August 2017

How to Decorate a Bookshelf (Do’s and Dont’s provided by The Scout Guide)


Do start by taking everything off the shelves. When you’re ready to start building them back, use only the things that you love.

Do pay attention to color. Arrange books according to color, and consider removing dust jackets from hardcovers to create a clean, harmonious look. If books are in sets, keep them together to achieve cohesion.

Do vary placement of books. Fill some shelves with books completely, making a full length of books from left to right. On other shelves, turn some books at an angle, stack them, and break up a row by introducing a sculpture piece, vase, or box places on top of a stack of three books.


Don’t obsess over symmetry. However, keeping shelves balanced by paying attention to the visual weight of items is important.

Don’t spread many little things across a shield. This will end up looking busy. Instead, if you have small things you wish to display, group them together or put them inside a glass box or on a tray.

Don’t use paperback books on your bookshelves in living spaces. Stick to hardcovers in the more public rooms.

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