: Take it all off, clear that puppy up! no man left behind. Give it a nice dusting and wash. No one wants real estate on a dirty shelf.

step 2: Organize your objects by shape and size on a nearby table or on the floor directly by your shelf. Organize the taller objects together, all the picture frames together and so on and so forth. This technique makes life so much easier when you finally hit the ground running. sometimes we take it as far as to color coordinate books into piles so we know what to reach for when needed.


 Photo Capture By:  Sean Litchfield

Photo Capture By: Sean Litchfield

step 3: Before you add even a single book, start with a tall object, like a vase or large format picture frame. Adding the tallest object first helps establish the scale for all your other objects.

step 4: Start layering in your beautiful books. we definitely suggest using books with decorative spines or covers in beautiful or monochromatic shades. grouping books is key. Always stack everything with the spine facing outward, working in a pyramid format with your largest book on the bottom and your smallest book at the top. or, you can group them by color for an extra-polished look from side to side. One thing to keep in mind: always steer clear of any worn down paperbacks or college textbooks - it doesn't quite fit in with your new sophisticated aesthetic.

Here are a few of our favorite beautiful books:  Monochrome Home, The Kinfolk Home & Simplicity

 Photo Capture By:  Sean Litchfield  

Photo Capture By: Sean Litchfield 


step 5: Pick an object for each shelf that you feel has sentimental value or can make an impactful difference. These are the key items that you'll want to work around. a decorative box or tray, picture frames, potted plants, vases and objects should all do the trick.

step 6: Fill out the space with smaller items like bud vases (or these & these) and mementos that can easily be changed. We believe in collecting a few transitional pieces that will give your home a seasonal refresher without having to reimagine an entire space. It's always nice to see something new every few months. but do keep in mind, you want to keep these seasonal refreshers in a safe and known place after you've put them away. After all, they're only on display for 1 of the 4 seasons!

Now you're definitely a seasoned pro! we'd love to hear your thoughts and own unique spin on styling the perfect bookshelves in the comments below!

 Photo Capture By:  Sean Litchfield  

Photo Capture By: Sean Litchfield