I'm Katie.

Mom / wife / stylist / creative. Boston born, New York raised, California currently. 


S T Y L I N G // Shelf Styling Tips and Tricks

S T Y L I N G // Shelf Styling Tips and Tricks

Who doesn't love a good #shelfie? Bookshelves can be an easy way to add a ton of personality to your space but not everyone loves the task of filling and styling. On the contrary, I happen to love it so much that I tend to re-style my bookshelves monthly... seriously. 

Vintage Hardy Boys books are a great pop of color on my living builtins.

Vintage Hardy Boys books are a great pop of color on my living builtins.

My living room bookcase is ever evolving. TRICK : Put textiles or folded blankets on the lower shelves for 'kid proofing'!

My living room bookcase is ever evolving. TRICK : Put textiles or folded blankets on the lower shelves for 'kid proofing'!

There are a million and one articles out there to teach you how to create the perfect wow-inspiring bookshelf. Sometimes the amount of information is overwhelming! So I've pulled together tips and tricks from my three favorite designers so you can have the best of the best when it comes to shelf styling advice all in one place:

So without further ado... Here are my favorite tips from my favorite designers:


Amber Interiors

Brilliantly eclectic and perfectly balanced shelves by Amber Lewis

Brilliantly eclectic and perfectly balanced shelves by Amber Lewis

I dove into Amber's article on shelf styling over on her blog. And pulled a few of my favorite tips that I also use when styling a bookshelf:

TIP: Paint your bookshelf white! It's the best backdrop to your styling.

TIP: Not every book has a home on your beautiful bookshelf. Store the tired or ugly books for later use or donate them.

TRICK: This is one of my go-to's - take off the cover! Lots of books look better without the glossy cover and the spine can be more attractive underneath

TIP: Divide up your books by color and size and create attract groupings. Space out the groupings in a balanced way.

TIP: Don't line up your frames! Thats so 1997. Sprinkle them around the shelves and layer them on top of stacks.

TRICK: Don't include anything smaller than in apple, it will make your shelves look cluttered.


Studio McGee

Light and airy.

Light and airy.

Shea from Studio McGee has a great 5 step formula she explains in a fun  video on their blog. It goes a little something like this:

1. Gather everything you think you may use in one place - books, art, trinkets, etc.

2. Place your large items first. Space them in a balanced way (I like to take a few giant steps back and
see how it looks before moving on). Books should be placed in stacks and groupings.

3. Place framed photos and art next. Try layering smaller frames on top of book stacks.

4. Create grouping of vases and smaller items and place them throughout the shelves. Step back and make sure you have varying heights and number of items in your groups.

5. Tinker and create balance.

Some top tips Shea mentions in her post: add plants to give the display some life, don't be afraid of white space and start with more than you need and edit the collection down as you go.


Emily Henderson

Layered and full of curiosties!

Layered and full of curiosties!

Emily has a simple 3 step guide to styling your shelves but being the expert that she is, there are a lot of tips layered in her post so here is the summary:

1. Start with your books and create groups. Arrange them both horizontally and vertically and balance out the colors unless you are color coordinating. TIP: only color coordinate if you have a TON of books and a library-like bookcase.

2. Add art.  TRICK: Art takes up lots of visual space so makes an easier and less cluttered way of filling your shelves. TIP:  lean the art in the back of the shelf to create depth

3. Add in all the goodies - "your objects, sculptures, vessels, collections and even lighting."  TIP: Stick to a color palette so it doesn't look like a thrift store!

And if you need more info on vignette specific ideas - pick up her awesome book!


Feeling inspired?? Personally I think it is all about BALANCE. Don't do two shelve with the same arrangement of objects next to each other, evenly distribute your colors & textures and when in doubt: edit edit edit. 

Staring at your shelves and wondering what they need? Shop some of my finds below! And if you create something beautiful, post it on Instagram and tag me! I would love to see it.

F I N D S // Rejuvenation Weekend Sale

F I N D S // Rejuvenation Weekend Sale

F I N D S // Plug-In Sconces To The Rescue

F I N D S // Plug-In Sconces To The Rescue