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Style your Bookshelves Like a Pro

Updated: Jul 29, 2022


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Built-In Bookshelves/Shelves

Uniquely Yours Home Inc. is your local home remodel consultant, interior decorator, and home staging expert with years of experience serving homeowners, property managers, and home builders. For some reason, many of our clients feel intimidated when it comes to adding floating shelves, free-standing bookcases/shelves, or built-in bookcases to their remodeling ideas or interior design plan. However, unlike kitchen makeovers and basement finishing, adding additional storage with shelving, of any kind, is uncomplicated. It is within most people’s budget and provides many opportunities to help create the ambiance you are looking for. In this blog, we will explore how to use bookcases and shelves, what rooms they work best in, and finally the items to place on them and how to arrange them. Many of the ideas we touch on can be implemented by a DYI’er, but if you need help, don’t hesitate to contact Uniquely Yours Home Inc. for a hassle-free consultation at 763-274-0736, your local home interior designer and office interior designer.


How to Use Floating Shelves, Free Standing Bookcases/Shelves, and Built-in Bookcases

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Floating Bookshelves/Shelves

Many people with a built-in bookcase already use it to swap out seasonal decorating, like Christmas and Thanksgiving decorating. But, it can also be a cohesive space to blend the old and the new, like pictures and books, plus used for storage, like with a woven storage basket. If you use books, you can position them vertically, horizontally, and by color to create the cohesiveness or the contrasts you are looking for.


Where is the Best Place for Floating Shelves, Free Standing Bookcases/Shelves, and Built-in Bookcases?


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Free-Standing Bookshelves/Shelves

Generally, floating shelves, free-standing bookcases/shelves, and built-in bookcases are found in living rooms, family rooms, home offices, and in a designated “reading space” in a bedroom. Many people have seen them flanked next to a fireplace, but they could be used in any room to define a space such as a “reading nook” or used as a divider to patrician different sections of the room.


Items to Consider Adding to Floating Shelves, Free Standing Bookcases/Shelves, and Built-in Bookcases


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As you explore items, keep in mind you don’t want to jam-pack your shelf space. The idea is to give it cohesiveness and contrasts or use it for some storage. Jam packing shelves appear cluttered, and not purposeful. This may lead visitors to think you do not have enough storage. For more advice, see our blog “3 Must-Do Staging Tips Before Listing Your Home.”


1. Plants: Greens and potted plants soften a bookshelf and add color/dimension.


2. Decorative Books: Great to use for height and dimension.


3. Picture frames: We recommend having all the frames the same color for cohesiveness.


4. Vases: Perfect for swapping out season stems or left empty to give additional shape and dimension.


5. Small Décor: This is where you can add personal items to tell your story.


6. Small Décor: Creative items to pull together a theme.


3 Ideas to Arrange Floating Shelves, Free Standing Bookcases/Shelves, and Built-in Bookcases


1. Papa Bear, Mama Bear, Baby Bear: A grouping of objects/décor that is large, medium, and small.


2. Use the “C" or "Z” arranging technique depending on the number of shelves you have: Use colors to draw the viewer's eyes in a C or Z shape down the bookcase. See picture below.

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The "C" Technique

3. Adding Family Photos: Adding family photos brings in a personal touch that makes the space feel cozy and safe.


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Built-In Bookshelves/Shelves

As your local house interior designer, we hope these ideas to incorporate bookcases and shelves in your interior design plan are helpful. Unlike exploring kitchen remodel ideas or whole home renovation ideas, floating shelves, free-standing bookcases/shelves, and built-in bookcases are uncomplicated.


Most people have some experience already swapping out seasonal decorations, but they could also be used for some storage or could help to divide a room into different functions. For example, a kid’s bedroom could have a free-standing bookshelf between the bed and homework desk. The biggest thing to remember is cohesiveness and contrasts are the goals, not cluttering it up by jam-packing a shelf.


While DYI’ers can act on these ideas immediately, if you need help incorporating bookcases and shelves into your interior design or home staging, don’t hesitate to contact Uniquely Yours Home Inc. for a hassle-free consultation at 763-274-0736, your local home interior designer and office interior designer.

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DISCLAIMER: Please note that there are affiliate links within this article. This means that at no additional cost to you, Uniquely Yours Home may receive a small commission if you click through and make a purchase. We appreciate you supporting our business in this way!

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