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Shelfie Styling Tips

One thing I do a lot in my designs is design some beautiful bespoke joinery and often these are bookcases as people require storage and they can have a decent amount of books!

However it's not enough to have a well made bookcase that is a thing of beauty, the styling I think is pretty crucial to emphasising the design.

The styling is something I do get asked about often and I try to help clients so I thought I would summarise some key easy to follow basics so you can have that effortlessly styled bookcase or even shelving.

The designer rule of 3 is a good one to follow, or odd numbers in general. For some reasons things look better grouped in odd numbers.

Then with a grouping of objects you want to also follow the triangle rule. This means the difference in height, so you wouldn't have 3 vases all the same or similar heights as they will just look plonked in position. The change of height and also depth of the objects is what will give you that visual impact but look cohesive and purposeful.

Aim to have a variety of objects, I've mentioned vases but you can also add in candles and holders, plants, books, artwork and even some cool bookends. Variety is crucial to it looking considered and well...styled. Using too many of the same object will look like you've just filled the spaces with what you can find.

If you have any any more unusual shapes added to your joinery rather than the traditional straight across shelving, then think about the proportion of the object in the space. If you have a large alcove to fill, then don't use a small object, it will look lost. You want to emphasise the design feature with either a taller or wider object.

Another thing to consider is your overall style. Are you more minimal or maximal with the styling in the rest the of the space? Then match your bookcase styling with the same aesthetic.

It doesn't hurt to have some empty spaces too, you don't need to fill every inch of space. Some 'negative' space is actually balancing to the design and can soften a heavy loaded bookcase.

Then for those who have the big book collections then you have a number of ways to play around with the styling. Again how you style and order your books will be completely personal, for the OCD in us for them to be chronological may supersede any aesthetically pleasing arrangement, so in this case I suggest breaking up the flow form vertical to horizontal to give some visual interest and interject the books with ornaments/plants etc to stop the bookcase from looking a conventional library.

My biggest advice is don't over think it, try and follow these rules and have a play and see what you come up with. I often spend time playing around with the styling and seeing what works in that specific space, with those specific products and props. The beauty is every space will look totally different.

Happy styling!

Thanks for reading.

NB x


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