Styling Tips - Balancing Your Bookshelf

Many of my E-design clients lament that styling, in particular, balancing their shelves, is a frustrating feat. The most important tip in balancing your bookshelf is patience & play. It looks simple but it does take a few finesses to get it right. Truly have fun with the process - grab yourself a cocktail & follow these few simple tips you will achieve a beautiful bookshelf in no time.


Object Sizes:

On your lowest and highest shelves decorate with large items like temple jars & bowls. Smaller objects will be difficult to see & get lost. Keep items with intricate detail such as smaller framed photographs on shelves that are at, or slightly below, eye level for easy viewing.

Object Shape:

Vary the shapes – round, square, organic, etc. Books and frames are often square or rectangle so break them up with other shapes to create interest.


Think of the whole bookshelf as 1 piece that needs to be balanced. If you have a larger sculptural piece on one side of a shelf, directly below should be something lighter, and on the other end of that shelf another ‘heavier piece’ to balance it all. Do not crowd the bookshelves – let the books and pieces breath. There should be space between all items.


Include natural elements (coral, shell, wood) in your shelves. It makes them feel more lived in and collected. Get creative! Peruse Etsy, flea markets, use your children’s sculptures, all will add another layer of personality to your mix. 


Favorite Sources for Finishing Touches:

Jayson Home & Garden, Furbish Studio, & One King’s Lane, C Wonder, Etsy

Do you have mad styling skills? I would love to hear your favorite sources or share your aesthetic accomplishments on the blog!

 - Top photo by Erik Melvin, others by Jylare Smith

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