4 Creative Ways to Decorate Wood Bookshelves 4 Creative Ways to Decorate Wood Bookshelves

Wood bookshelves are the perfect starting point for adding elegance and organization to any room. Not only does a bookshelf serve the functional purpose of storage, but the beautiful wood can set off other collectibles in a way to add beauty and style. Consider one or more of the following decorative ideas for a wooden bookshelf.

1. Theme-Centered Shelves

Instead of just throwing random objects on shelves, consider choosing a theme for your bookshelf. The order and logic of a theme can give purpose to your design, which can also eliminate clutter. Choose the theme based on your hobbies and interests. Some ideas include the following themes:

  • Travel, with a shelf designated for each country, city or trip. Don't just throw up a couple of pictures. Include books, maps, vases or other collectibles as well.
  • Ancestors and antiques - treat each shelf like a branch of a family tree.
  • Music, a shelf for each of your favorite genres or decades.
  • Art, use all of the bookshelves for one artistic genre (cubism, modernism, impressionism), as combining too many artistic styles together will most likely clash.

2. Refinish, Paint or Glue

You may want to change the look of your shelf to match your theme or the rest of the decor in the room. To paint a wooden bookshelf, sand first to remove any finish before painting. Black or white paint will match well with a music-themed bookshelf, while darker wood often fits an antique theme better. For a child's bookshelf, you may want to glue on pictures to make a collage on the outside. For other themes, you may want to use a hot glue gun to glue on fake jewels

3. Color Coordination

When choosing what to put on it, consider selecting a couple of colors that complement each other well to dominate the bookshelf. A black and white dominated bookshelf can add a modern, sleek style to a room, while a blue and orange dominated shelf can add energy and brightness to a dull room. A great way of displaying colors is to fill a glass vase with layers of objects (stones, beads, marbles) in your chosen dominating colors. Also consider contrasting the shades of colors of your bookshelves and your collectibles. For example, a dark wooden bookshelf should contain some light-colored objects to brighten up the area, while too many light-colored objects on a bamboo or oak bookshelf can wash out the area.

4. Staggering Books and Collectibles

Too much symmetry can be dull. Create a new look by staggering stacks of books in each shelf. For example, on the top shelf fill two-thirds of the shelf from left to right with books (use a bookend), then place a vase, bowl or other object in the remaining empty space. On the next shelf down, fill the middle section with books, filling the empty space on either end with a collectible that goes well with the one on the top shelf. On the next shelf down, fill two-thirds of the shelf from right to left with books, then place a collectible in the empty space. Use this example to discover new ways of creating balance using asymmetry.

Rearranging your bookshelves using some of these ideas can give a space a fresh, new look.





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