We have a LOT of books, and therefore have a lot of bookcases. The majority of them reside in our living room (see them + more about our living room here). We currently have 7 large bookcases in our living room (and 2 more in his office, but we haven’t gotten to those yet).
I love the look of completely full bookcases. I’ve always dreamed of having a Beauty and the Beast library. However, since our bookcases are in our living room, I feel like they need to be more than just books. So I like to include picture frames and decorative objects into the mix to break it up a little, add some more color and make it just a little more fun.
I have spent YEARS collecting and editing my bookcases. I add, I take away, I change. Every time we move I spend DAYS organizing and re-organizing them. I just recently got rid of a ton of books, and we are going to move some to Charlie’s office, so I am going to be re-vamping them again soon (but to be honest, I wasn’t 100% happy with them anyway).
The thing is, even if you have a several bookcases like I do, you don’t have to spend a ton to give them a little something extra. Like I said, I have spend years working on mine and they are a constant work in progress (aren’t all things?) This post came from the fact that I just bought these pineapple book ends. I saw something similar in HGTV magazine, so I started googling. They are $19.99, and I just had to have them!
So these are a few items that would work great in a bookcase, and they are budget friendly too! Several of them are similar to things I have in mine.
I love decorating with ginger jars. We have a lot of blue and white in our house, and I really love the look of them. I actually want to get a few more. Here is my tip with them – yes you can buy them online. But a great way to get them is to hit up your local antique shops. I bought several at some antique malls, and I know I couldn’t have paid very much for them because I didn’t have that much to spend. I think you can find time sometimes at Home Goods too. If antique shops aren’t your thing (and they really aren’t mine in general), then you can find them online. These come in 2 sizes.
I also have a lot of candles and frames in mine. I love candles, so I keep my extras nestled in with my books until I am ready to burn them. This one is vanilla lavender scented, which is one of my favorite combinations. You could also mix and match colorful ones . I also love using all different kinds of frames with fun family pictures (most of them are of my dogs though…). I took a couple of white picture frames and painted them pink to give a little more color. You can of course include small pieces of art too.
Vases are another great object to add into bookcases. These house bud vases come in 3 different sizes and would look so good grouped together on on their own.
I also have a small globe on one of my shelves (which I love!), as well as a gold elephant that I have had for several years.
Just a few of my tips on styling your bookcases:
Don’t be too uniform. If you have two pieces on the top shelf, have one or three pieces on the next shelf.
Try putting some books on their sides. Stack a few on top of each other and then put a picture frame or vase on top. Coffee table books are really good for this.
Mix it up. Try different things. Go crazy with some color. Have some fun with them. Make them reflect your (and your family’s) personality. Maybe you have all travel pictures and items from trips in them. Maybe you have really colorful books, so you stick with more neutral accessories.
Keep in mind, if you are like me, it will probably take you several attempts to get it the way you want it. You may love one shelf and hate another. Just keep playing with it until you are happy.
The one thing I really don’t like personally is when people turn the spines of the books around so the pages are facing out. How do you know what book it is?? I have a hard enough time finding my books.