trevor-tondroGive your bookshelves a serious facelift by integrating some of these elegant accents.


You can do no wrong with a bookcase that’s brimming with books, but if you haven’t quite reached total book nerd status, you can flush out that negative space with a few artful accessories to give your shelves a more polished look.

A no-brainer for any bookcase, bookends will not only keep your books standing (especially if you have an étagère), they’ll add a sculptural quality to the shelves. If you have an enclosed bookcase, play around with separating your bookends on different shelves for a less predictable look.

Screen Shot 2014-06-10 at 10.41.43 AMdouglas_friedman_hollywoodreporter smittenstudio smittenstudio1vasesVases are an easy way to bring shape, height, and color to your shelves. Use them as bookends or place them on an empty expanse of your shelf. A small vase can even act as a paperweight of sorts when placed on a stack of books.

Screen Shot 2014-06-10 at 10.41.51 AMsasha-adler amandanisbetdecorative-boxesNot only can you use them to store little odds and ends like matches, paperwork, or tech gear, decorative boxes can also be used as bookends. Or, place them on top of a few books as an elegant finishing touch.

Screen Shot 2014-06-10 at 10.41.57 AMread_mckendree_philip_gorrivan evewilson_designfiles theenglishroom pollywrefordframedartworkOne of our all-time favorite bookcase styling tricks is to hang a framed piece of artwork on the vertical of one of your shelves; it’s a tried-and-true designer trick that always looks gorgeous. We also love to see framed pieces leaned against the wall of the bookcase, and small framed photographs of family and friends are always a welcome addition.

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new frank-westerman-via-nuevo-estilo miles-reddsculpturalFrom vintage busts to gold bursting objects to amethysts and crystals, sculptural pieces add personality and artfulness to a bookcase. Use them like a paperweight on top of stack of books, place them in front of your books, or set them on their own. Display souvenirs from your travels or hunt for tabletop objects at your nearest decor shop.

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Even if you don’t accessorize, you can still style your bookshelf by alternating their orientation, both stacking and standing them. This creates a little movement for your eye to follow. With their heft and scale, coffee table books are great candidates for stacking.

What are your tricks and favorite accessories for styling your bookcase? Please share in the comments.

Photographs: 1. Trevor Tondro (photographer and source), 2. and 3. Smitten Studio (source), 4. Douglas Friedman for The Hollywood Reporter, 5. Amanda Nisbet (designer and source), 6. Paul Elledge for Elle, 7. Read McKendree for Philip Gorrivan Design, 8. Eve Wilson for The Design Files, 9. The English Room (designer and source), 10. Polly Wreford (stylist and source), 11. Amy D. Morris photographed by Erica George Dines for Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles, 12. Nuevo Estilo (source), 13. Todd Selby (photographer and source), 14. and 16. Miles Redd (designer and source), 15. Sean Fennessy (photographer and source), 17. Emily Henderson photographed by Joanna Godard