bookshelves, books, how to style bookshelves, home decor

One cost-efficient way I love to update my decor is by rearranging the bookshelves. It’s a seemingly simple task, but once you dive in, it can actually be difficult to make your creative vision come to life on the shelves. I asked Sarah Jawda of Jawda and Jawda to share her tips on how she styled my book shelves when helping us with our home. You’ll love using this advice to create Pinterest-worthy bookshelves just in time for spring! Read on for the full tutorial step by step.

how to style office book shelves

1. Make books the focal point

This might seem obvious, but there are so many different things to mix in to your shelves including pictures and decorative items. Books are easy to source and provide character, color, and style to any shelf. Have fun with your book selection; look for special editions, covers of a specific color, or titles that follow the same theme.


how to style office book shelves

2. Focus on Your Interests

A bookshelf is a great way to showcase what you care about the most. Display interesting pieces and books from your travels, mementos from different chapters of your life, and sentimental items given to you by friends and family. Not every item needs to be polished and trendy — mix in fun knick knacks that you have collected over time.

3. Mix It Up

Too often people focus on fitting their items on a shelf just so, or arrange everything at the same angle. Don’t be afraid to mix your shelves up with items of different shapes, heights, angles, etc. Variety shows character!

how to style office book shelves


4. Layer

Just like a great outfit, shelves need depth to look stylish and interesting. You can create depth by stacking and styling objects and art in front of and on top of books. It’s ok if you can’t see every item perfectly.

bookshelves, books, how to style bookshelves, home decor

5. Think “Effortless” and “Organic”

You want your bookshelves to be a reflection of you, not of a magazine spread. Avoid buying a lot of pieces at once from a retailer to fill your shelves with. Create your bookshelf collection over time, thoughtfully and slowly. To avoid feeling too contrived, it is also helpful to stay away from color coordinating.

bookshelves, books, how to style bookshelves, home decor

6. Artfully Place Picture Frames

Pictures add a nice personal touch, but frames can feel staid if displayed all together. Intersperse them throughout your shelves with your books and art instead of all in a row.

how to style office book shelves

7. Work with the Color of Your Shelves

When styling a bookshelf, you want your items to pop. If you have dark navy shelves, opt for bright whites, neutrals, and bold pops of red or orange. If you are working with white bookshelves, think about blues and golds with pops of color added in.

Photographed by Jenny Antill for PaperCity Magazine and Kate Robinson Photography

*Sarah offers shelf styling through her co-owned design firm, Jawda and Jawda – both remotely and locally.  Her partner and sister, Saba, is an artist and created the piece in my office bookshelves.

– Shop the Bookshelves-