Three Ways To Style A Bookshelf

WORDS:: Chyka Keebaugh

PHOTOS:: Lisa Atkinson


I am an avid reader. If you have followed this blog for a while, you would know that I am a total book worm!


My love affair with books started when I was young with Enid Blyton - a perfect treat was to get a new book which I would always choose over lollies. Reading is just what I love to do, and you will always find me hiding away, delving into a book. It’s just perfection! I am monogamous in this affair; I commit to one at a time, and I have been known to read until the very early hours of the morning if the book is that good - something Bruce hates. Sometimes we have fought about the lighting in the bedroom because of my reading habits….! Let’s just say that I read by torch and leave it at that. 

Having bookshelves in my homes are one of my favourite decorating features. I spend a lot of time staring at them, rearranging and filling them with trinkets, and thinking of new ways to display my collection. With that being said, I thought it would be fun to share with you three decorating tips when it comes to styling your shelves.

Recycled Beauty ::

This bookshelf I want to keep clean and neutral. So off I went to the Salvation Army and purchased all the paperbacks I could get my hands on! Yes, that seems a little crazy but I choose to look at it this way: I am decorating and supporting a fantastic charity at the same time, everyone's a winner!  

It doesn’t matter what sized books, it's the colour of the pages that create the interest. Yes its beige on beige on beige, but it looks fantastic on mass. I love the rustic feel of this look; it is simple and effective. All you need to do is carefully rip the covers off making sure the spines are facing you, and removing as much glue residue as you can to keep them neat. There is no real method to create this display; simply pile the books high and turn the spines around so all you can see is a neutral colour palette, it’s as easy as that. 

Black Shelving ::

While I was travelling at Christmas time, I came across a display that I just fell in love with. So when we moved into our weekend getaway, I knew exactly what I would do with the black shelving that is at the entrance of our house. The gridded shelf lends itself beautifully to display all my colourful art, cooking and decorating books.

By colour coding them and keeping each block a different tone, my aim was to show off some of my book's gorgeous covers. We are so used to just displaying the spines; the covers often get forgotten only to be seen when the book is sporadically looked through. But not with this shelving! In every few grids, I have turned the book to the front to display its cover in all its glory. Like displaying the covers as artwork. Try it; I can guarantee you will look through your books so more much!



My Home Collection ::

Now you all know I am part of a book club, as I just love sharing books. I do have a few little quirks when it comes to my book collection. I never expect a novel to be returned, read it and pass it on is my motto! I much prefer a physical book rather than Kindle, even though I have to read under torch light most nights! There is something almost romantic about holding a book in your hands and hearing the pages turn - I love it. 

Colour coding my lifestyle books on white shelving creates such a stunning effect; this room is so colourful and eclectic. Slightly ramshackle with a big splash of print and pattern is how these books are displayed.

In my living room, the shelves are filled with leather bound novels. All in the same palette, there are piles and piles, with sprinklings of golden trinkets to add a little glamour. I use these books all the time for styling areas throughout the house, and I think that's and important thing to remember, you don’t have to style a space and then leave it. Go back, rearrange it, take it to another area of your home - have fun with it. Use books as a table centrepiece for a dinner party, a vignette on your coffee table, just make sure you use and admire them!

Worried your collection will disappear? 

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Credits: Selected images via pinterest.