How to Decorate a Bookshelf

Are you having trouble figuring out how to decorate a bookshelf? Do you want to find the most creative way to give your bookshelf a unique look and stand out? Well, you just found it, and there’s more than one.

To decorate your bookshelf, you can organize your favorite books by their color, so that alone will make your bookshelf colorful and decorated. You can also combine vertical and horizontal stacking of the books, use plants as decoration, display your art, or use interesting bookends.

You can find each of these ideas better explained in continuation if you want to learn exactly how to achieve a creative bookshelf look.

How to Decorate a Bookshelf

How to Decorate a Bookshelf

If you’re a book lover, you probably understand the importance of having a creative bookshelf with all the amazing books displayed and within your reach. There are plenty of ways to do that, and we have to offer you the coolest ones.

Organize books by cover color

The easiest yet very creative way to decorate your bookshelves is by using only the books by setting them by color. If you have a lot of books and you want to achieve the rainbow look, start by putting all of the red-covered books at the beginning of your bookshelf. 

Next to them, add all the books that have orange covers. Continue doing this by adding the books with yellow covers, then the books with all shades of green colors, then the blue ones, and end the row with the violet color. It’s as simple as that.

But there’s another way to make your bookshelves colorful. If you have more than one bookshelf, put all the books with red covers on one shelf. Then put all the green ones on another shelf, yellow on another, etc. You can arrange the order of the cover’s colors and play with them however you want. Your bookshelf will look unique no matter how you place the books.

Related: How to Decorate a Bookshelf Without Books

Vertical and horizontal stacking

Have you ever thought about changing the way you stack your books? Stacking them vertically is the most common, boring way to decorate your bookshelf. But combining vertical and horizontal stacking will give your bookshelf an interesting look just by using your books and nothing else.

You can achieve that by simply stacking the bigger books horizontally than adding a few books next to them placed vertically. You can even put some items, such as smaller vases, on top of the horizontally stacked books for a more intriguing look on your shelf.

Use plants as decoration

You can use small plants as decorations on your shelves, between your books, and you can put as much as you want. They’ll immediately enrich the bookshelves and add color. 

Different types of Begonias, especially Begonias with colored leaves, are quite unique looking and will provide a dose of natural look to your shelves, while succulents and cactuses will bring a unique look to your bookshelves. Whichever plant you choose, one thing is certain – your shelves will be attractive and noticed!

Bookshelf decor with different elements

The other way around

Usually, the book’s spine is the part that can be seen on the shelf. But if you want to include some mystery on your shelves, you can always turn the books the other way around. To be more clear, you can place the book’s spine next to the wall, and the opposite part of the spine, which is known as the fore-edge, will be facing forward.

This way, you’ll add some secrecy to the shelves, and the only thing you’ll see will be the book’s pages. You won’t be able to make a distinction between the books, but you’ll get a simple and clean look on your bookshelves.

Display art

Bookshelves aren’t only for holding books, regardless of their name. So to make them more interesting and multi-functional, instead of hanging your art on the walls, you can put it on your shelf, between the books. You can combine the prevailing colors of the art with the cover color of the books and make some interesting combinations.

If you don’t like displaying art, you can add two or three family photos or some travel souvenirs, which will make your bookshelves more personal.

Don’t overstuff

Avoid overstuffing your shelves with books and items because they will look messy and unorganized. Instead, make sure that when you stack some books, leave some space, put an object, and then leave some space again. Do not put everything next to each other.

And even if you don’t have enough space on your shelves to do that, you can set some books horizontally and others vertically, so the shelves will look intriguing yet organized.

Use bookends

If you don’t want your shelves to look overstuffed, you should leave some space between a couple of books. To do that, you can use bookends, which will give the bookshelf a unique look. You can find all kinds of creative bookends to purchase, but you can also use a decorative item as a bookend instead of buying one.

For example, you can put bigger candles on the side of the books or bigger crystals for a calming look. You can also use decorative items you have at home that can hold the books and fit in the style you’re aiming to achieve. You can use absolutely anything as a bookend, so have fun finding the perfect thing.

You might be interested: How to Arrange Art on a Wall


Whichever way you decide to decorate your bookshelves, they will look unique and still be functional. And now, as you’ve learned how to decorate a bookshelf, don’t be afraid to try different things and change the way your bookshelves look from time to time.

Remember to have fun while doing this, and don’t be afraid to try different decorative variations. That’s the best way to discover new things and find the best bookshelf look for your home.

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