Can we talk about how to decorate a bookcase today?
I’m up to my eyeballs in them.
At the farmhouse I had the built-ins in the family room and the two tall bookcases in the living room.
At the new thistlewood?
It’s like a bookcase family reunion. There are built-ins in the family room and bookcases in the front room and bookcases in the study and tons of thrift store hutches which are first cousins to the entire bookcase clan.
If you have a bookcase, let’s decorate it together.
Here are four simple steps to the bookcase of your dreams.
Here’s our bookcase starting point.
I have two of these in the front room at thistlewood.
They came from IKEA and were super inexpensive as far as bookcases go. I bought them in white, but I just saw that they come in the prettiest gray now, too. Each bookcase is 84 1/4 x 37 3/4 x 14 5/8. Tall and skinny and narrow. Perfect for this side of the family room. It has the prettiest beadboard back and each shelf has decorative molding on the front of it. Some of the shelves are adjustable and some aren’t. You can tell which shelves aren’t adjustable because of the tiny piece of molding under the non-adjustable shelf.
And for the price?
These bookcases were perfect.
Now let’s get bookcase decorating.
I know, right?
But you would be surprised how many people forget to add books to their bookcase.
I started with the second shelf and put the books on one side and then staggered them on different sides all the way down, skipping the first and third shelves.
I went back to the empty spots and stacked a few books to fill up space.
These books are typically larger and harder to place upright in the bookcases.
If you have not-cute books and want to cover them, I have the cutest tutorial using wood grain paper here.
There’s something about wood that grounds the bookcase.
It kind of blends in with the general book color, but makes it feel rich and textural.
Here I added a DIY speaker and toolbox that my brother made.
In other bookcases in the house, I’ve used wood slices and wood bowls and wood trays and wood accent pieces.
Metal gives the bookcase a little shine.
It shakes it up and gives it dimension.
Here I added a stack of galvanized cash boxes and a vintage milk crate.
In other bookcases, I’ve used metal spheres, metal accent pieces, metal trays and metal boxes.
A little greenery in a bookcase gives it personality.
This is faux greenery.
I have real greenery around the house, but for some reason, I forget to water the bookcases. So faux works better here for me.
I did a little bookcase tweaking after I was done and added the white apple and the tiny bird on the drawer at the top to fill up the space more.
And then I changed out the white box at the top for a little more color and a hint of black.
I also added a few more books to fill out the rest of the space.
You can also think vertically and if you like your bookcases more full, add a tray or platter or picture behind the books to fill up the space even more.
That’s a wrap.
Four steps to a bookcase you’ll love.
I’m celebrating this bookcase and all of its relatives.
I couldn’t have decorated mine without my two helpers.
They make the bookcase look even cuter. 🙂
PS I just taped the most fun podcast here. If you need a little laugh today and some RANDOM story sound effects—this is the podcast for you. 🙂